CARL KOLOGIE: First job challenge for Alby
He was one of 12 children, had graduated from Mount Lebanon High School and then from Villanova University with a degree in communications and still didn’t have a job 10 months later.
His parents were anxious for him to get out of the house, and why not? With 12 kids, they needed the space.
So Alby Oxenreiter, the featured speaker at the William Penn Luncheon held Friday at the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex, relayed the story on his desperate attempt to obtain his first job.
“I hung around Channel 4 every day for five months and found out there was a sports job opening for a TV station in Texas.”
He said he made a tape of a baseball game that he wrote himself and dubbed in everything from crowd noise to music.
Later, when he called the Texas station and found out he did not get the job, John Steigerwald of Channel 4 asked him to call back and find out who did.
“I called and they told me it was a guy from Grand Junction, Colorado, but not to call the station because he was not going to announce his resignation until 3 p.m. that day.”
Oxenreiter said he called at 3:01 p.m., and the station manager said, “Your timing is incredible.”
He sent the audition tape to Grand Junction and got the job.
That was his start in television, and following jobs in Harrisburg and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, he returned to Pittsburgh and Channel 4.
In 2006 he joined WPXI-TV, where he is currently the sports director.
Besides his congratulatory remarks to Charles Spadafora, this year’s honoree, Oxenreiter entertained the gathering of upward of 150 with his adventures covering Pittsburgh sports.
He acknowledged his many Indiana friends in attendance and noted that he respected the work of IUP head basketball coach Joe Lombardi, whom he had met when Lombardi was an assistant coach at the University of Pittsburgh.
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It was also announced at the luncheon that Indiana businessman Bernie Lockard has been selected to receive the Boy Scouts of America Northeast Region’s Silver Antelope Award.
This prestigious award, the highest honor a Scouting region can bestow upon an adult volunteer, will be presented to Lockard during a National Court of Honor at the Boy Scouts of America’s annual national meeting in Nashville, Tenn., on May 23.
Lockard currently serves as president of the Laurel Highlands Council, Pittsburgh, that serves 29,000 youths in Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia.
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After the luncheon I had the opportunity to speak with the new Scout executive of the Laurel Highlands Council, Tim Garber, of Pittsburgh.
Garber was named head of the council in January, coming from the state of Washington.
A native of Ohio, he laughed when he said he told his friends he had been to Moon, Mars, Indiana and California and never left the state of Pennsylvania.
He and his family finally found a home and currently reside in Mars.