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Media Monday: Jake Wiederrich

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For this week’s Media Monday, we’d like you to meet Jake Wiederrich, Executive Producer at KIRO 7. 1. How did you find yourself at KIRO? I applied for an open job here in 2009 – which now seems like a lifetime ago. KIRO was looking for a producer for the 6 a.m. hour of the […]

For this week’s Media Monday, we’d like you to meet Jake Wiederrich, Executive Producer at KIRO 7.

Jake Wiederrich Media Monday1. How did you find yourself at KIRO?

I applied for an open job here in 2009 – which now seems like a lifetime ago. KIRO was looking for a producer for the 6 a.m. hour of the morning news. At the time, I was a producer at KPTV in my hometown of Portland. Both stations are very strong when covering breaking news, and that was what I immediately jumped into when I started at KIRO. Within my first few months here, our newscasts were covering the murders and funerals of 6 law enforcement officers (from Seattle, Lakewood and Pierce Co.), a big snow storm, and the inaugural flight of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner. It was quite the challenge trying to get settled into a new job, while continually keeping up with a very busy news cycle.

2. Which of your stories are you most proud of?

I am most proud of the work we did for our annual Seafair Sunday broadcast each August. Broadcasting all day, live from Lake Washington, took nearly a year of planning. We hired a freelance crew, researched all the events, and planned everything from graphics to interviews to video to crew assignments. Then, we had to execute it all during an 8 hour live remote broadcast. But in all honesty, Seafairs can “blend together” over the years: you can’t quite remember which year it rained, or which year there was a hydroplane boat flip. When it comes to the Seattle Seahawks, I will ALWAYS remember their first Super Bowl victory. We had a small crew of 7 travel to New York City for Super Bowl week. By the time the hawks won the game, and blue and green confetti was raining down in MetLife Stadium, everyone from KIRO 7 was running around the field grabbing interviews with players and fans — everybody that is, except our chief anchor Steve Raible. He was finishing his radio duties as play-by-play announcer for the Seahawks Radio Network. In one moment, I realized my most important job was to get Steve on camera – right away. And in the next moment, I received an immediate answer to an unspoken prayer: Steve was walking out of the tunnel – right for me on the field. I ripped the microphone out of Gary Horcher’s hand (sorry Gary!) and shoved it at Steve: “We’re rolling on this back at KIRO! Just say whatever you want!” I was so delirious at that moment, to this day, I have no idea what he said.

3. What is your favorite thing about your job?

In many ways, I feel like I’ve struck gold – because I get to do a little bit of everything: sports, politics, weather coverage, breaking news, field producing, interviewing, news specials, and special event coverage.

4. What is your day like at your job?

Totally depends. Many days I’m just planning ahead. Other days, we might have breaking news that puts that long-term planning on the back-burner. I also like to jump in and help reporters who are covering the big stories: what other elements do you need? Can I order your graphics or log an interview? Anything to help make our most important coverage the most polished it can be.

5. What is your interview style?

Listen. Know what you want to ask – but be prepared to let the conversation take you somewhere unexpected.

6. What do you look for in a story?

A good story needs two things: people and pictures.

7. Who do you most look up to in the journalism industry?

In my own newsroom, Essex Porter stands out among our incredibly talented reporting staff. Our most tenured reporter, Essex has been covering politics in the northwest for more than 30 years. I have no better way to explain this: he just knows everything. His longevity in Seattle means that governors, mayors and other elected officials give him the first question at news conferences. They refer to him by name. They offer interviews to him before they offer interviews to other outlets. Essex Porter is a civic treasure in this city. Nationally, I’ve always found “60 Minutes” to be appointment television, and separately, I will never turn down an opportunity to tell someone how much I miss the work of ABC’s Peter Jennings.

8. What is your favorite news outlet?

“CBS This Morning” is the best morning show on TV today. They deliver the most hard news in the morning – on politics, the economy, and international affairs. But they never turn up their nose to important stories from other areas: entertainment, sports and the arts. It’s exactly the type of morning program I want to watch.

9. Fill in the blank:

  • If I am not working…I am at the bar.
  • If I could interview anyone, it would be…Queen Elizabeth II (probably not at a bar)
  • My favorite thing about Seattle is…the ferries.

10. What is your guilty pleasure?

TV industry gossip. I have no shame in admitting it.

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