It started in the '60s.
I remember sitting next to my dad in our San Francisco apartment watching KGO-TV news anchors Van Amburg and Jerry Jensen. After the local news, we switched stations and watched Walter Cronkite. We saw Berkeley free speech, San Francisco labor unrest, the war in Vietnam, flower children, and the Giants and 49ers unable to get it together.
We saw all of it on a very small TV screen with pictures in black and white. I can still see it now. I loved it when we talked about the news. He was so intensely interested, I became intensely interested. That is where it started.
Along the way came St. Ignatius High, followed by UC Berkeley and SF State, where I saw some news stories first hand and in living color. I was thrilled to land a job right out of college: anchoring 4 minute local news updates and reporting in Reno! From there I moved on and up. I covered stories and saw our beautiful country from newsrooms stretching from West Palm Beach to Albany to Phoenix to Sacramento. There were stories of shark attacks, avalanches, crooked politicians, hurricanes, homicides and heroes. I met a lot of governors, senators, mayors, superstars and super athletes. I interviewed the Godfather of Soul, partied with Ronnie Lott and even sang on stage with The Beach Boys.
One of the things I love about covering news is that it's never the same two days in a row. In the same week, you may cover an injured whale, a double homicide, a building implosion and a home overrun by raccoons.
And there's no homework or second chances. You go full-tilt all day and when it's done, it's done. In baseball, they say you're only as good as your last at-bat. In television news, you're only as good as your last stand up. I'm all right with that.
It's been a great 32 years. Awards. Ratings. Now, it's back home with my two sons. Back home to the Giants and 49ers, family, familiarity, Stinson Beach jogging, Pt. Reyes hiking, coffee, fog and so much more in my city. It's so good to be back!
Terry McSweeeney is a reporter for ABC 7 News. He has been honored with two Edward R. Murrow Awards for his reporting at KNTV in San Jose and was named "Best Anchor" by the Albany Times-Union newspaper.