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Reporter, WGN-TV, AKA Big Tiny

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    Words With Friends, Viewers and Strangers

    Somewhere out there, a guy named Leon is also known as Big Tiny. I learned this after randomly accepting a Words With Friends game invite. I assumed I was playing a WGN viewer until my opponent messaged, “Leon, is that you?” I guess the person expected an easy win against Leon, AKA Big Tiny. But I’m Big Tiny on WWF. Like so many other people, I am addicted to this app. And I’ve blogged before about my love for Scrabble. Word games are a fun distraction […]

  • No Holidays in the News Business

    After covering a fire in Bridgeport on Christmas Day, I spent the day after Christmas covering a shooting in West Englewood. Newscasts are on 365 days a year. There are few people who can count on having every holiday off. Over the years, I’ve worked more holidays than I’ve had off. And people who are serious about covering the news would want to be at work if a major story broke. I am guilty of griping over weather conditions and […]

  • Friends Blowing Out of the Windy City

    When journalists make it to one of the nation’s top television markets (Chicago is right behind NYC and LA), few ever leave by choice. Photojournalist Maria Ruiz is leaving NBC5 Chicago to move home to Orlando next week to work for WFTV. She’s an only child and her mother’s health has not been great. So she’s moving in with her parents. We can all understand why Maria is making such a drastic career move. Wait… Orlando is a top 20 […]

  • Gangs and Deadlines, Safety Over Live Shots

    After a harrowing experience earlier this week while out covering the historic school closing decision in Chicago, WGN photojournalist Pat Parmenter now jokes about bringing extra underwear to work. He’s been telling people, “I nearly SH#@ myself!” Believe me, it takes a LOT to scare Pat. He’s an imposing guy. But unarmed, and teamed with Big Tiny and cameraman John Loboda, we three were no match against apparent gang members in Humboldt Park who were likely armed. It was just […]

  • Chuck Quinzio’s “Life Behind The Camera”

    Veteran Chicago cameraman Chuck Quinzio is among those who only refer to me as Big Tiny. Actually, he just calls me Tiny and many Chicago journalists know him as Q. We worked together for nearly a decade at my former station. I still get to see him from time to time nowadays when we’re on the same assignments. And whenever I run into him, I’ll hear his usual greeting of, “Tiny! How the f*@# are you?” Chuck has few conversations […]

  • Digital Detox: Could You? Would You?

    Many of my coworkers and friends find it ironic and amusing that I am fronting this week’s WGN Cover Story series on “digital detoxing”. I am among the most technology-addicted people in the newsroom. The morning camera crews still joke about how I cried when I dropped my iPhone two years ago while rushing to get into O’Hare for a story. I was so upset about the cracked screen, the guys even wondered if I’d have to go home sick. But […]

  • Big Tiny Intern Update

    Her hair is shorter but Rowena Li is still unusually tall for a Chinese woman. My 5’9″ former intern is back at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism after four months studying abroad in France. While grabbing a quick lunch together last week, we had no shortage of things to talk about and catch up on. Has it really been six months since I blogged about her leaving WGN? Rowena seems ready to conquer the world. And with her skills set and intellect, […]

  • As The Big Tiny World Turns

    It’s time for another forced re-start of Big Tiny World. Once again, WGN-TV has changed web platforms. The system I moved my blog onto when I joined WGN in 2010 has gone away. So once again, I am re-starting with a re-start. I can only hope this will be the last time I add a new update to the post below. To those who’ve been reading my blog posts since I started writing them in 2009, thank you. _____________________________________________________________ Posted […]

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    Big Tiny World, Keep On Turnin’?

    Hello, Blogspace. It’s been three months since I’ve posted anything here. I’ve thought about it often. I just haven’t for a variety of reasons. Perhaps the biggest is a lack of incentive. Other excuses include winter weariness, social media burnout and pure laziness. Maintaining a blog is typically not part of the job for journalists. But I started blogging on my personal website back in 2009, not long after jumping onto the early swell of the social media tidal […]

  • Winning at News Roulette

    Working as a general assignment reporter usually means never knowing what you’ll be covering or where the news will take you. I’ve come to view the start my day as “News Roulette”. Will I cover a fire? A murder? Preview a big court case or a vote at City Hall? I can make suggestions when I call in to the WGN assignment desk overnight. But on the morning shift, the desk and producers usually have a good idea of what story […]