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Thursday, July 22, 2004 01:33 am

Goodbye, Glenn

Glenn McEntyre

As co-anchor of the WICS-TV (Channel 20) 5 a.m. news show, Sunrise Today, Glenn McEntyre has spent the past couple of years living life on the same schedule as a newborn -- slumbering by sunset, awake before dawn, sounding annoyingly cheerful and looking infuriatingly fresh.

But that's appropriate, because McEntyre was just cutting his broadcast-journalism teeth in Springfield. His last day on the air here is Friday, after which he will depart for Tulsa, Okla., where he will co-anchor the weekend news on the NBC affiliate KJRH-TV.

McEntyre, who has been to Tulsa only twice -- once for an interview, once to find a place to live -- is looking forward to moving up in the world.

"It's bigger than Springfield, and that's what I really want, a little bit more of everything," he says. Tulsa's population is 393,049.

McEntyre arrived in Springfield to work at WICS having never appeared in front of a television camera. And he claims that his first steps were faltering ones.

"I had a lot of bumps in the beginning," he says. "And in the middle. And toward the end, also."

But he also learned to look so comfortable on the air that it now seems he was born for that box. Earlier this year, McEntyre became the star of his station's sweeps effort by cranking out a marathon series revisiting the Renatta Frazier race-discrimination case. What it lacked in perspective [see "Turnabout," April 26], it made up for in punch. Some observers even say it goosed the city into settling the Frazier lawsuit.

It did not, however, endear McEntyre to the Springfield Police Department.

"Glenn McEntyre's leaving? I think that's awesome!" says Bob Markovic, president of the SPD patrolmen's union. "Now maybe we can get somebody to report accurate and factual news."

In Tulsa, McEntyre will work three days a week as a reporter, at more normal hours than in Springfield. "I can remind myself what it's like to have a life!" he says.

He admits that he enjoyed co-anchoring the morning show, and says he may look for a similar job in the distant future. "I think it suits my personality -- a little less stiff and structured [than evening news]," he says, "but the schedule is brutal."

Sports guy Patrick Fazio will co-anchor Sunrise Today with Jessica English until WICS can find a replacement for McEntyre.

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