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Tuesday 21 May 2024

There's Always One
Wendy Vega

There’s always one boy at every workplace that makes life a living hell. Here are a few of mine.

First, there was "One Eyed" Irwin.

My first boss in television was “One Eyed” Irwin. He was so nasty. In 1988, when I won a trip to Australia at the holiday party, he wouldn’t give me the vacation time to go.

When “One Eyed” found out the date of my wedding, he wouldn’t give me the time off. I got married anyway. Perhaps he was on to something.

The son of the News Director at my first television station, well, let’s call him, P. He was five at the time and had a 170 IQ. He kept walking into my audio booth with his pants off.

“Look at this!” he’d say, gesturing. I never looked, even after he told me he loved me. It was too close to all the McMartin School Trial stuff, in Los Angeles, and I wasn’t taking a chance. I did let him mix a few newscasts and gave him a watch so he could learn to tell time.

When I began freelancing, the situation became worse. I began my freelance life working for “Hard Copy.” I was doing field audio.

The photographer with whom I worked made me carry his sticks and camera, along with my own gear. During stakeouts for a glimpse Tom Cruise’s new baby, the photographer relieved himself out the side door of the van. I wasn’t so equipped and ran up the street to a diner.

I didn’t miss anything; I was only chewed out, royally. The Whizzie was a while off, though I doubt I would have used it in front of this self-important, penis-toting ass. We never saw the baby.

Once, while stalking Shannon Doherty outside a club, I got my period. I was wearing white jeans. No one cared.

One weekend, we did a story on nudist camps.

The photographer told me to flirt with a fellow at the bar. How does one flirt with a naked dude? Do I mentally dress him?

I really can do without seeing the genitals of old people. Moreover, they carried towels around with them so they wouldn’t schmutz up anything. This is the essence of freelance life, for women.


When I settled at one of the local Los Angeles stations, a staffer, named “Big Phil,” hated me from day one. I was taking his overtime away. I was there for ten years.

“Big Phil” never stopped hating me, except for once when we all went out for sushi and he’d had a few sakes. Then he wanted to sleep with me. It’s like, hey, I’m not the one booking myself for these gigs. Go complain to the management! Hey, you have a full-time job, already. Ya putz! I’m trying to earn enough to feed the cats. Actually, I didn’t have cats at the time, but it sounded good.  

I worked at “EXTRA” for four years, before the Mario Lopez era. I came in as audio assistant, but when the mixer kept falling asleep while mixing the show, live on tape, due to narcolepsy, I campaigned and won the job.

Two years later, Little Joey sashayed in. He was 26 to my 42. I knew the first day I saw him that he would take my job. He did. We hooked up anyway, but I hate him to this day.

Then I return to New York City television.

All the men at the new station hated me. I was taking work from them, yes, but they had full times staff positions. God forbid I should make a living.

The men, at this New York station, kept going to the chief telling him how bad I was. Hey, I mixed the first six LA Marathons and was on the board during several live disasters and transit strikes. How bad could I be?

The “training” I got from these dudes, in New York, was spotty. During my fist solo run, the director asked me to open the microphone in the weather centre. Huh? Where’s the weather centre? Thus, you see what I mean. I wasn’t fired, but my hours came off my pay and given to the boys. When new cost-cutting management took over, these boys lost their staff jobs and had to reapply as freelancers. Hah!

About two years before my New York station job automated, “Little Jamie” came in. You know the type; young and ambitious. You know they’re going puff themselves up and get your job. He did.

I have many good women friends from my time in television; men, not so much. Men hate women now, ever since the 1970s. In that is an essay for another day.


Wendy Vega ran the board for radio legends "Cousin Brucie" and Dan Ingram, at WABC-AM, and Zacherle at WPLJ-FM, all in New York City. At WNEW-AM, Jonathan Schwartz stole her lunch and she became great friends with the legend of radio legends, William B Williams. Then Vega moved to news, first WINS-AM 1010, in New York City, later television stations in Los Angeles. Today, she is a former television news editor replaced by a machine. She's a writer living near the train station in Larchmont, New York. Joan Rivers came from Larchmont, NY. Maybe the same fate will befall Vega as befell Rivers. Watch this space.

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