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WESTSIDER JOHN TESH
WESTSIDER JOHN TESH
Anchorman for WCBS Channel 2 News

2-3-79

"I've had a lot of luck in my career," says John Tesh of WCBS Channel 2 News."I enjoy working hard and I know exactly what I want. Who knows, 10 years from now I may not be that way. A lot of my friends are afraid I've gone too far too fast."

During the first 18 years of his life, when he lived in Garden City, Long Island, John was a top student, a star athlete, and a fine musician. After graduating from high school he left for North Carolina to attend the state university on a soccer scholarship. His goal — to become a doctor. But when John returned to the New York area in 1976 at the age of 24, it was not as a professional athlete or a physician, but as a television news reporter. Today, at 27, he is one of the most highly respected young broadcasters in New York. Throughout the week he appears regularly on Channel 2's 6 o'clock news as an on-the-scene reporter, and each Saturday and Sunday he co-anchors both the 6 o'clock and the 11 o'clock evening news. According to Tesh, his 6 o'clock weekend show is watched by more people than any other local news program in New York.

As if this job were not enough, last September John opened his own sporting goods store, Sports Stripes, located on Columbus Avenue at 75th Street, a few blocks from his apartment. The compact, brightly decorated store specializes in running equipment and is the only place in New York City where running shoes can be resoled on the premises.

When I stop by Sports Stripes one afternoon to talk with John over lunch, the first thing I notice is his sheer size. At 6 foot and 190 pounds, he makes a commanding presence. There is command in his voice as well; it is as deep and rich as a Russian bass-baritone's. He seems extraordinarily calm, and when I comment on this, he says that "there's not as much pressure in New York as there was then I worked in North Carolina. Here you're able to concentrate solely on your reporting. There you were concerned with logistical problems — shooting the film, developing it, editing it, selecting slides, producing the broadcast, and then anchoring it. … But I'm not as calm as I might appear. I think people at Sports Stripes and CBS think of me as frenetic."

His entry into broadcasting was totally unplanned. Halfway through college, he got a part-time job as a copy boy at a local radio station. One day the station's two newsmen called in sick, and John was asked to fill in. Instantly bitten by the broadcast journalism "bug," he decided to trade in his premed courses for television/radio production and political ............
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