Irene Cornell has been a reporter at WCBS for 30 years, and she still comes to work with a smile.
covers crime and the courts -- name an interesting local case and she's
probably covered it -- and she
says what keeps the job so fascinating is the trials.
, and Irene
will explain how trials "condense all of human emotion."
"Going to court everyday," she
says, "is better than Broadway -- it's like having a front-row seat on human drama.
You cannot make this stuff up."
There's never been a shortage of good material.
has covered all the big New York mob cases of the last generation, including the trials of John Gotti, and many of the big police stories, including the Knapp Commission
, the infamous Dirty 30, and more recently, the torture of Abner Louima and the shooting of Amadou Diallo.
covered the Murder at the Met case -- when a violinist was killed by a stagehand during intermission of a performance by Mikhail Baryshnikov.
His successor, Barry Beere, was "the first to shove me out the door and say 'go cover a story,'" Irene
During that time, Irene
met her late husband, Danny Meenan, who was a reporter at WMCA
for 25 years.
All these years later, Irene
still describes her
in reporters' shorthand as "the attractive red-haired cocktail waitress convicted of murdering her
In 1970, when Irene
made the move to WCBS
after eight years at 'MCA, she
arrived just in time for the second Crimmins trial.
It, too, ended in conviction, and Irene
has been on New York's crime and court beat ever since.
is a producer's favorite kind of reporter.
can spot a promising story a mile away, she's
an absolutely wonderful storyteller, and she's
never more excited than when she's
calling the desk to relate the latest tale she's
dug up from New York's darkside -- soon to be delivered to listeners in her
own inimitable way.
At least one young reporter has been heard to wonder aloud: How would Irene
cover this story?