(DOUG JESSOP’S JESSOP’S JOURNAL – ABC4 NEWS – SALT LAKE CITY, UT) Broadcasting is an interesting business. Names change, technology moves forward, but something that is constant is the need and desire for good stories.
Chad Booth is what I affectionately call a “broadcaster’s broadcaster.” He has forgotten more than a lot of broadcasters know with his long running show “At Your Leisure” that has been airing on airwaves in Utah and the rest of the country for over two decades.
At Your Leisure is pretty much what it sounds like. It’s a show about what kind of fun things you can do in our great part of the country. Did you know that Utah has five National Parks and forty-six state parks? It’s a pretty safe bet that Chad or someone on his staff have been there and can tell you the ins and out of outdoor recreation.
As we sat down in this episode of Jessop’s Journal it was natural to share “war stories” about some of the more interesting things we’ve been able to be part of in our broadcasting career.
One of my favorite stories that Chad shared was about being part of a TV magazine show in Pennsylvania. The station was near the airport, and he noticed a plane going extremely fast and then suddenly went straight up in the air. Come to find out that it was stunt jet. Yes, Chad did get to ride in it.
You have to be of a certain age, but here is an interesting bit of trivia. Chad was interviewing comedienne Phyllis Diller when she noticed his 1971 Mercedes Benz 250. Long story short, Chad sold his car to Diller. He told me that she owned the car for many years, and it was even listed in a “celebrity car” magazine.
There is another show that Chad did for over a decade called “The County Seat.”
The show is wrapping up its on-air shows and moving to internet only. I asked Chad why? “Honestly, it was started by a group of people who were elected to office because of a cause. It was a cause, and they ran to get it fixed. I don’t think they had great interest in being leaders. They were there because they wanted to get something fixed. They were ranchers. They were oil people. They were people that lived on the ground. They ran for office to fix these issues in rural Utah. They have now retired. Some of them got voted out. Some of them have died. But in the process of this decade there are a different class of people that are more interested in being a leader, not leading.”
The name of my series is called Jessop’s Journal. My journal has all kinds of scars and marks. I think that is reflective of life. I asked Chad how he wanted to leave his mark. He replied, “I think I just would like to have people feel something. Something good. We are just so imbued with bad stuff. I like people to feel hope. Feel joy. I grew up on Charles Kuralt. Walter Cronkite paid that guy to do exactly that. Make people feel good. We were in the middle of the Vietnam. Make them feel good. So that’s what I’ve tried to do.”
Everyone has a story. I strongly feel that “stories have power”. Chances are that if you are going through something, that someone else probably has as well. The shared experiences we humans have can help each other. That my friend makes the point that stories “help us understand each other.”
You don’t have to agree with everyone, but in my opinion, if people would take more time getting to knowing more about others and where they are coming from, we just might find out that we have more similarities than differences.
Jessop’s Journal is something special when it comes to broadcast news. I have the honor of being able to do longer in-depth interviews that you don’t normally see with people from all walks of life. A big shout out goes to my collaborator, Ed Wilets , who does a great job as my videographer/editor for all my stories. Your feedback is always welcome at DJessop@abc4.com