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DEATHDEALER
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Posted: 8/18/2005 2:21:14 PM
Writing Miniature Messages for a Maximum Medium
HERE
By ROBIN FINN
Published: August 18, 2005
THE author is unseen, but his red-letter message is the opposite. Turns out the tradeoff in being a blogger without a byline is the kick of being a blogger whose take on breaking news is continually broadcast on an L.E.D. display tattooed to the outside of a high-profile piece of New York City real estate - Fox News headquarters - on a prime city block, Avenue of the Americas at 48th Street.

Mike Santangelo boils down the news and puts it on the Fox News ticker, which is also known as a zipper.
Evidence that Mike Santangelo, the news writer for the Fox ticker, is comfortably eccentric is big as a billboard. "Ain't That a Kick in the Brass" is Mr. Santangelo's take on the recent dismissal of a four-star Army general. "Out of Gas" was his distillation of the impending retirement of Exxon Mobil C.E.O. Lee R. Raymond. Even the obligatory stock market synopsis rates Santangelic lead-ins like "Dow But Not Out."

Two other perks: nobody edits him and nobody but him feeds scripts, three lines long and roughly 50 words per item, to the ticker. He supplies 35 or so stories daily, typically run in groups of eight, rotated at will. His will. On weekends, he phones in updates. He and his laptop are inseparable. Only he and his producer know the "secret, triple password" to access the ticker: hacker-proof!

The Big Zipper, as Mr. Santangelo calls it, is 163 feet long by 28 inches high, a veritable information highway that spits a mix of the day's headlines (global, national, local and zany: if he unearths a record $68 million bank heist in South America or a river in Italy polluted by $400,000 worth of cocaine per day, into the script it goes) in encapsulated doses. No story takes longer to tell than it takes a person to walk a block.

"This is the Fox face," he says. "We'll give you the news, we'll give it to you straight, but we'll give it with flair. I try to put a snap on it. Any story can be done in three lines," he claims. He didn't always feel that way.

A throwback partial to linen suits, loud ties, Hush Puppies, and a buzz cut that screams 1960's astronaut, Mr. Santangelo, 64, spent 20 years pounding the pavement and poking his nose into other people's business for The Daily News. "I had some pretty good mob connections," he brags. He left as a result of the 1990 strike, and after that he did stints at Reuters, U.P.I., and Newsday, where he was part of a collaboration that won a Pulitzer for its report on the crash of T.W.A. Flight 800 off Long Island.

Now he operates from a corner cubicle on the 17th floor at Fox, which hired him over his own objections - "I told them this is not the kind of thing I do" - in 1996. The Little Zipper above his desk is broken; no matter. The Biggie is his baby, 24/7. Fair and Balanced
Now you know
The_Beer_Slayer
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Posted: 8/18/2005 2:43:20 PM
hehe

talk about a job you could really have some fun with
Some scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe. I dispute that. I say there is more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic building block of the universe.

-Frank Zappa

DEATHDEALER
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Posted: 8/18/2005 2:58:17 PM
I said the same thing after I read it Too
1911lover
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Posted: 8/18/2005 3:08:11 PM
It would be nice if he would learn to spell and sentence structure.
eenie meenie minee mo...

bill1962
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Posted: 8/18/2005 3:11:31 PM
Amen to that, he has more mis-spelled words than I would!
Admiral_Crunch
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Posted: 8/18/2005 3:19:10 PM
The article doesn't mention television. He writes for the ticker on the front of the Fox News building in New York -- unless the same words scroll across both places.
mrphelps
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Posted: 8/18/2005 3:25:01 PM
just imagine how much fun he could have on his last day of work!
-=bolt actions speak louder than words=-
gaspain
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Posted: 8/18/2005 3:34:45 PM

Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer:
hehe

talk about a job you could really have some fun with



+1 gimme that job. I would rule.
This space for rent, but you gotta share it with that crap posted above.
yekimak
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Posted: 8/18/2005 3:38:19 PM
"clinton mistress cover blown"
Welcome to Paradise, Now get lost.