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Vince Vitrano: Not For Broadcast



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I slept through my alarm the last three days in a row, and even thought I needed a new alarm clock.

Like circuit breakers at a nuclear power plant, when you wake up at 2:30 in the morning you need a good system of back-up alarms to prevent a melt-down. If I over-sleep on this shift, it's possible I miss the entire morning show.

I'm on a pretty sound system right now, and usually wake up fine with my first alarm, which is set on the clock/radio to Newsradio 620 WTMJ. The last three days my alarm has been "going off" but playing nothing. No sound coming from it.

Today, I was so soundly asleep I actually hit my first back-up. I set the alarm on my phone for 10 minutes later, and it was going off. Again, I'm looking at the clock/radio. It's on... showing itself tuned to 620 and nothing is happening. I'm checking the volume, the tuner, everything.

So I hurry in this morning running late, and declare to the newsroom that I need a new alarm. "Mine's busted," I say. "Either that or 620 is off the air!"

I got a series of blank stares from my colleagues. Then Rob says, "They are."

"What, they are?"

"Off the air. They're doing maintenance this week or something. They're going off the air overnight," Rob continued.

Well, that makes sense then, doesn't it. You'd think the boys over there could have sent me a note?

It reminded me of the greatest scare I've had in working this crazy shift. I used to anchor the morning show at the CBS station in Green Bay before I came here. I was single, lived alone then.

I had come home and decided to take a nap before our softball game on a Tuesday night. I unplugged my phone, turned off my answering machine, drew the shades and collapsed on the bed. I was out!

It's bright in my room... the sun burning through the shades. I wake up... startled. 5:36 the clock says.

5:36... 5:36... 5:36! Holy $*%#! The show has already started!

Why didn't my alarm go off? (Who cares... it didn't.) Why didn't anyone from work call me? (You unplugged the phone dummy!)

I literally jumped around my apartment I was so freaked out. What was I going to say? How could I defend missing the show I anchored? Should I call them or just get in there? Should I go in at all? How did I not even wake up for our softball game?

Wait a minute... our softball game.

Wait a minute... that's... it's... (exhale... breath... exhale... breath) It's 5:36 PM. It's still Tuesday! I'm not late. I'm okay. It's okay. I still have a job! I still have softball! I'm an idiot.



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Milwaukee, WI

Broken Clouds
Broken Clouds
NE at 9 mph

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