When WYOU-TV 22 pulled the plug on its news operation last week, several lost their jobs. You could understand how some would be bitter. The man who served the longest was the one who was least bitter. Of all of the surprises of the last week, David DeCosmo's reaction was the least surprising.
I met David in 1973 when he hired me to do the weekend news on WILK AM. I was inexperienced, but Dave took a chance on me. I am forever grateful.
We parted professional company a few years later when David moved on to another radio station's management, only to be reunited at WYOU in 1986. I was fortunate to learn at the feet of a man who has forgotten more news than most in this market could ever hope to know. I could write a book on what Dave taught me.
There's a reason the Professional News Media Association of Northeastern Pennsylvania recognized him with a Lifetime Achievement Award almost three decades ago. David DeCosmo is a pro.
There is something that David could not teach. Something you would have to learn by watching. That something is decency; uncommon decency. I cannot write an adequate description of it. Anybody who is fortunate enough to know him and his family understands it.
In a business sometimes overwhelmed by massive egos, Dave was the one guy who kept it all in perspective. He was NEVER bigger than the story. The story always came first.
In all that's been written in the last week, the thing most striking to me is Dave's concern for his co-workers; not himself.
He's been a colleague, mentor and friend and my life has been forever enriched by knowing him.
I am sorry that Dave didn't get a chance to bow out under his own terms and allow his friends and fans to pay tribute to him.
Maybe that's because he hasn't yet written his sign off.