CBS 880 News Anchor Paul Murnane, took some time out of his busy schedule to speak on campus at last week’s WQAQ staff meeting. Despite covering news in New York for the last 13 years, Murnane is a local product who has not forgotten his roots.
“I grew up in Cheshire,” said Murnane, “so I have a great feeling for Quinnipiac and all things in Hamden. It’s great that we can tap into some of the resources afforded to us by Quinnipiac…such as the polling institute.”
The visit was arranged by sophomore Emilio Saurillo, a member of the WQAQ management staff who interned at CBS Radio last summer. Saurillo, a native New Yorker, said that getting Murnane to come was anything but an argued task.
“CBS was very accommodating,” said Saurillo. “I went through the same man who hired me for my internship, and Paul, being from the area, was more than willing to make an appearance.”
While speaking to the crowd of close to 100 students at the Echlin Lecture Hall, Murnane focused on his role in covering the terrorist attacks that took place Sept. 11 in New York City. Although he has covered tragic stories before, such as the crash of TWA Flight 800, Murnane could not believe what he saw in New York City during the aftermath of the attacks.
“I never thought I would see New York City in such a state,” said Murnane. “It came to a halt…there was a quiet lull. It was unbelievable.”
Afterwards, Murnane was more than happy to answer questions from a group of students who were eager to ask. A veteran of radio stations in Boston, New Haven, and Hartford, Murnane answered questions concerning a variety of issues ranging from how he got into the industry, to his opinions on satellite radio and the salary structure of radio. Murnane was honest with the students, some of whom could have been influenced by his words.
“Radio is a good thing to be in,” said Murnane. “You never know what’s going to happen.”
Murnane was realistic with the students, telling them that “it’s not easy…it’s difficult…you give up a lot to be in this business.”
Freshman Josh Danzig thought it was great to hear Murnane’s honest take on the industry.
“Hearing him talk about his experience and how he started from the bottom up was great,” said Danzig. “Most people think that they are going to just be handed a job at a major organization right off the bat. That isn’t the case at all, and he told it like it really is.”
Danzig also gained a newly found perspective on a side of the industry that he had not thought about before.
“I want to go into sports broadcasting,” said Danzig, “but the speech opened my eyes to news and made me see a different side of broadcasting. It is always good to know about other areas, so that when students get out of college, they can diversify and try to get involved in more than one aspect of radio.”
Another student, freshman Lindsey Kelley, thought that Murnane presented the radio news profession in a dignified manner that would make any student want to take an interest in it.
“He gave the radio industry an overshadowing and overwhelming sense of power and dignity,” said Kelley. “He made reporting seem like one of the most satisfying jobs out there…not because of the financial benefits, but because of the intellectual rewards.”
The students appreciated Murnane taking the time to come speak at the meeting. In return, Murnane appreciated the attention that the students devoted to him.
“They asked sharp questions and showed real interest,” said Murnane. “They were a radio savvy group.”