The Work We Do: Tim Gannon, News-Review reporter

My name is Tim Gannon and I’m a reporter for Times Review and I’ve been here since Aug. 26, 1996.

[Before that] I was at the Traveler Watchman for six months and for the last three weeks there I was the editor. Then Ruth Jernick, who was editor of the News-Review then, offered me a job here. I was kind of hoping the editor thing would go a little longer than that, but I felt like the Traveler Watchman would be going out of business, which it did. So, the loyal employee that I am, I jumped ship to the competition and I’m still here.

Up until about two years ago I was mainly covering Riverhead stuff. It would be the Town Board, I was covering the schools for a while and the police blotters, [and] a couple of times I filled in on a sports thing. Then a couple of years ago they also had me doing some Greenport stuff. I write about 8 to 10 stories a week now. In the old days, it was sometimes up around 18.

Tim Gannon reports from his desk in Mattituck Monday. (Credit: Krysten Massa)

There were only three reporters, maybe four, but we have a lot more now. [Then there was] Tim Gannon Day. Riverhead had an actual Proclamation, I think Grant Parpan and Mike White, who was the editor at the time, were behind that. It was my 50th birthday and they set up some party at Diggers and invited everybody in the world and they got the town to make a little proclamation and they got the state assemblyman to do the same.

My co-workers say I have a messy desk, but I don’t know what they’re talking about. I know where to find everything, so that’s the key.

Nowadays, we have cellphones and laptops, Wi-Fi, digital cameras, so you can pretty much file a story from wherever you are. When I first started, like when I worked at Suffolk Life, the office, the desk and the phone were in Riverhead and I would be covering stuff in Montauk. So I couldn’t start writing the story until I got all the way back to Riverhead.

What I like about the job is you get to do a lot of different things, go to a lot of different places; if something big is happening, you’re there. You learn about a lot of different stuff outside of journalism.

Historically, the free press is one of the [most important] things, right? So people always complain about newspapers or television but without news, you’d probably have a much worse situation.

‘The Work We Do’ is a News-Review multimedia project profiling workers on the North Fork. This weekly feature is made possible by Peconic Landing. See more photos on Instagram @riverheadnewsreview. See the complete list of previous profiles here.