I’ve been a broadcast journalist for 40 years; I started in radio when I was 16 at WIBU in Poynette in 1978. I grew up on a farm in the area about thirty miles north of Madison. I moved to television in 1984; my first position was as evening co-anchor at WAOW in Wausau, WI. Over the next few decades I worked as an anchor/reporter in Toledo, Portland, OR, Reno and San Francisco, before returning to Madison in 2004. I began producing documentaries in 1997, at KRNV-TV in Reno. My first was a history of the native people of northern Nevada and included the first video of images of Spirit Cave Man, the oldest human mummy ever found (in an area east of Reno). I created and began the “Our Wisconsin” documentary series at WKOW in 2010. Those programs included historical pieces as well as documentaries that examined social issues such as the drinking culture, racial disparities and climate change. Several of my programs have been recognized for excellence, including Emmy and Edward R. Murrow awards.
How do you decide what subjects to cover in your documentaries?
I let my own curiosity direct those decisions; including my curiosity about what other people are curious about. I’m often attracted to subjects that the general public is aware of, but knows little about. I think people appreciate having new light shed on a subject they thought they knew completely. And, the other big motivator for me to cover a subject is being able to give a voice to a group or community of people who often go unheard. In my previous work, those people have included African Americans, climate scientists and Vietnam War veterans. So, tell me what you’re curious about by sending an email.
What’s up with the company name-why did you call it JDog Productions?
I was inspired to name it JDog Productions by my family’s late pet, Buster. Our little hound dog was the leader of our pack when it came to protecting our home from squirrels and rabbits and when it came to taking naps. And, as you can plainly see on our logo, he would often stretch out on the floor and turn his head and shoulders to create the letter J. Thus, JDog. Besides, it sounded catchy and easy to remember.