Classmate Melissa Currier describes our inductee as “an outstanding athlete and athletic booster in his time at Tilton. John was not a jock, but sports were a true love of his life. Mr. Hollingsworth could tell you better what an asset he was to the football team back then… and lacrosse… and hockey. John is an asset to any Hall of Fame, if not for his admirable play and dedication then truly for his spirit of sportsmanship and lifelong dedication to sports.”
It was true; John excelled on the football field at Tilton and after. A varsity member in his two years on The Hill, the 1990 yearbook states that the highlight of the 1989 season was besting a then-undefeated Hyde School, at home 40-22, of which he was a key contributor.
But even as a three-sport varsity athlete, John’s time was spent on the other side of campus as his passion for the arts was also unfolding. It was in Hamilton Hall’s Rome Theater that John would initially discover his love of performing. As a lead “Shark,” Bernardo, in West Side Story and as Harris in the One-Act “After Magritte,” Tilton served as the foundation for a future career in front of the camera.
After graduating from Tilton in 1990, John attended Assumption College before transferring to Hofstra University. Initially suiting up at Assumption, his football career would follow him to Division 1-AA Hofstra University where he would finish his eligibility for the Pride while studying television and radio production. At Hofstra he was involved with HTV (Hofstra Television) and was the sports director for 88.7 FM WRHU, the university’s radio station, doing play-by-play for Hofstra athletics.
John’s first job after college involved hosting a weekly high school football show, Sportsline, on a local cable access channel in Arlington, Massachusetts “I had to write, shoot, edit, do graphics, anchor and even sell ad time to make the show work. I got paid $100/week and thought, ‘this is the life! But it taught me to be hungry and to never give up on what I truly love to do,” he has reflected.
John went on to say, “I came to work in the industry through sheer perseverance. I knew I wanted to work in television and knew I wanted to follow this career and this lifestyle and I just never gave up.”
Through unrelenting hard work, he built a television tenure that is impressive in both size and magnitude.
After his brief stint with Sportsline, it became clear to all who knew him he was destined for much bigger stages.
John would go on to anchor sports for nearly a decade in New York at WCBS-TV and WNYW-TV where he would serve as sideline reporter for the NFL’s New York Jets and New York Giants.
Prior to his time in the Big Apple, John was the weekend anchor at KDFW-Fox 4 in Dallas, Texas for three years. During his time in the Lone Star State, he traveled with the Cowboys and served as the pre-game host for the Texas Rangers and Dallas Stars while covering high school football and NASCAR Racing.
Having arrived in Texas from Albany, NY, he had spent a year working for WRGB Channel 6, focusing on Division-1 college hockey and high school athletics.
After two and one-half years in Dallas, the chance to go back where his career began presented itself and in January 2002, John was hired as the main sports anchor at WNYW-Fox 5 in New York.
His most recent work has brought him to West Palm Beach after spending time with KOMO-TV in Seattle as a weekend news anchor who was noted for excelling in live news coverage since 2010.
It was here that John stated his love for television and a career that’s brought along unique opportunity after unique opportunity.
“The biggest benefit of being a news anchor is that you’re always connected to what’s going on in your community. You’re constantly seeing how the world is changing. Every day is a new challenge and no two days are the same. That’s why I love my job,” he said.
John’s lifelong work in the area of broadcast journalism demonstrates his commitment to the arts and the values that underlie this Hall of Fame. It is with great pleasure that I induct John Discepolo, class of 1990, into the Tilton School Artist Hall of Fame.