Ever since 1997, when Neal Augenstein kept nudging the then-news director to hire him as a part-time weekend reporter, he's had the great pleasure of being a reporter for WTOP.
In 2013, Neal took on the role of Tech Editor, overseeing the growth of the WTOP.com tech section.
Things have changed in many ways. When he walked in the door, the newsroom was still equipped with reel-to-reel tape recorders, and the portable bag phones that weighed as much as a bowling ball. Today, Neal is the first major market radio reporter who does most of his field production on an iPhone.
Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the Washington community - including the Beltway Snipers, Chandra Levy, and of course, Sept. 11, 2001. But ironically, listeners seem to remember the lifestyle and feature reports - cooking food on the dashboard of his car in 100 degree weather, butt-lifting underwear and pole dancing for guys.
Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports. However, he's most proud when people he reports about tell him they believe his reporting is accurate, fair and in context.
Neal's ultimate honor is having listeners trust him and the WTOP team, to provide information they need and enjoy in their life.