How has it been almost three weeks since Andre's last day at channel 4?? That means this post is three weeks overdue.
If you follow me on social media, you may have noticed the last month has been a pretty busy one. The craziness kicked off with Andre's departure. I consider my former coanchor a great friend, so it's been a big adjustment. Many of you have asked if we still talk and the answer is yes, of course! He remains a great sounding board and source of advice. I know that won't change anytime soon.
Andre's last day on #n4tm was the last day of September. We worked in a lot of trickery for his sendoff. The picture below is from his little going away breakfast (notice Steve Harris' green hair). Andre was so surprised. We really got him! The food was fantastic and it was great to have one more group powwow with the guy who has been such an important part of our team.
Many of us recorded little video good-bye messages...and that included Andre's amazing wife, Serena. Another surprise! Photographer Nick Zervos and I sneaked out of the newsroom to meet Serena at the City Garden. These little messages aired during Andre's last newscast. I may or may not have had to re-do mine because the first time around was a little teary...
I think sometimes people at home wonder if the people they see on TV reallly get along as well as they seem. I can say for this group the answer is definitely yes! Something about coming to work at 2 a.m. probably encourages that, but I can tell you I care deeply about my coworkers. The picture below speaks to my point--Andre & Serena's wedding. This was one of the most challenging workweeks in my professional career (most of us were working 12-on/12-off while covering the unrest in Ferguson, following the death of Michael Brown). No sleep, high stakes, and emotions running high, but there was no way we were going to miss this event. I remember barely having time to shower after standing out in the August heat all day, and luckily, finding a dress in my car to change into. But what a great memory.
Getting to know Serena has been such a blessing, and definitely a big bonus of my working with Andre. She is a very special lady and I have no intention of losing touch with her either!
We had Andre's going away get-together on Thursday night before his last day. That first picture in this post was taken there. Our schedules were so packed, we had no choice but to put the party Thursday evening, then turn around and anchor Andre's last show Friday. Whew! We were definitely hurting during that 4 o'clock hour, but it was worth it.
The farewell tour continued to Branson. The Emmy awards were that weekend. It's always fun to get fancy with your coworkers for a night out. Since the gift I ordered for Andre came late, I had no choice but to give him his Cardinals cuff links on the red carpet. He better be wearing them in Baltimore!! We ended up going on stage to accept an Emmy together for KMOV's coverage of the Thanksgiving Day Parade, which we hosted together last year. What a wonderful send-off!
There is a very special place in my heart for this guy and the team we had. We went through a lot, and I have grown so much in this role. I am a better journalist, a better anchor, and a better person because of my time spent working with Andre. He always advocated for our show, and looked out for those around him. I know he's already doing a great job in his new role. We sure do miss him in St. Louis. Come back soon, my friend!