When did you get bitten by the journalism bug?
I loved reading the paper and watching the news on television from about the age of six. And I would listen to the radio for hours --
not for the music but to hear the announcers. I'd call in to try to win the contests on the radio, and I'd make my own "radio station" on my cassette recorder.
What was it about television news that appealed to you?
Television news combined my interest in broadcasting with my interest in the news. I was an afternoon newspaper delivery boy when I was 12. I was terrible at the job because I would get distracted from the intended pace of my deliveries whenever I flipped to an article I wanted to read.
What types of stories interest you most?
I like to be surprised or learn something new. Man bites dog stories are always interesting to me. And so are quirky stories that shed new light on some aspect of New York.
You just moved your morning reports to the US Open, which was a deviation from previous years. Any challenges in doing so?
It's tough to take a four-hour long morning show on the road. So we rarely do it. But we wanted to show the US Open from the fan perspective rather than the sport perspective. One of our biggest challenges was the rising sun each day. It made for some spectacular pictures, but what seemed like a good camera location at dawn turned into a squinting-at-the-sun location in the space of about 20 minutes.
Big tennis fan?
I play tennis as often as I can. I love watching professional tennis. And, I just like the atmosphere at the US Open. It's one of the great New York City events.
You've been with New York 1 for two decades now. What is your most memorable story or moment?
This is probably the obvious answer, but September 11th stands alone as the most memorable moment -- not only that day, but the three weeks of non-stop live programming that followed. It was heartbreaking, challenging, and exhausting all at the same time. But we served an important need.
You're also a trivia buff. Please share some surprising New York 1 trivia.
NY1's agreement to sign a long-term lease in our Chelsea Market space meant the HBO series "Oz" got evicted, since they had been renewing one season at a time. So the space that's now our newsroom was once a mock-up of a prison. And before that, it was a cookie factory.
You often have a lot of fun with Roger Clark, Annika Pergament, and Jamie Stelter in the mornings.
We're the only single-anchor morning program in New York. So Roger, Annika, and Jamie provide moments when I can interact and be more conversational than when I'm reading the headlines. They all work on those moments to make sure I've got something to react to or weigh in on.
On a more serious note, New York City's nonprofit sector is a crowded one, so please offer some advice on how nonprofits can best pitch newsworthy stories for television.
The best stories aren't about fundraising or mission statements or statistics. The best stories are about people. Find a good "people" story and the details about who's doing the good work will fall into place.
You obviously have a number of people pitch you. Please offer some advice on what works - and what doesn't - when trying to sell you a story.
Many of our stories in the morning are gathered the day before, so we're not like the typical morning show with a parade of in-studio guests. But my overall advice is to actually watch the program. A regular viewer can see what types of stories we do well and craft a pitch that matches the format.
We always ask: what is a common mistake people make when pitching a story
Fake familiarity. If you actually watch and know the program, I'm all for a pitch that says "I thought of you and Jamie when I learned about this story." But nothing hits my "deleted" folder faster than a pitch that immediately shows faux sincerity -- like when people open with "Hey Patrick" because that's how my name showed up on their media list.
If people do want to send you a morning story idea, how should they get in touch with you or a colleague?
The best way to pitch NY1 is through our assignment desk. Most of the early crew is on the way home by late morning. The assignment desk prioritizes news of the day with interesting pitches and tries to strike a balance for the next morning. The executive producer of morning programming at NY1 is Kim Winston.