by Michael G. Glab
Alycin Bektesh signed up as a volunteer in the News Department in the winter of 2010. She became Assistant News Director in June 2011 and was named News Director in November of that year. Here is a true WFHB success story. She has described her paid staff position as her “dream job.” She’ll be our source for new developments in the News Department.
Bektesh in recent months has overseen the move of reporters from their old cramped quarters to a more spacious area where the station’s old vinyl library used to stand. “I’m so excited about our new newsroom,” she says.
The new newsroom can comfortably seat three working reporters and a producer or audio engineer, all in front of their own computer work stations. Bektesh says this helps greatly with the communication flow as deadlines approach. “People had to communicate via emails and walking around the building trying to find each other,” she says. “We could all have been here at the same time and never really be able to interact with each other.”
The move also benefits the Music Department, which now can use the small production studio at any time for unscheduled live performances. Under the old set-up, the News Department reserved that studio for post-production and editing.
Bektesh has welcomes aboard Drew Daudelin to manage much of the work that goes into the Daily Local News. “Drew oversees copy editing and production of the script,” she says. Daudelin pitched the idea of the position to her. He works each weekday afternoon and can work directly with new volunteer news reporters, getting them up to speed, and ensuring their output approaches Associated Press standards.
Speaking of high standards, Bektesh recently submitted more than 20 audio clips to the Indiana Society of Professional Journalists for the organization’s 2014 awards. The ceremony will be in Indianapolis this spring. WFHB’s entries include clips from the Daily Local News, Bring It On!, Interchange, and others.
The News Department now has a staff of three dedicated feature writers. The Daily Local News includes an 8-minute in-depth feature concentrating on a specific issue. Assistant News Director Joe Crawford has produced features on historic preservation and other city and county issues. He and reporters Lauren Glapa and Casey Kuhn each must produce at least one feature per week.
With Zorba Paster On Your Health‘s annual syndication fee rising considerably on an annual basis, the News and Public Affairs Committee opted to cancel WFHB’s weekly presentation of the program. Bektesh has put the call out for a replacement produced locally and concentrating on medical issues specific to South Central Indiana. “My hope and dream is to have a local medical reporting program following the model of EcoReport.”
A programming note: A repeat of the Brown County Hour now can be heard on Wednesdays at 6 p.m. BCH runs the first Sunday morning of each month, with the repeat airing three evenings later.