WSVN Sports Anchor Steve Shapiro has been doing his gig for 25 years. office is like taking a quick tour of South Florida sports history. He's the longest-running sportscaster currently on the air in the Miami market.
At 61, Shapiro endures on South Florida TV as viewers have watched some of his contemporaries, including WTVJ-Ch. 6 sports anchor Joe Rose and WFOR-Ch. 4's Kim Bokamper, sign off last year.
When Shapiro arrived in South Florida, first as a sports anchor at the former WCIX and then WSVN, there wasn't a baseball or ice hockey team. The Heat was just beginning. And Shapiro's hair was brown.
To celebrate his TV anniversary, several sports celebrities sent Shapiro congratulatory video tributes, some poking fun at his longevity in the industry. Even longtime sports and news anchor Tony Segreto called him "a warrior" for his stamina.
"Wow, 25 years, that's pretty old, man. Good graces and you've got the grays to prove it,'' teased former Heat player Alonzo Mourning in his TV tribute to Shapiro.
The clips were shown on Shapiro's Sunday night "Sports Xtra" show. In all, Shapiro has hosted more than 900 episodes.
WSVN staffers also surprised the animated Boston native with a chocolate cake that came with a photo of Shapiro when he started in Miami in 1990.
"It was a football town and it's still a football town. I didn't know when I came here that it would turn into a four sports town,'' recalled Shapiro, whose office is lined with jerseys that each local team gave him. The shirts say his name and the #7 (for Channel 7, of course.)
How does Shapiro maintain his energy?
"I joke about this but there is some truth to it and I always say that I can do anything for three minutes,'' said the father of three grown daughters. "When that red light comes on, the viewer gets my best for those three minutes. I never mail it in and I'm proud of that…I have an expression, I don't want to fill the sack. Let's make some good television, let's make it memorable."
Shapiro said he'll sign off from WSVN in about five years at 66. By that time, he would have been on South Florida television for 30 years.
"It will just be time,'' said Shapiro. "It's a young good-looking business and I will be neither of those in five years…That's one of the advantages of being the old timer in the market or even in life, you say what you feel and hope that everybody appreciates it.''
H/T Sun Sentinel