79ºF

Legends of Local 10 gather for WPLG reunion

photo

To cover this story the way it was meant to be covered, Local 10 called upon "The One & Only" Connie Hicks, a legend in the Local 10 newsroom, and had her kick her award-winning reporting skills back into gear.


From Dwight Lauderdale to Susan Candiotti, and Diane Magnum to Don Noe, some of the biggest names in the history of Local 10 gathered for a fun-filled reunion to celebrate the station and their years covering the news in South Florida.

More than 150 Local 10 veterans enjoyed what was likely to be a "once-in-a-lifetime" affair for those who set the journalistic standards station employees follow to this day.

“We all shared a common bond." said longtime Local 10 news anchor Dwight Lauderdale. We were all young people in the business and we really became a family in doing that.”

The early 1980s provided stories in our own backyard that would become national headlines, and Local 10 was there to cover them all.

“I could jump on a shrimp boat and cover the Mariel boat lift because we had the time and budget and there was a real commitment to real news.” said former reporter Illeana Bravo. “The Ann Bishops, Dwight Lauderdales, Glen Rinkers – they put us on the map.” 

That map of South Florida well remembered more than 40 years later by Richard Schlesinger who would leave Local 10 to become a correspondent for CBS News.

“It was the most amazing news stories, one after another, national news – it was always trial by fire.” said Schlesinger.

"The news stories we were doing were unbelievable," remembers former Local 10 reporter Peggy Lewis. "Everything came to South Florida, everything came and ended in South Florida. Ted Bundy came to South Florida, cocaine wars, police corruption, riots.”

Attendees included those you may not have seen in front of the camera, but behind them. They are the people who shot the video, edited it, produced the stories, made the assignments.  And most of the stories were fun, but an awful lot were not.

Stories like the 1980 Miami riots that left 18 dead and engulfed our community in flames, anger, and fear.

"I put Ann Bishop on the set – we didn’t have live shots, it was an earlier time in our industry, and I said, ‘Ann, go on TV and calm the people down. Make sure the community knows that you’re going to give the right information.’ And she went on television." said former Local 10 news director Steve Wasserman. "And I – to this day – believe she was largely responsible for calming the nerves of South Florida during that very difficult time.” 

But there was also beauty in what was covered by the station.

"The first story I covered here was Christo’s covering the islands with pink polypropylene." said Lewis.

It was an incredible night of memories and shared stories, from a group that covered South Florida at a time when it felt as if it was the center of the news world.

“I look around this room and I just can’t believe the enormous amount of talent we had, both in front of the camera and behind it, and throughout the whole building at 3900 Biscayne Blvd.” said Lauderdale. “We were a family and we had fun at the time.”