Editorial Salute - 3/13/14 - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Editorial Salute - 3/13/14

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It's with the heaviest of hearts that the WTOC family, comprising staff members past and present, mourn the passing of 33-year station veteran anchor and reporter, Mike Manhatton.  Mike was so totally devoted to his family and friends, his journalistic craft, his station, and his viewers.  One above-and-beyond example of that steadfast devotion, was the night of the sugar refinery fire in Port Wentworth, occurring the very day that Mike  completed a successful, but wearing, regimen of chemotherapy to treat his initial bout with cancer. Regardless, he felt compelled to answer that call.  There was a community story to be told, which he did, there on the scene, disregarding  his own fatigue, reporting on the tragedy, that was severely-impacting so many others.  That night, Mike was where he needed, and wanted to be, excelling for hours on live TV, in his signature, compelling way. 

Doug Weathers recruited young, Chicago-native Mike Manhatton, back in 1981.  Given superb tutelage, Mike progressed to the late-night anchor desk, while pursuing his love for reporting, long into the night.  It was during those early years, that he became so deeply attached to the Greater Savannah area. One day, his dear Mother back in Chicago asked Mike when he was coming home.  His response to her:  Mom, I am home. 

Sadly as you know, the cancer returned, and despite his perseverance, his grit, and his courageous fight to prevail yet again, this time, the demon won.  Mike was the consummate journalist; skilled, fair, and compassionate, widely respected, just as he respected, and related to, all those he covered and touched.  Yesterday morning at breakfast, a viewer paused at my table to offer condolences.  I thanked him and said that Mike's passing was a big loss to WTOC.  To which he added, a big loss "for us all."  And that reminder speaks so clearly to Mike Manhatton's public impact, on and off camera, his professionalism, his integrity, his kindness, selflessness, generosity, and love of community, which together, forms the powerful and positive legacy he now leaves to us all.  

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