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Personality Test: Michael Bartley

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop
| Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Michael Bartley, of WQED-TV
Credit: WQED
Michael Bartley, of WQED-TV Credit: WQED
The Fred Rogers statue on Pittsburgh's North Shore on Sunday October 22, 2012.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review
The Fred Rogers statue on Pittsburgh's North Shore on Sunday October 22, 2012. Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review

Emmy award-winning managing editor and host Michael Bartley has been covering issue-oriented, in-depth stories at WQED-TV for 13 years. Last fall, he launched a “Charlie Rose”-style program called “Conversation@WQED,” which airs at 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays. Bartley's guests have included Chip Ganassi, Sy Holzer, Charlie Batch and Jackie Evancho. Bartley has won 12 regional Emmy awards. He's a graduate of Pittsburgh Central Catholic High School and Marquette University. Bartley serves on numerous civic and nonprofit boards, including Gateway Rehabilitation Center, St. Vincent College of Fine Arts, the Art Rooney Awards Dinner, the Delta Foundation and St. Rosalia Pastoral Council. Like many Pittsburghers, he takes great pride in telling people he lives in the very house he grew up in, in Pittsburgh's Greenfield neighborhood.

The star who would play me in the movie version of my life:

Ricky Schroder. Nobody remembers him. I barely do, but I guess when I was younger I looked like him, and my friends used to tease me that I looked like Ricky.

Childhood hero:

The late, great legendary “Mossie” Murphy, the noted Pittsburgh cheerleader, political analyst and publicist. He taught me to be confident, fair. I loved him.

Pick one:

A. Go-Gos

B. Goo-Goo Dolls

C. Lady Gaga

D. Yo Gabba Gabba

C. Lady Gaga. “Baby I Was Born This Way” (The Gay Anthem), oh yeah.

The piece of memorabilia from my childhood I wish I still had:

My late dad's (Larry Bartley Sr.) World War II medals. He landed on Omaha Beach in the second wave on D-Day.

The superpower I wish I had in real life:

I'd love to be able to read minds. I can spot a phony a mile away. I'd like to just see what they're seeing so I know for absolute certainty that they're full of it.

I can't live without my: iPod, cell phone, DVR, or laptop:

Cell phone

My favorite reality show:

I hate reality TV. I watch reruns of “Andy Griffith” or “Downton Abbey.”

App I wish I could invent:

To tell me how crowded the Greenfield Giant Eagle is, so I can put off shopping if it's jammed.

Favorite brunch food:

Bacon for brunch, breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Favorite guilty pleasure:

Pecan Ball at the Tic Toc Restaurant at the downtown Kaufmann's. (That's right; I don't call it Macy's.)

Pick one:

A. Pirates

B. Penguins

C. Steelers

D. Other

E. I hate sports

I LOVE SPORTS. I was no good as a player, but I love watching sports. Football first. Love the Steelers, but also high school football. I went to high school with Dan Marino. Loved watching him play, too.

My favorite Pittsburgh athlete:

He's not really an athlete, but he's in the NFL Hall of Fame — Daniel M. Rooney. He's one of the greatest Pittsburgh exports ever.

Favorite lunchtime spot:

Lucca on Craig Street in Oakland. I've known co-owner Tommy Chianelli for 30 years. Great service and terrific food.

Top thing on my ‘Bucket List' to do before I'm gone:

Go on a safari. But I'm scared, because I wear a No. 45 sunscreen in Pittsburgh!

In five years, I'd like to:

See the Pirates win the World Series!!!

My favorite thing about Pittsburgh:

If you're arrogant, you'd better get the hell out of this town.

Star I'd like to dance with on “Dancing With the Stars”:

Ellen DeGeneres

Three people I'd love to have dinner with:

Bishop Desmond Tutu, Barack Obama, Gov. Chris Christie

My quirkiest inherited trait:

Demanding to know the food that will be served at every single event because I can't wait to eat.

My favorite sandwich, plus fixings:

Loaded Italian hoagie. But no mayonnaise. I hate mayonnaise.

One word my mother would use to describe me:


Celebrity crush:

Jane Goodell, the NFL commissioner's wife. LOL, we're actually friends, and I always tell her she's my celebrity crush, and she always says “…but I'm not a celebrity.”

The oldest thing in my refrigerator:

Baking soda

When I was 10, I wanted to be:

Bill Burns

I'm deathly afraid of:


If I was auditioning for “American Idol,” my song would be:

“Philadelphia Freedom” by Elton John

The first band I saw in concert:

Fleetwood Mac at the Civic Arena, I think it was '77.

The best concert I've ever seen:

Don't laugh! Neil Diamond. I love every single one of his songs. Timeless.

TV marathon I could watch all day:

“Law and Order.” The old ones with Steven Hill as Adam Schiff. I never watch episodes after the tenure of Detective Lennie Briscoe (Jerry Orbach).

Favorite Pittsburgh-area landmark:

The Mister Rogers statue on the North Shore. I miss you so much, Fred. I miss your laugh, our talks, and most of all how I tried my best to shock you.

Saturday mornings you'll find me:

Reading both papers with my coffee. Then, on the phone with my sister.

Best new gadget I've tried recently:

None. I can barely work my iPhone. Can someone please show me how FaceTime works?

The person I'm most often mistaken for:

Tonia Caruso. Just kidding.

The worst advice I ever received:

That it was better to stay working in Wisconsin rather than moving back to the ‘Burgh sooner. I've been back home now for 14 years. I wish it was 20 years.

In high school, I was:

President of the student council, Central Catholic High School Class of 1980

The most famous person I ever became friends with:

Fred Rogers. On my first day at QED in 1999, he got on the elevator with me. I froze. I couldn't believe it was him. He said, “Hi.” I started sweating and stuttering. I think he was used to that. But we soon became friends.

The movie that always makes me cry:

“Philadelphia” with Tom Hanks. The final scene, after he dies of AIDS, when they show the home video of him as fun-loving boy like any other boy in an average family.

My most treasured fashion accessory:

All my antique cufflinks. I collect cufflinks; I love old ones.

If I wasn't an on-air personality for WQED-TV, I'd be:

A priest

Last book I read:

“Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot” by Bill O'Reilly

My favorite Pittsburgh pizza:

Mineo's. I live in the house I grew up in (Greenfield), and it's a quick trip to Squirrel Hill.

Movie I could watch every time it appears on cable:

“The Quiet Man” with John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara

If I could live my life as someone else, it would be:

Father Jack O'Malley or Father Rege Ryan. Two clerical social justice giants in this city who spent their lives advancing the causes of the poor and victims of discrimination.

My childhood nickname:

“Barts,” and actually I'm still called that by childhood and Central Catholic friends.

My first job:

I had two first jobs — the end of the school day janitor at St. Rosalia School and a bagger at the Squirrel Hill Giant Eagle.

My worst job:

I worked for a caterer one college summer in Milwaukee. Horrible.

My favorite cable channel:


The song that always gets me out on the dance floor:

“Superstition” by Stevie Wonder.

Life would be better without:

Having to go to meetings: America's worst waste of time.

If I could tour with any two bands, they would be:

The Irish Rovers and Elton John

I never travel without my:


People would be surprised to know that I:

Rarely miss Mass on Sunday, and that I am a Eucharistic Minister and on the Pastoral Council at my beloved St. Rosalia Catholic Church in Greenfield.

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