When he arrived with story in hand, Macht was led upstairs to meet Solomon. He said he was awestruck as he passed Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein's offices.
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"I like this story kid, you're going to be a writer for us. At that moment, my life changed," he said.
Although he had just landed a coveted gig with The Post, his happiness was short-lived when he realized he had parked in a gated parking lot — and it was locked. Luckily, Mike Trilling, then assignment editor for the sports section, offered Macht his couch for the evening.
"We got to be friends that night, we hung out, talked about our love of sports and how I wanted to be a writer," he said.
Trilling called Macht up a week later on a Sunday morning and told him to pick up the paper. Macht had an official byline on the front of the Sports section.
"I felt so proud," he said.
Plugged into TV
For Macht, TV was a natural transition.
Although he enjoyed writing and had plans to be a newspaper reporter, TV was another love.
"All growing up, I'd watch endless amounts of TV. I'd watch 14 hours of TV," Macht said.
His parents, Dr. Stanley H. and Naomi Macht, had encouraged him to go out and play, but Macht said he wanted to watch TV shows and movies.
"It was so bad that I would watch so many TV shows and movies everyday that they had to go out to hardware store and buy a lock for the TV set," he said. "They would unplug cord from the wall. They would put this lock that set on the two prongs and turn the key, take it out and TV was locked. And I was heartbroken."
But he wouldn't be deterred. He found the packaging of the lock and road his bike from Fountain Head home to Longmeadow Shopping Center to buy a lock of the same kind. When he got it, he played a little switcheroo with the old lock and his new lock — which he had the spare key — to allow himself more TV watching.
Professionally, though, it would actually a Washington Post assignment that gave him the introduction to TV. He was covering a game in University of Maryland, College Park and was hanging out with Trilling and Thomas Boswell, a then Post sportswriter. That day, Macht met newspeople from WJLA-TV who were televising the game and struck up a conversation.
One of the men was Tim Brant, the Sports director of WJLA-TV , who told Macht that basketball player Ralph Sampson ( who in 1983 would be the NBA's No. 1 draft pick) would be attending University of Virginia in the fall of 1979. He told the young Macht that if he would call him with information about Sampson, he would use his information to put stories on the air.
On his school break, Brant invited Macht up to WJLA to work, while he still was writing for The Washington Post.
"I kinda of had my first experience in TV and I thought it was really cool," Macht said.
He decided after break to approach a local station in Virginia, WVIR-TV in Charlottesville, a NBC affiliate TV station, to work for them. They gave him a video camera and told him to go out and start writing and shooting his own news and sports stories.
"They would get all these calls that this kid looks like he's 12 years old," he said with a laugh.