TV TIMEOUT: Bay State native Dave Eid at home in ‘Vacationland’

Posted May 13, 2011, at 10:58 a.m.

Dave Eid has been a sportscaster for 21 years, the last 15 at Portland television station WGME (Channel 13). He wasn’t sure his sports broadcasting career would even last more than the internship period at a small station in Rhinelander, Wis., where he also worked as a banquet server for a Holiday Inn, but after two years there, the Auburn, Mass., native learned out about an opening at Bangor TV station WVII (Channel 7).

Eight months after joining up with WVII, he moved to Portland to take the same sportscasting position with WPXT (Ch. 51), where he worked for three years. In 1996, he moved over to WGME and eventually became sports director and anchor.

Eid is married to wife Lisa, and they have two children (Drew, 11 and Danielle, 8). The son of Yvonne and Bob Eid has two older siblings, brother Ken and sister Val.

Q. As a Massachusetts native, you seem quite at home here in Maine. After starting out in Bangor at WVII (Channel 7), you moved to Portland to work for WPXT (Ch. 51) before switching to WGME, where you’ve remained for 15 years. How tempted have you been to seek a job in a bigger market and what is it that keeps you in Maine?

A. Well to be honest I have never really had the urge to leave Maine.  Back in 2001 I was actually up for a TV sports job in Chicago.  A recruiter in Dallas had my resume tape through a former general manager.  The station was a local Fox Sports Net affiliate that was looking to hire a reporter and an anchor.  I finished third in their search, but that turned out to be a blessing in disguise.  A year later the station went black and I would have been out of a job. Not to mention it would have been hard to leave Maine.  My family loves it here!

Q. You have taught sports broadcasting in college. Does your teaching experience help your sportscasting and/or vice-versa, and what are the best parts of each job?

A. Well I love teaching at St. Joseph’s College.  It makes it extra special when you have a few of those students who are really dialed in and driven. That’s what makes it really special.  As for my job it’s different every day!  I love getting out of the station covering the local events and meeting the great people of Maine.  Having someone come up to me at a restaurant or grocery store is one of the best parts of my job because I know that person watches WGME.  Covering the local teams and once in a while going to a Super Bowl or World Series is also very special!

Q. What is your favorite sport to watch, your favorite sport to play, and why?

A. Well to me watching Stanley Cup playoff hockey is right up there.  It seems like every game is a 2-1, 3-2 overtime thriller.  I also really enjoy watching the Patriots on a fall afternoon.  As far as playing goes I love getting on the rink with my son Drew and daughter Danielle.  Every fall we put up a good sized rink in the backyard and the kids absolutely love it!

Q. If you hadn’t found success in the broadcasting field, what was your backup plan? Did you come close to a different career?

A. I have always loved landscaping.  Taking care of my lawn has become my hobby.  I really enjoy getting out there and either mowing or mulching the beds.  It’s very relaxing.  Yes I came very close several times to calling it a TV career.  Before I got to Bangor, I was an intern in Rhinelander, Wisconsin.  I had sent out 780 resumes to every TV station in the country and couldn’t find a job, so I went to Rhinelander to be a sports/news intern at the NBC affiliate out there.  I did everything at that station.  I also worked at the Holiday Inn to pay the rent.  After about three months of working non-stop I decided it might be time to try a new career! But my mom convinced me to wait a few more weeks.  Six days later I was hired as a news reporter.

Q. What is your most memorable or favorite sportscasting moment, and what’s your most embarrassing?

Favorite moment without question was during Super Bowl 36.  We had been in Jacksonville for seven days and turned a ton of great stories.  Shortly after the Pats defeated Philly, we gathered a ton of postgame sound, which my photographer sent back to Portland shortly before our 11 p.m. newscast.  As I was getting miked up, my producer told me in my little ear piece that none of the interviews made it to WGME.  He’s telling me this 5 minutes before we were going live!  I was starting to panic, knowing I had 4 minutes to fill with no sound bytes at all.  Then with about a minute to go before air time I saw Pats defensive end Ty Warren out of the corner of my eye.  I waved him over and he was gracious enough to do a live interview with me.  So I went from having some great stuff to nothing at all to a Pats player live!  My most embarrassing moment actually came in Bangor. It was so long ago I really don’t remember the specifics… What I do remember is we had about four straight days of rain, which washed out, I believe, the American Legion state championships.  Finally the weather cleared, but the fields were still wet.  I remember going live from the field that night and I was interviewing one of the groundskeepers.  For a million dollars I couldn’t tell you his name, but I remember he was VERY nervous.  During the commercial before sports I could tell he was icing up pretty good.  When we were live I asked him a very generic question “How are the field conditions after all this rain”?  He gave me no response. I’m not sure he was even breathing.  Then I made the cardinal mistake of pulling the mic back and asking a follow up.  “Can the field hold any more water”?  Again I put the mic in front of him and got zero response.  I felt really bad because he was really terrified.

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