TV TIMEOUT: Throckmorton has played, managed and covered games for 40 years

Posted March 31, 2011, at 12:05 a.m.
Last modified March 31, 2011, at 10:57 a.m.

Tim Throckmorton has been a mainstay on the Bangor TV broadcasting scene for three decades. The Bangor native graduated from Bangor High School, where he played hockey and tennis, and the University of Maine, where he played varsity football and tennis before earning a communication degree. He has worked at Bangor station WABI (Channel 5) for 31 years, becoming sports anchor and director in 1984. Throckmorton comes from a family with a strong religious background. Both his parents — Rev. Dr. Ansley Coe Throckmorton and Rev. Dr. Burton Throckmorton — and brother Rev. Hamilton Coe Throckmorton are ordained. His mother served as president of Bangor Theological Seminary and his father taught the New Testament at the seminary for almost 50 years. Throckmorton took a circuitous route to his career as he moved to Florida with a friend after college graduation and spent six months building cabs (enclosures) for the Century elevator company. He moved back to Bangor and was a manager at the Dream Machine arcade at the Airport Mall for a few months before joining WABI.

Q — How did your sportscasting career originate and what inspired it?

A — I had no intention of having a sportscasting career. Fresh out of college, George Hale and Rich Kimball hired me. Their thought was that people with an athletic background made better radio board operators. I started at 97.1 FM in 1980. It was an old-time country format. Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn wasn’t my main interest. I had filled in as a TV sportscaster in the same building for a couple of years, and when the full-time spot opened up I bolted from Juice Newton as fast as I could.

Q — How would you describe your approach and coverage style when it comes to sportscasting and hosting your sports segments?

A — There are many ingredients to good sports content each night. Local is number one. The events that are happening in our local towns is at the top of the list. Don Colson always said that you need to tell stories through the eyes of people. All I do is try to capture some of the humanity in our small corner of the world through sports and recreation. As time goes on I think it’s our job to move even farther away from national and even regional news. There are so many other entities that have a handle on all of that.

Q — What’s your favorite sport to watch, and what’s your favorite sport to play?

A — I don’t have a favorite sport to watch. I’m always happy when the next sports season comes around. As far as playing sports…. Having a wide background is helpful. I’ve pretty much tried them all at varied levels of success. I’ve been on football, baseball, basketball, hockey, tennis, rugby and other teams as well. I even played varsity cricket in high school.

Q — Other than your current one, what’s your dream job?

A — My dream job would have been playing for the New York Giants. That’s what I wanted to do in high school. Other than that… I kinda got what I wanted.

Q — How do you handle potential conflicts of interest, such as covering family members or close friends who are athletes, while working as a member of the media?

A — Covering family and people that I know is one of the joys of the job. One of the important factors in being effective in this position is knowing a little something about what you’re covering. I sometimes feel as though I know a little bit of the background of most of those that I interview. It has been interesting having athletic kids currently in high school. Covering their events has been one of the great joys of my life. It is not a conflict of interest, but only a deeper sense of my understanding of our community through sport.

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