KING-5 News Says,
"Goodbye" to Greg Palmer
The new KING-5 news director, Bob Jordan, welcomed
Greg Palmer back from a working trip in the Soviet Union
with news that his employment contract would not be re-
newed. Translation: he was fired. KING-5's AFTRA Shop
Steward, Jack Hamann offers the following observations.
After 14 years, they showed him the door.
Here's your hat, what's your hurry?
When Greg Palmer first entered KING-TV's doors back in 1976, Jerry Ford was President, Norm Heffron was news director, and television stations did not include arts and entertainment on their new beats.
Greg knew radio...he knew theatre...he knew advertising. But he had never worked in television. He didn't use hairspray. His wardrobe was straight out of Sears. He wasn't pretty.
But he was KING-TV.
He tackled issues other reporters couldn't--or wouldn't--touch. He poked politicians, blasted bureaucrats, and lampooned lame-brain ideas. Some of his best barbs were set to music or verse. Pompous journalists were the targets of some of his toughest essays. No one did a better job showcasing the dignity of the disabled and handicapped.
He won 13 local Emmys. He won for commentary. He won for sports. He won for features. His Emmy-winning coverage of the death of a Japanese dancer was probably the best-written spot news story of the decade. His perceived domination of the local awards led directly to the creation of a new "humorous feature" category. The most humorous part of that--is that he is much, much more than a feature writer.
He is also an accomplished playwright. If you missed the Palmer adaptation of Puss 'N Boots or Snow White, you missed a chance to see cruel, fairy tale stereotypes turned deftly on their pointed little heads. In a Palmer production, wisdom wins out over brains...common sense clobbers those who clamour to impose order.
And so it is in life. Those who would impose order at KING-TV don't know what they'll be missing. They lost a man with a wealth of contacts in every corner of our community. They let go a journalist who willingly guided younger reporters--and chided veteran reporters when they got a little lazy. He took risks...broke barriers...improved the product.
After 14 years, he should have walked out the door in style...hat on his head...with a leisurely stroll. Rest assured that his talents will be displayed on ever-larger stages and screens around the world. May he have the chance to work once again with those who share his vision.
--Jack Hamann, in The AFTRA Voice, June 1990.
Reprinted by permission of Jack Hamann.