Monday, March 11, 2013

When in Rome...Get on Action News

Okay, let's play connect the dots real fast.

I was born & raised in Norristown, PA (a suburb of Philadelphia)---moved & now live in Oss, Netherlands (an hour & a half south of Amsterdam)---vacationed in Rome, Italy this weekend---interviewed by major Philadelphia news outlet in front of St. Peter's Square, Vatican City.  Crazy world.

Thanks Bonnie for your TV pic!
Vicki and I took a long weekend to Rome to catch up with a good friend and to see some white smoke and a new Pope.  Well, we were too early to catch any smoke, but we did catch an interview from Action News reporter, Brian Taff (front runner to take over for Jim Gardner when/if he retires, IMHO). After we learned from Alicia Vitarelli's twitter that Brian Taff from Action News was in Rome, I immediately composed this tweet:

He taped a story while in Rome about buying a crappy umbrella from a street vendor

Brian, to his credit, quickly responded:

I wasn't comfortable tweeting my email (but in retrospect would it have mattered?  I dunno.)  So I asked him if I could "DM" (Twitter speak for "Direct Message") my address to him.  No response.  So a day goes by and I tweet him again:

Still no response.  I thought, "Hmmm, he's blowing me off."  Ducis Rogers immediately becomes my new front runner to take over for the legendary anchorman Jim Gardner.
Ducis Rogers the next Jim Gardner? 
I needed a new angle....I needed a new face: a duck face.

Since I was too cheap to splurge for the €2 to activate the internet on my phone, we were just using Vicki's phone for data outside WiFi zones. We were both in St Peter's square when I "borrowed" Vicki's phone and tweeted this breaking story from Vicki's twitter account "by mistake":

Then all this happened:

In case you needed proof the interview was really in Rome, see bus
The meeting took place as planned on Sunday at noon in front of St. Peter's where we met Brian and his crew.  He spent time interviewing us, then posed for some pictures.  But my favorite part was shooting the "B-stroll" footage.  Special thanks to Sean and Kris for sending us your screen grabs below.

So, did I ever unveil my diabolical interview plot to Brian Taff. Nah, I was testing his investigating reporting skills. Sadly, he did not put it together that I was the one who orginally tweeted him or that I used Vicki's twitter to pose as "Some broad you might wanna know" making a duck face in their twitter profile.  I have no doubt Alicia Vitarelli would have uncovered my scheme.  She's just that good.

But again, to their credit Brian and his crew put together a great piece with all the best sound bites and Emmy worthy B-roll.

"Okay Vic, laugh on my count....3,2,1..."  Classic B-Roll (Photo Credit: Sean O'Neill)

More classic B-Roll with nondescript, labeless water bottle (Photo Credit: Kris Goorsky)


These will probably be our new facebook profile pictures forever.  Thanks Sean!

Here's my entire uncut interview.  I'll admit, I was a little nervous.  You try looking at those sunglasses.  Well, thank goodness for editing.  I wasn't fast enough on the draw to record Vicki's interview unfortunately.  She was just so awesome I was simply captivated by her responses.

Moving closer to our world with friend Brian Taff (@briantaff6abc)

Oh, and if you're wondering what happened to his jacket.  Brian lent it to a fellow journalist from I'm guessing somewhere in South America.  True story, the reporter walks up and asks Brian for his jacket so they can tape a spot.  Brian obliges and lends his coat.  Stand up guy that Brian Taff but he needs to back off the hand on the hip thing; that's Alicia Vitarelli's thing.

Thanks everyone for reading and thank you all for the feedback through facebook & twitter.  We've greatly enjoyed our 15 minutes of fame.


  1. Pope-alicious nephew Dan!

  2. So, who did you choose as the next pope?

  3. Oh my goodness... Dan. You are most definitely the bright spot in my day. Love the behind the scenes story. Can't believe he didn't add 2+2 to equal 4.

  4. I know someone famous! I want a real interview with 6abc from Philly in Rome! DannyZ says as he stomps his feet and uses his wifes account. Love it! ~Jess

  5. Shut up!!! How cool are you???!! And here I thought I was fancy because we are on House Hunters. Harumph.

    Nice work!!!

    1. Thanks! But I think House Hunters trumps a local news station. I'm jealous!

  6. Dan and Vicki - you guys are too much - and too cool I might add!! I loved the strolling scene:) I still think that was you Dan trying to get in with the other Cardinals. I almost expect a report by you from INSIDE the Chapel!!

    And I do agree ---- as soon as they started giving Brian all these assignments, I figured he was next in line for Jim G's seat. I just hope that doesn't happen anytime soon- Jim is the news king!

    Thanks for posting. I told Nancy when you finally arrive back in the USA, you should write a book.

    Barb Tyson

    1. Thanks for reading Barb! Found out after we got back that Tracy Davidson was also in Rome. Eh, my loyalty is to 6ABC. I would drive a book publisher crazy with my butchering of the English language. But thanks for the support!!!

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