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Published: Wednesday, 5/23/2012

Patrick Mettes, 1955-2012: Toledoan went on to national TV work

BY MARK ZABORNEY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Patrick Mettes, 56, a director for national networks who got his start behind the scenes at Toledo television stations, died Thursday at Calvary Hospital, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Mr. Mettes, of Brooklyn Heights, N.Y., had just begun a directing job at MSNBC in 2007 when he learned he had cholangiocarcinoma, a type of cancer. He and friends also were developing a concept for children's television.

"He always had a lot of ideas," his wife, Lisa Callaghan, said.

He was a 1978 graduate of Bowling Green State University and received practical experience at WBGU-TV, the PBS station. He was hired by WTOL-TV, Channel 11, and landed in short order at WTVG-TV, Channel 13, where he worked with former anchor Randy Price and others on the nightly newscasts.

"Pat was a take-charge person," Mr. Mettes' sister, Karen, said. "He and Randy wanted to give Toledo the best news possible, and Pat did everything in his power to make sure that happened."

In the early 1980s, Mr. Mettes moved to San Diego, where he received awards for directing news, cultural, and public affairs programs. He traveled widely as a segment producer for ABC's Good Morning America and, moving to New York City in 1996, was a director for Fox News' The Crier Report. He was a supervising director for VH1 and had directing duties for HGTV and ABC News.

On Sept. 11, 2001, "he watched the towers fall from the roof of VH1, and that day decided he needed to do something that was more meaningful," his wife said. He pulled together the technology as CNN began American Morning with Paula Zahn in the wake of the attacks.

The demands were grueling, not least the hours -- bed before sunset; up by 2:30 a.m. He left after about a year, and he and his wife opened a market and restaurant on Long Island, North Fork Food.

He grew up in South Toledo. He was a student at St. John's Jesuit High School in the early 1970s and worked at a neighborhood grocery, where a regular customer was a personality on WTOL-TV, Channel 11. He got to watch a live newscast and in an instant no longer aspired to be in front of the camera reporting. The control room clearly "was the hub of all information," his wife said.

He remained a BGSU supporter and gladly offered counsel to journalism students, his wife said.

Mr. Mettes' marriage to the former Patricia Donnelly ended in divorce.

Surviving are his wife, Lisa Callaghan, whom he married Sept. 18, 1999; sister, Karen Roecker, and brother Paul Mettes.

Memorial services will be at 2 p.m. June 3 in St. John's Jesuit High School, with a reception scheduled for 4 p.m. at the Toledo Country Club. Another service will be at 4:30 p.m. June 7 in Guild Hall of Grace Church, Brooklyn Heights.

The family suggests tributes to Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation in care of Cindy Ellis in Wynnewood, Pa.



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