A friend of mine has a saying: "All rumors are true, and all change is bad."
If you have heard the rumor that Chris Rose is leaving NEWS CENTER Maine, then indeed the saying is accurate, particularly the part about this change being bad, at least for his colleagues and viewers. Chris is wrapping up more than three decades in journalism in Maine and moving on to do communications work with the University of New England.
Chris Rose began his TV news career in Worcester, MA, and was a writer and producer at WBZ-TV in Boston. (He had the privilege of being chewed out at least once by legendary Channel 4 anchorman Jack Williams!)
Chris came to WCSH in 1986, as a newscast producer. He was so successful at it that the powers-that-were tried to convince him to stay on that track as our Executive Producer.
But Chris knew his destiny was out in the field and in front of the camera. We have all benefited from that choice.
There have been countless stories told over the last 30 years on the Maine airwaves. Chris recalls a memorable encounter with Bill Clinton right after he became "The Comeback Kid" in the 1992 New Hampshire Primary.
And there was the time Robin Williams was shooting a movie in Maine and was said in no uncertain terms to be off limits to reporters. But when Chris unexpectedly found himself face to face with the comedian and actor, what was a journalist to do? Turned out to be a rather pleasant conversation.
But not all stories are lighthearted.
Five years ago when terrorists set off bombs at the Boston Marathon, Chris was quick to the scene-- and he was there again the night the perpetrators were captured.
And Chris did in depth and important reporting on the 2015 sinking of the cargo ship El Faro. Chris spent weeks covering the Coast Guard hearings into the disaster in Florida, distilling what were sometimes dry, technical details into compelling storytelling about what went wrong and why it didn't have to happen.
But more importantly, he never lost touch with the human side of the El Faro tale or any other. Chris always knows how to show sensitivity and compassion while never losing sight of what is important for the public to know. And that's a big reason why over the years, so many people who were struggling or looking for a way to make people listen, sought Chris Rose out to share their stories. Trust has to be earned, and Chris has done that every day at NEWS CENTER.
For years I have maintained that if we gave an MVP award to a NEWS CENTER reporter, Chris Rose would be in the running every year. He's already a bona fide legend, having been inducted into the Maine Association of Broadcasters' Hall of Fame last year.
No one has been more reliable-- you always knew he would make deadline, the story would be factual, compelling and complete, and he would never waste words. That was probably his producer training in action.
Having Chris move on is like losing a security blanket. We'll survive, but we might be a little shaken up for awhile.