When Allison Herman, BSJ ’10 came to Ohio University in 2006, she knew she wanted to write news, so she thought she wanted to be a journalist. But what she learned in class at the EW Scripps School of Journalism and through hands-on experience at WOUB was that she really wanted to be a producer.
“I didn’t even know producing was a thing,” Herman said. “But once I heard what a producer was, I knew that was what I wanted to do.”
Herman grew up in Teays Valley, West Virginia. Even though Teays Valley is not that far from Athens, Herman had never heard of Ohio University until his advisor told him about it.
“My advisor told me that if I wanted to get into journalism and writing, I should seriously consider Ohio University,” Herman said. “So we decided to visit the campus. I remember that visit very well. It was a beautiful day with puffy white clouds, red bricks and green trees… how else could I do? »
During his freshman year, one of Herman’s journalism professors, Mary Rogus, introduced Herman to the role the producer had in a television newsroom.
“I never dreamed of being Katie Couric,” Herman said. “I thought I wanted to be a journalist to write stories. Then, once I learned to be a producer, I knew that I didn’t want to write one story, I wanted to write 50. I wanted to be in charge of the television news.
Rogus told Herman that if producing was what she wanted to do, she should start working at WOUB. And once Herman entered the WOUB press room, there was no turning back.
“I started at WOUB in the spring of my freshman year and worked my way up through radio and then television,” Herman said. “I stayed and worked over the summer at WOUB between second and first year. I had such a hands-on immersion being able to produce a live newscast, all day, every day. I loved the construction of the show and having my hands around the big picture.
While still a student, Herman got an internship at WSAZ TV in Charleston/Huntington, West Virginia. Because of the experience she had from WOUB, Herman landed a part-time weekend producer job at the station before completing her studies.
“In my senior year I was driving from Athens to Huntington on the weekends producing the Saturday morning newscast, then when I graduated they hired me full time.”
After working a year in the role full-time, Herman accepted a position in Louisville, Kentucky as a weekend evening producer. Over the next several years, Herman worked as a producer, executive producer and editor in Indianapolis, Indiana and Raleigh/Durham, NC before landing her current job as assistant news director at WTKR TV in Norfolk, Virginia.
“I wouldn’t be here today without Ohio University and WOUB,” Herman said. “Being able to produce daily live news from start to finish and work in a true professional newsroom environment before being in a commercial newsroom was crucial. As a student, I was able to learn how to manage the news as it happened in real time with real deadlines. I was able to go into my first job with a lot more experience than a typical college student who had just gone to class and graduated.
To learn more about WOUB, visit woub.org.