I was testifying in a libel trial in Ebensburg, Pa., today. The defendants included Peak Media, which owns and runs the ABC/Fox stations in Johnstown, Pa.
As I headed toward the courthouse I ran into Frank Quitoni, the owner of Peak Media. I had never met Mr. Quitoni even though he and I worked for ABC News. As we walked toward the courthouse, he mentioned that he saw that I had worked for ABC News and recounted that he had been the coordinator of the coverage of the hijacking of TWA 847 in Beirut in 1985. The aircraft was taken by Hezbollah and held on the tarmac for two weeks. A Navy seaman was killed during the hijacking.
I said that I found his statement a bit surprising since I was the coordinator of the ABC News coverage of TWA 847 in Beirut. Well, he allowed, he was in Cyrus, where we sent our videotape for transmission because the satellite had been destroyed in Beirut.
Following is part of Mr. Quitoni’s official biography on the Peak Media website:
“He was also in charge of the major news remotes throughout the world such as the first live broadcast from Vietnam, the TWA hijacking in Lebanon, and the Mexican earthquake, to name a few.”
I guess “news remotes” may qualify the bio enough to get by, but he certainly wasn’t the coordinator of the news coverage. My name was one of those on the three national Emmy nominations ABC News received that year.
It is a small world! Better be careful what you take credit for. Someone may know more about it than you do!