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Lou Waters and Flip Spiceland Celebrate 20 Years at CNN

Aired April 28, 2000 - 1:23 p.m. ET


NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: We're supposed to talk about weather now with Orelon, but now I'm told Orelon's not here and actually Flip Spiceland is here.

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: Well, he can do weather too.

ALLEN: OK, but you know, he's not doing weather.

FLIP SPICELAND, CNN METEOROLOGIST: No, no actually, Lou, actually, Lou, I'm not going to do the weather.

WATERS: You're not?

SPICELAND: I'm not. We've been throwing you curves for 20 years. So we thought we would throw you another one today. We're not going to do the weather. You're crew recruited me to help out with this a little bit today. This had nothing to do with me. So don't blame me at the end of the program.

WATERS: Am I in trouble?

SPICELAND: You're in a little bit of trouble after you see the video you'll see exactly what we mean.

WATERS: Oh no, not the video.

ALLEN: This is a really special day as everyone knows, CNN is celebrating 20 years this year. And two of the guys that started it all are right here today.

SPICELAND: Unfortunately the video remains.

ALLEN: Flip Spiceland has been here 20 years, Lou Waters started here at CNN 20 years ago today and we wanted to congratulate you.

WATERS: Thank you very much, I don't want to see this video. I'm not going to look at this video.

SPICELAND: Literally they asked me if I wanted to come down earlier and look at it and I said no. So I haven't seen it either.

ALLEN: I've seen the video, you don't want to see the video, but we're going to show it to you. We decided, because this is what we like to do here, to take a little trip down memory lane and we've pulled some video from June 1, 1980.

This the Lou Waters first newscast.

WATERS: I thought they got rid of this stuff.

SPICELAND: We tried buddy, we tried.

ALLEN: Roll the video.


WATERS: Hello we continue on The News Channel, I'm Lou Waters.

UNIDENTIFIED CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Renelda Muse (ph).

WATERS: President Carter left Camp David this afternoon and headed for Fort Wayne, Indiana to visit wounded civil rights leader Vernon Jordan. Mr. Carter was to have visited Jordan on Friday but canceled that trip at the last minute. Jordan's condition improved overnight, which is apparently why Mr. Carter chose today for the visit. We have our Cable News camera set up outside the White House.

This is a live picture and when the president returns to Washington, and he's expected momentarily.

SPICELAND: The storm's moved out of Nebraska and into the Illinois area. You know, they say nothing is so rare as a day in June, well, severe weather was anything but rare today. As a matter of fact, tornadoes were reported in sections of Illinois today and the towns of Tuscola, Illinois there were tornadoes, in the town of Villa Park there were tornadoes and in Speedway, Indiana, that's the home of the Indianapolis 500, just outside of Indianapolis, they also reported a tornado today.

WATERS: "Gong Show" creator Chuck Baris (ph) has been named this year's Grand Gobbler by the National Organization for Women, the group says he was chosen on the grounds he has consistently demeaned women and shown overall lack of good taste. His award, a live turkey, will be accompanied by a note reading "Chuck, included with this turkey are instructions on how to stuff it."


WATERS: I love your outfit.

SPICELAND: Wasn't that nice?

ALLEN: How old were you, Flip?

SPICELAND: I was not yet 30 at that time that was taken.

Lou, I can understand why they hired you, I have no idea why they would have hired me. We had a -- well one of our executives, John Baker, who no longer works here, but still near and dear to us, we keep in touch with him, I wore that suit to work. He walked in, and he smoked a pipe, he said: "You look like a plum." WATERS: Those were the days, weren't they?

SPICELAND: There was no polyester in that at all.

ALLEN: Hey how does it feel, 20 years after, still being here at CNN.

WATERS: I think it's remarkable, number one, I think I count my blessings every day that I have made a life out of CNN. I came here in the beginning, thought maybe we'd get three years in max.

SPICELAND: That was my first question when we ever came to work here, how long is this sucker going to be around?

WATERS: Right, and hey, look us over.

SPICELAND: Well, one of us got better looking Lou.

WATERS: Well, I like my new hair better.

ALLEN: Well, guess what, we've got another videotape.

WATERS: Oh no.


ALLEN: Now we really, really have one for you. We went down into the bowels of CNN, I mean, as low as we can go.

WATERS: You'd have to go at least there.

ALLEN: As low as you can go in the basement and dug this one up.

We apologize for the quality, but we couldn't resist, so here we go.

WATERS: Uh oh.


WATERS: Years I would imagine you've been feeding your pet bones, especially if your pet happens to be a dog. But I am stretching, this is how I do it. I guess Dr. Herb Tanzer (ph) isn't ready yet. He's talking about bones for your dogs. The thing is you're not supposed to do it, are we ready? We don't even have it.



WATERS: I'm Lou Waters.

KATHLEEN SULLIVAN, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Kathleen Sullivan, thank you for joining us and we'll get better by the end of the week.

WATERS: Good night. Oh.

SULLIVAN: Good-bye Lou.

WATERS: Hello. Is it -- it's time for sports.



FRED HICKMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Joanne Washam (ph) and Nancy Lopez-Milton (ph) tied for second at one over par with two 89s.

And that's sports to the minute, now back to Renelda at the anchor desk.

WATERS: I'm definitely not Renelda at the anchor desk. But I can tell you we are going to now switch live to the White House. We told you earlier...


ALLEN: Fred Hickman making a cameo appearance.

SPICELAND: Forget my hair. I don't want to hear about that again.

WATERS: Boy, it seems like a long time ago, doesn't it?

SPICELAND: Well, that's because it was a long time ago.

WATERS: That's right, that's right.

ALLEN: Lou, tell the story you told us at the staff meeting this morning, we were all eating cake, about you didn't really believe this place was going get started off on time, wires were hanging out everywhere. There was no cameras in place two days before.

WATERS: I signed up April 28. May 1 was when rehearsals began and they began somehow wondrously because there were no cameras in the building.

SPICELAND: No cameras, the floor, we'd see it was a mud floor. When I say that people, think that it wasn't finished. No, no, there was a mud floor, and there were no bathrooms. We used to have to go half a block down to the corner to the gas station if you had to use the bathroom, no bathrooms in the building at all.

Fire marshal, when the fire marshal would come, that we would somehow were, you know, knew the fire marshal was coming, they'd run around and say: Everybody get out of the building, the fire marshal is coming, we're not allowed to be here yet! But we rehearsed for a month and got it on the air June 1.

WATERS: So, the first day of rehearsal, it was the Mariel boat- lift, it was our big story and we weren't even on the air yet. We were in rehearsals with this big story, I finished whatever I was doing and threw to the piece or Mike Boettcher down in Miami or something; I felt a tug on my pant leg and I looked down, it was the phone man. I didn't know, he was under there getting us ready for June 1 when we go on the air and he said: Can I come out now?

I let him out.

ALLEN: Well we've come a long way baby with you guys leading the way for so many of us new people here.

SPICELAND: New, you've only been here for. like, 10 years.

ALLEN: I've been here eight years, but I've sat next to him for seven and it has been wonderful.

WATERS: Thank you.

ALLEN: Here's to another 20.

WATERS: Oh no you don't.

Thank you Flip.

SPICELAND: OK, I'll see you guys later.

WATERS: We're going to toss to another break.

Thank you all.



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