Don Fitzpatrick Passes Away

For those not in the tv news business, the name Don Fitzpatrick may not mean much. But for news folks, they’ve been reading Don’s work since the early 90s.

Don Fitzpatrick, founder of TVSpy and Shoptalk, passed away today at the age of 56.

Back in the early 90s, when fancy computin’ machines hadn’t hit many homes, I found Shoptalk, subscribed and then started printing out the daily newsletter and posting it in the newsroom at WHNT-TV19 in Huntsville.

Shoptalk, covered the business of covering the news. Whether it was job openings, job promotions or topical jokes of the day, Shoptalk was the start of something much bigger. It was the first daily online newsletter (that I’m aware of).

I once sent an e-mail to Don thanking him for Shoptalk. I got a personal thank-you note for the thank-you note from Don who also wished me well in my career. Though I never met Don Fitzpatrick, I can honestly say I’ve read his newsletter every day it’s been published since the early 90s.

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