Last month, we reported on how several of those affected by the Bloomberg LP upheaval two years ago are finding their footing in new career paths.
Since that piece, another former “Bloomberger” reached out to FishbowlNY to tell his story.
Vince Lipari has been on the broadcasting scene in New York for decades. In the 1980s, Lipari was a reporter for WABC-TV’s Eyewitness News.
He spent several years at Bloomberg, anchoring TV and later doing newscasts on the radio side—WBBR.
Lipari left Bloomberg in 2008, ahead of the massive layoffs.
After trying several others jobs, including selling real estate, Lipari is ready to resurrect his lifelong passion—singing.
In his early 20s, Lipari had some engagements as a singer and guitarist, mostly at bars and restaurants.
At one of his early gigs, Lipari was excited to see his name on the Holiday Inn marquee.
“The only problem was that I was upstaged by a ‘Lobster Special,’” Lipari recalls.
Lipari, though, quickly realized that he needed to make money to support his family, and moved on to his broadcasting career. He even taught radio and television writing at Hofstra. But, he kept hope alive for another chance to belt it out professionally.
“It’s always been in the back of my mind. I’ve always been a frustrated singer,” Lipari says. “I’ve sung in every newsroom that I ever worked.”
Not shy about his desire to sing, while working for WABC, Lipari got to put his other talents on display. The Sicilian-born Lipari was approached by producers to speak on Live with Regis and Kathie Lee as part of a show dedicated to the Statue of Liberty’s 100th Anniversary in 1986. Not wanting to miss a chance, Lipari told them he also could perform.
“I did wind up singing, believe it or not,” Lipari laughs. “…We sang on the show, on a ferry in front of the Statue of Liberty.”
Lipari remembers other guests included Robert Goulet and Barbara Eden.
So now, the veteran reporter says at this stage in his life, he’s going at it full throttle.
“I don’t want to think of it as a hobby because sometimes you don’t really concentrate that hard on a hobby… It’s really a career change in the sense that this is what I would really love to do,” Lipari says.
Along with playing songs from the “Great American Songbook,” Lipari really loves to croon Italian tunes.
“I didn’t move to this country until I was three years old,” Lipari says. “The first language I was speaking was a Sicilian dialect.”
For Lipari, singing Italian favorites isn’t just an ode to the old country, it’s also a chance for him to find a niche in the today’s marketplace.
Even though Lipari is committed to make his one-man American Idol dream become a reality, albeit on a smaller scale, his needs for success are simple.
“[It’s] just to have fun, maybe make some money, [and] just to be able to get out there and do it, as a living perhaps,” Lipari admits.
It may not be the Vince Lipari 2011 World Tour just yet, but the accomplished broadcaster is thrilled to be heading home for a gig.
“One of my personal goals will be to return to Sicily later this year and sing at the annual Couscous Festival. Who knew that couscous was [a] major staple in western Sicily, but it is,” Lipari joked. “And this is a major international festival, a big deal.”
Realizing, though, that his music might not attract a large audience, Lipari knows this is an uphill battle. (Hear a sample of Lipari’s singing below)
“I understand the limitations of that market, but whatever market there is for that kind of music, I’d like to tap into it.
“This time I’d like to just see where it might go,” Lipari cautions.