I never counted the days or the hours when I was working. Leading up to retirement was no different. I perished the thought, really. In one way my last day was like any other, starting out at my desk but feeling a strange kind of stage fright knowing, in a few hours, I would face co-workers who had become friends for goodbyes and farewells. I was retiring after 33 years at Fox 4. The inevitable moments in our lives are different for everyone. This was one of mine.
I’m grateful to Fox 4 and the viewers and the people I’ve met along the way and for the many wonderful comments on social media and from the public. All of us are writing the biggest story of our lives everyday with our family. That’s my next assignment.
Ed. note: Fil Alvarado retired from FOX4 after more than three decades on the air.
Any place where I had a town for a namesake was good enough for me, and so I stayed. Returning from visits to Central Texas to see my family, the highway signs pointing to the town of Alvarado serve as a welcome home banner for me. This is home.
The Dallas-Fort Worth region has been good to my professional and personal life. I've been in television news for more than half of my career. I also spent many years working in radio. Those early days gave me some great experiences and good friends.
But, you could say I got my start in journalism in the newspaper business. I grew up on my grandfather's farm in the Texas Panhandle. If we didn't earn enough doing chores, my friends and I would go to the local newspaper office, buy a stack of papers wholesale and sell them up and down Main Street. We'd split the profits, go to the drugstore for a milkshake and dash across the street in time to catch a movie.
By the time I got to high school I'd worked my way up as a writer and photographer for the school newspaper. That nudged out the prospect of becoming a research biologist. At Trinity University I got interested in theater, left school and studied at the Dallas Theater Center for a couple of years. I went back to college and became active in photography and student publications again. During my senior year I took a job writing and reading newscasts on the radio.
Television brought together my love for journalism and photography.
My first job was in Midland. I worked at KCRS Radio. I've worked with a lot of wonderful people during my career, present company included, but I have a special place in my heart for the folks at KCRS. They gave me the boost to jump to the Dallas-Fort Worth market, a pretty good leap in those days.
I landed a job reading the news at WBAP Radio in Fort Worth, a 50,000 watt, clear channel country music power house at the time with big name DJ's as famous as the names on the records they were playing.
KAAM in Dallas was my next stop. From there I moved to KRLD during the time that it was an all news radio station. That job took me out of the studio and into the field. The station acquired a television station while I was there and that gave me a foot hold on the path I'd been trying to take since the day I left college.
When the opportunity opened up at Channel 4 I didn't hesitate. By then I'd already worked in radio for 10 years.
Which do I like better? Don't make me choose. They're different but the same. Each offers the chance to meet new and interesting people everyday. Some don't like to see you coming their way with a camera and microphone, but in general I find people can't deny their DNA and the natural inclination to be polite and helpful.
And even though we can be nosy and pushy I believe most people recognize the alternative if we weren't around.
If you're a long time Fox 4 fan or just joining us, thanks for watching and drop us a line.