Jack Atherton: My Favorite Opening Day Memory

My best memory of Opening Day is also the first. 1994. Aymsley, our two daughters and I had arrived here the previous fall with no idea a place like Cincinnati existed. We lived for many years in or around New York City, where I practiced law. New York, of course, boasted great art museums, a world-class symphony orchestra, opera, ballet, and theatres. And Cincinnati? We couldn't believe Cincinnati had all that too! And parking! And the nicest people anywhere.

But Cincinnati had one other thing New York couldn't match: an Opening Day Parade. Oh sure, you might see ticker tape if the Yankees or the Mets won a World Series. But there was no hometown feeling, just an impersonal spectacle in a Manhattan canyon. Opening Day in Cincinnati was about Reds history; it was about traditions, neighborhoods, local companies and most of all, families. It reflects everything that makes this city wonderful. And we've been so grateful to see every Opening Day Parade since. Go Reds!

Jack AthertonBio of Jack Atherton
News 5 WLWT-TV

You might not think I started off so fortunately, growing up in New Jersey. But, hey, the Garden State gave us Bruce Springsteen and Ken Broo!

I then studied history at Yale and law at Columbia, practiced corporate litigation in Manhattan for seven years and married a wonderful woman who did advertising and public relations. Along the way some newspapers and magazines published my editorial cartoons and reviews of books and classical music.

If that sounds more fun than practicing law, you're right. So after going back to Columbia for a master's in journalism I headed west to KENS (CBS) in San Antonio, south to WTVJ (NBC) in Miami and then became the first on-air hire when WXIX (FOX) here in Cincinnati started doing news. My biggest break came in late 2009, when WLWT offered me a chance to join the best news team in town.

Besides anchoring and doing political analysis, I've had the privilege of tutoring at local schools, hosting music appreciation programs, reading audio books for the Cincinnati Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired and volunteering with groups like the Opera Guild and Big Brothers / Big Sisters Association of Cincinnati. Most humbling, I lead the Alzheimer's Walk every year and quickly get left in the dust.

If you see me around town, please say hello, or drop me an email at jatherton@hearst.com. And thank you so much for joining our great team at News 5!

Jack Atherton
News 5 WLWT-TV