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A distinguished career in broadcasting was almost stopped dead before it began. Although Paul-Arthur Weisenfeld has since been honored by the State Bar of Michigan with an “Advancement of Justice Award”, and by the Associated Press and United Press International with awards for individual excellence and for leading a dedicated staff of professionals, he almost didn’t make it past his first day of work.

“I had breezed through an on air audition for WITL in Lansing on a lazy Saturday afternoon,” Mr. Weisenfeld remembered, “On Monday, I reported to work a couple of hours early and wrote the 2:00 news. I edited my tapes and then rehearsed the show. Then to be sure, I rehearsed again. The studios were on the fifth floor of the Michigan National Tower in Lansing and, as such, afforded a beautiful view of the city. That’s where I made my big mistake. I looked out that window at the beautiful city falling away in the lazy, mid-afternoon, June sun and saw hundreds of houses. It suddenly occurred to me that there might actually be somebody listening to me.”

A severe case of stage frighted seized the would-be broadcaster, and he stuttered through the broadcast.  The News Director, Ken Moriarity rushed in to do the 3:00 news and shifted Weisenfeld into a reporting role. “Nobody expects you to be Paul Harvey on your first time out,” Moriarity told the ledgling broadcaster. “I had no idea who he was talking about,” recalled Weisenfeld.

For two months, Weisenfeld trolled the halls of the State Capitol in Lansing and at City Hall, providing daily reports that were used on the air. One Monday morning, Weisenfeld was roused out of bed by Moriarity. “There are riots in Detroit. I’m going to cover them. You’re in charge.”

“What does that mean?”

“You do what you have to keep the office going.”

So Weisenfeld rushed downtown, threw together a news broadcast and sat down to do the 9:00am news, after carefully locking the door. The Station Program Director, Tom Allen, was doing morning drive and he asked Weisenfeld if he was going to bring him the copy to read.

‘No, Ken left me in charge.”

“Are you sure you know what you’re doing?”

“No, but I’m doing it anyway.”

When he started the news broadcast, he heard pounding on the newsroom door, but he kept going. Drenched in sweat, he finished his first successful commercial broadcast and a few minutes later opened the door. He poked his head out and asked the grinning receptionist if there was someone who wanted to see him. She smiled broadly and shook her head. “You’re doing just fine.”

Since then, Mr. Weisenfeld has worked in two of the top ten markets in the United states, syndicated television and cable news, as well as many of the major radio networks in the country. As a reporter, Mr. Weisenfeld’s dispatches have appeared worldwide on the United Press International as well as the Associated Press. He was the first Los Angeles news correspondent for the Financial News Network and has had by-lined articles on UPI and The Barricade, The International Newsletter of Les Miserables. He has staffed complete broadcast operations, including the initial operations for MoneyRadio and the Michigan News Network and produced football and basketball broadcasts for radio and has been a color commentator for hockey and college baseball broadcasts. One screenplay written by Mr. Weisenfeld, ‘Four Days to Christmas”, was optioned by MAST Productions.

Mr. Weisenfeld has designed active web sites, has taught computer operation and has prepared conventional advertising for print and broadcast. He has performed public service for the Los Angeles Children’s Museum where he narrated a promotional videotape and has produced promotional material for DGW Ministries of Perris, California. He has worked for non-profit organizations, The Music Guild in Los Angeles and Valley Restart in Hemet, California.

Mr. Weisenfeld has worked with the creative community in Hollywood in the leadership of the Caucus of Artist for Merger, a group vying to join the creative unions.

Mr. Weisenfeld attended Michigan State University in East Lansing. He currently lives in Venice, California with a number of characters that, like Jimmy Stewart in Harvey, only he can see, and memories of a life as a private eye that never happened.

Oh, yes. He also met and shared that story with legendary broadcaster Paul Harvey who emitted a good laugh. Harvey introduced Weisenfeld to his producer, and he became a contributor to “Paul Harvey News and Commentary” on ABC Radio. And that led to another story… for another time.

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