Over the years Southington residents have been seen and heard on Connecticut television and notable radio stations.
Some of their careers were brief, but several became household names like Al Terzi, Walt Dibble of WTIC and the late Hall of Fame Sportscaster Dick Galiette of WTNH Chanel 8 in New Haven.
Terzi still continues in front of the camera on Channel 3.
Terzi’s son, Tony, is embedded in his career as a sports and news reporter with Fox 61.
Jim Senich and his toned voice became memorable over the years locally after working at numerous radio stations, specifically the former WNTY in town.
Galiette, perhaps the most notable of the group, spent two decades as the top sportscaster at the New Haven station covering sports from the former professional Blades hockey team to Yale University and later a stint at ESPN.
A 1951 graduate of Southington High, Galiette excelled as the evening sports anchor and was inducted into the Connecticut Sports Hall of Fame several years ago.
He passed away suddenly in 2005 at the age of 72 having spent 28 years at his profession.
Another former Southington resident on his way to the top is the young Matt Galka who is climbing the ladder of television reporting fame in Phoenix, Arizona.
It wasn’t long ago when the 280-pound Galka was blocking on the line for the Southington High Blue Knights football team under former coach Jude Kelly.
Galka is a common face on Fox 10 and has developed into a versatile lead reporter.
The personable young man credits his days in a Blue Knight uniform as a measuring stick for his success.
“Nothing in my life would have been possible with Southington sports,” he recalled in a recent interview.
While previously reporting in Florida, Galka was named as one of the “30 Under 30” rising stars of Florida politics.
His secret to success?
“Be the same person on TV that you could talk to at a bar,” he said.
Fox 10 is the number one station in the 11th biggest media market in the country and as lead reporter, Galka dominates the majority of nightly news shows involving investigative work and creative approaches to storytelling.
His reports have taken him to the middle of violent political protests, to the unforgiving Sonoran desert near the U.S.-Mexico border and all over Arizona to tell stories that need to be told.
Prior to his move to Phoenix, Matt spent five years in Tallahassee, Florida as both a political and general assignment reporter.
He covered Florida state politics as well as devastating weather that impacted the state.
During his time in the Florida state capital, Matt also served as an adjunct professor of journalism at Florida A&M University and holds a Master’s degree in journalism from Quinnipiac University in Connecticut.
Galka worked hard to lose 100 pounds while at Southington High and was team captain,
After being a football walk-on at Syracuse University, the 27-year old quickly vaulted into television journalism and from that point on, it’s quite a success story.
“When I begin a project, I look for the truth. I look at each side’s argument and try to present them so that the viewer can find the truth. At the very least, they can form their own opinion,” Galka noted.
He said, “I’ve been blessed to have good mentors like Kevin Nathan, now a news anchor at NBC 30 in New Britain and former sports director. Nathan, like Galka, progressed from a premier sports background to a top news anchor. Galka said it’s good to have a good time but when it’s time to work, it is time to work,” he emphasizes.
Outside of journalism, he feels teaching would be his other profession since his mother been a teacher for 40 years.
Galka recalls his days in Southington with fond memories. “I don’t know where I’d be without Southington football. I played freshman ball as a 400-pound kid but there were coaches around me who cared. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere I am.”
He adds, “Coach Kelly said to me 15 years ago that if I did the right thing, good things would happen to me.”
He fondly recalls never losing on Thanksgiving to Cheshire High in football and remembers when a teammate’s dive over the pile thanks to a mistimed count in his senior year.
“I feel my one career fumble recovery as a senior should be enshrined somewhere,” he laughs noting that quarterback Matt Kelleher threw a TD pass on the next play.
Matt Galka spent time in the state as a multimedia/journalist for WVIT in West Hartford where he served as a production assistant for evening newscasts and also shot, edited and wrote stories.
In 2013, he was awarded the Associated Press Best Overall Reporter honor.