One of my favorite co-workers of all-time is leaving WDAM next week.
Jamel Major, nicknamed “The Investigator” by me, is leaving the Pine Belt for WVTM in Birmingham. It’s an NBC owned-and-operated station. Since VTM is an O&O, don’t be surprised if he ends up at the network level or cable’s MSNBC soon thereafter.
Jamel is someone who does his homework. He seeks all angles of a story — and his stories often generated water-cooler talk.
Case in point. Back in March of 2003, Jamel put together a three-part investigative series entitled “Crossing The Line”. It focused on how children are enrolled in one school system when, consider the parents’ place of residence, they should be in another. It was a series that resulted in several follow-ups.
In another school matter, Jamel covered a bat infestation at Prentiss-based J.E. Johnson Elementary School. The school’s building has been affected by bats more than once.
Other stories that generated talk around the area include “Fountain of Truth” — looking into the safety of drinking water throughout the area — and “Child in Need” — an in-depth look of the education of children with disabilities.
Trust me, this is only the beginning of a list of Jamel’s fine work.
Now for a moment of irony. Jamel was a commuter student at the College of Charleston in the mid- to late ’90s — graduating in 1998. Around this time, Cindy Houdeshell (now Cindy Morris…yes, the lady who’s now my wife) worked as a hall director at the same College of Charleston. Their paths never crossed — until they came to the Pine Belt. Naturally, they’ve spent time reminiscing about “the good ol’ days” of Charleston.
Jamel’s spending his final days of service at DAM filling in for Miranda on News 7 Today — then it’s on to sweet home Alabama. Goodness knows what he’ll uncover on his first day on the job.
Godspeed, Jamel. You’ll be missed. When you do make the big time, don’t forget us “little folks”.