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Day One, of Both the Website and the Writers' Strike
November 6, 2007  | By David Bianculli

I worked so hard, along with website co-conspirators Chris Spurgeon and Eric Gould, to launch this website on schedule - the day my farewell column would run in the New York Daily News - that I never thought about how I would feel when the day finally arrived.

Thanks to a rare (for me, anyway) day where almost everything went right, it felt just fine, thanks.

The day started at 6:10 a.m., when I checked the Daily News website to see if my farewell column had run as scheduled, and with the paragraph about my moving on to this website still included. Yes, and yes. (Here's where I'll pause to thank, one last time, Richard Huff, who joined the Daily News the same day I did. The last few years, he was my immediate boss - a great one.) The Daily News website even included a hyperlink to this site, as well as one last mention of my e-mail address. And Chris got the site up and running, an amazing magic feat, with, oh, an hour to spare, easy.

Within minutes of the farewell column's publication and posting, e-mails from readers started coming - the nicest, most encouraging and flattering letters you'd ever want to read. Certainly, on my first day without a full-time job, they were the most wonderful letters I'd ever want to read. They started coming in so quickly that I had to start deleting dusty old e-mails so my account wouldn't overload. Every one will get a personal thank-you from me in the coming days - and to all those who said they'd already added TV WORTH WATCHING to their bookmarked favorites, an extra special thanks.

You made me feel pretty terrific. So did Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa, who surprised me by holding up my farewell column, and saying goodbye and good luck to me, on their Monday show. (On the day the writers' strike started, they surprised me just by holding court, without writers as usual.) And the farewell column, and/or mention of the website, began popping up elsewhere, noted by journalism sites, other bloggers, and even fellow TV critics, like Hal Boedeker of the Orlando Sentinel and Roger Catlin of the Hartford Courant.

One really nice piece came from a blogger of a TV-savvy website, Toobworld, and a guy whose name, Toby O'Brien, I recognized as the most prolific and impressive contributor of the "Extras" in-jokes I used to solicit from Daily News readers. Just to give a sense of how warm this all made me feel, I'm providing links for just a few of them here.


I got wonderful calls and e-mails from friends and colleagues who knew what was happening to me, and from friends, contacts and readers who had no idea. The whole day got to be like Tom Sawyer eavesdropping on his own funeral. Even if the things being said were too generous because of the circumstances, they still were encouraging to hear and read.

More than ever, I feel there may be something to this "Interweb" (as Tracy Jordan called it on 30 Rock). I could have been depressed today. Instead, I'm elated. And tomorrow is another day... which I'll spend writing everybody back.

Oh, and for the record: neatest thing I saw on all of TV yesterday? That time-lapse photography of a glacier advancing, and retreating, on NBC's Today show. How cool. Literally.

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