Senior staff writer
A few months ago, nationally acclaimed television reporter/anchor Carlos Diaz sent an email to WTHR-TV news director Cathy Hostettler that simply stated: “I’d like to come home.”
Diaz, a 1989 graduate of Greenwood High School, wanted to return to his Greenwood roots after a nationwide career in sports, entertainment and news broadcasting in New York City, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Miami and a few other cities.
After graduating with a telecommunications degree from Indiana University, his first job was co-anchor of ESPN’s “Sports Center” followed by NBA-TV, E! Entertainment Network, Fox News, TBS, MSNBC, HLN and CNN.
He yearned to return home.
“For me, returning to Greenwood and Indiana was always in the cards,” Diaz said. “I know that Indiana shaped me into who I am. I want the same thing for my son and my future children. There is a family feeling about being in Indiana.”
He recalled special memories of the city and Greenwood High.
“I’m kind of a smart aleck and growing up in Greenwood allowed me to do that,” Diaz said. “I could be outgoing at a party and not offend anyone.”
He particularly recalled playing baseball for coach Ed Roush and the Woodmen when facing Beech Grove. The Hornets had a standout pitcher who threw blazing fast balls, but he did not start against the Woodmen, who took that as an insult.
Greenwood jumped to a 7-0 lead in two innings when the Hornets brought in their best pitcher.
“I had never homered in my life for Greenwood,” Diaz said. “He throws me a heater right down the middle, first pitch, and I knock it out of the park in dead center field.”
Carlos’ dad, Cuban-born Armando Diaz, saw his son round the bases. Carlos saw him seated in the grandstand and pointed to him as he rounded third and headed home.
On Sept. 11, 2001, Diaz got a call in his apartment from an acquaintance that a jetliner had hit one of the twin towers. With cellular phone networks down, Carlos went to NBA-TV headquarters in New York City and emailed his friends that he was OK. At that time he was working 18-hour days for two different networks (NBA-TV and E!).
“I went down to ground zero 75 hours later looking up at 11 stories of rubble,” Diaz said. “It was horrific, but for two months every story I did for E! was about 9/11, financial impact, how reporters handled the story, its effect on computers.”
For several years Carlos flew from job to job from coast to coast. He could never develop a solid relationship with women because, as he put it, he was “emotionally unavailable; you’re really so exhausted.”
“Until you’re working 18-20 hours a day and flying coast to coast seemingly every day, you don’t know what that is like,” he said. “You never knew what your day would be like – there was no normal.”
He interviewed Michal Jackson for E! in Times Square two months after 9/11 and was the first broadcaster to know that Anna Nichole Smith’s death was due to a drug overdose.
Diaz expressed his belief that Channel 13 is the best network in Indianapolis because it is family owned and the employees are loyal and have long tenures.
His day begins with waking up at 2 a.m., arriving at the station at 2:45 a.m. and receiving his story assignments, which can range from cooking food to covering homicides. He revels in the variety, especially local.
“People think that if you are on a national show that you are more talented than someone on a local show,” Diaz said. “That is not the case. The people here are just as talented but they have chosen to stay in Indiana.”
He and his wife, Olga, and 10-month-old son Dacio live in Greenwood. The couple met while in Tampa, Fla., and were married in her home of Colombia.
“I have roots in Greenwood,” Diaz said. “Greenwood is an amazing place.”