32 years ago this week I walked over to the building which houses C-SPAN just a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol to interview for this job. It worked out better than anyone could have imagined.
I covered eight campaigns for President, logging thousands of miles on the road. I checked in on House and Senate races around the nation. I covered hurricanes. The Nine Eleven attacks. Supreme Court nominations. Budget shutdowns. And I tried my best to keep my listeners informed about what was happening on Capitol Hill.
In the aftermath of Nine Eleven, I got a great break, as I started joining talk show host Neal Boortz each day. It was a great pairing, along with Belinda and Royal. And it opened the door to new listeners via talk radio for the next 15 years.
While I was mainly on the radio, I started writing about Congress and politics on my own website during the 1996 campaign. I couldn’t convince my bosses to let me have an official blog until 2007.
“Don’t waste your time,” writing for the internet, was what I was told repeatedly. But I kept doing it, and it let me document all sorts of interesting moments on Capitol Hill and around the nation.
In 2016, I lost my voice. It never came back. But we found a company in Scotland named CereProc, which built me a text-to-speech voice app - Jamie Dupree 2.0 - that put me back on the radio.
A recent software update (6.0.1 to be accurate) makes it sound better than ever. How do I know that? Because all of the listeners lodging complaints about my post-election stories aren’t saying a word about my voice. They can understand me on the radio.
But it wasn’t enough for me to continue on in this job. I will miss all my friends at our company’s radio and television stations. Two of my stations - WSB in Atlanta, and WHIO in Dayton - were aboard for all of my 32 years. It’s been 24 years for WOKV Jacksonville, WDBO Orlando, and KRMG Tulsa.
I’m still going to be on Capitol Hill, writing a newsletter about the Congress that shows up in your email inbox every day.
Thanks for reading here. Now it’s on to the next chapter.