Last Friday, Steve Porter passed away. For those of you new to the area, Steve was the original host of the Hot Talk Morning Show back on New Year's Day 1995. Yes, Steve worked on holidays too!!! I was associated with WRNN as Program Director since 1997, but didn't go full-time on the morning show with him until 2001. In the 10 years we shared the airwaves, I learned several things from Steve...how to write, how to report, how to interview. Steve was a good Republican and I'm not...so we were bound to have disagreements on political issues, but I always found him very open minded on social issues so there weren't very many disagreements there. He was also the consummate professional, so even though we'd disagree on-air, as soon as the microphone was off, we forgot what the tiff was about and talked about the next segment. I get up around 2:15 every morning so I can come in...scour the websites and papers and prep for the show. Steve would come in around 5:40, scan the paper, write some stories, record the news and still be ready for the show at 6. I think a little more prep time would have been better, but Steve's day to day life WAS his prep. After we got off the air, Steve would go to meetings and interviews through the day, so that when he came in the next day, he was already prepped on the big issues without having the read about them. Plus, all you had to do was mention a country, a politcal leader or issue form the past 60 years or a media-type and Steve would have a story about visiting there, interviewing them or working with them. In 10 years, I think I heard most of Steve's stories...a couple times each....and could re-count them as Steve would tell them on the air. At his funeral this week, I enjoyed hearing some of those stories again and hearing a few I hadn't heard before.
Steve had a tough personal life, losing 2 children and his first wife. He moved to Myrtle Beach, where he met and married Robbie and got a new instant family with her kids, Jed, Sloan and Taylor. It rejuvinated him and it showed. He was as proud of those kids as if they were his own....and would brag on them constantly. Seeing them at the service the other day...it was great to see what amazing kids they grew up to be. I'm sure Steve had at least a small part in that, and Robbie, you did an amazing job too.
I hate to admit, but after Steve left the station 2 years ago...we lost touch. I'm horrible at keeping in touch with people....just ask my family. I told Robbie that, because Steve wasn't around anymore. It didn't make me feel better for being a bad friend...but I just wanted to let someone know how bad I felt. I had meant to reach out to him on several occassions, but didn't...always thinking that there would be time. There wasn't.
Steve was a newsman for more than 50 years. It was in his blood. After traveling to more than 120 countries in his career, he's making one last voyage. Steve was always trying to help others and was a good, honest person...so I'm sure his final destination will be a good one.
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