Friday, September 24, 2010


Written by: Lamont Mann


I am not the type that care for "sappy" stories and that's what I thought this article was about to be.  Former Fox News (KRIV-TV) sports anchor, Matt Sampsell, chronicled his struggle in the business after being released by KRIV.  Right out of the box, the part that caught my eye was:

"I was given a 6 month severance package and promptly escorted out of the building I had worked at for nearly ten years. It was as if I was an intruder."

That ain't a sappy movie about a 5-foot kid playing for Notre Dame, that's reality.  When I read that I had to pour me a cup of coffee and continue to read. 

I know Matt as "the sports dude" on Channel 26 and I am not writing about the way he was released.  I am writing because Matt always appeared to be a chipper type of guy with his post.  He is a little liberal but nothing too wacky, I mean dude is from Seattle.  From TV to unemployed to Seattle to the Bahamas to Houston dude is still standing all while battling medical ailments.

I thought it was very big of him to detail his life in detail of his "downs and downs" (no "ups" in this).  I am not even sure this story ends on a good note.  I would like to believe he's on a comeback, but in the article even he notated some uncertainty.  Throughout his article I never heard him show "ill-will" towards any particular person nor organization. I fully believe he will come out on top of this situation.

There were a couple of things that stood out to me:

  • Friendship

  • Suicide

  • The Media Business
In Matt's article, he elaborates on how his college friends and frat allowed him to stay with them, in addition to an ex-girlfriend allowing him to shelter at her spot.  You have to be a pretty cool dude to have it that good that an ex would allow that.  In today's world you can't find friends of that caliber and if you have them, you need to covet that relationship.  It's not only a gesture towards friendship, but also speaks to how people regard Matt.

I am not going negative but one of my biggest problems with suicide and I have first hand knowledge of this, is when I hear someone say they tried to commit suicide.  With two close friends that have taken their own lives, I don't believe you try, YOU DO IT.  Matt my man, life is too precious to even go there and I know I have not walked in your shoes, but if I can ride down Richmond and see "hobos" eating out the trash fighting for every breath, I am damn sure you can overcome this.

Every morning, I wake up and complain about going to work.  I have to check myself because some people want to work period.  In my line a work, I am thinking it's a tad bit easier to get work than media.  In this economy of double-digit unemployment, you have to be happy to even have a job. 

While reading Matt's article, I realized securing work in media is not easy.  Not only when you get the job, you have to maintain the job, as it is very wicked and one slip up could be your career.  This is not the case with Matt, but to hear his story you have to say, "Damn".

The novice in me thought everyone on the radio was making like at least $100K a year and to hear him say he was working for $10 an hour, woo, that's an eye opener.  When I listen to what's on the air these days in Houston and I read a story like this, I simply shake my head in disgust.

In a profession such as media, I guess I can understand why certain personalities carry the water for the Texans, on-air personalities asking HMW not to write about them, radio stations making it policy not to mention the competition (but why does Bill O'Reilly constantly talk about  and CNN).  It's hard and it's all about competition, keep your head up Matt.

If you would like to read the article please visit Huffingtonpost

Lamont Mann
Facebook Search: Hmw Shelton

1 comment:

Earlis said...

Wow... Thanx for the report I can
read actual article... I heard mention several times but never
got the whole story...I hope the brother can
bounce thing about the media, they are hard
on black ass' that behind the mic or
on the field of play..