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Love of newsroom management started for Allison Herman at Ohio University and WOUB

Published: June 21, 2022 Author: Cheri Russo

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 news reporter. But what she learned in the classroom at the E.W. 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,” said Herman. “But once I heard what a producer was, I knew that’s 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 her advisor told her about it.

“My advisor said that if I wanted to go into journalism and writing, I should strongly consider Ohio University,” said Herman. “So, we decided to visit campus. I remember that visit so well. It was beautiful weather with white puffy clouds, red bricks, and green trees… how could I do anything else?”

During her freshman year, one of Herman’s journalism professors, Mary Rogus, explained to Herman the role the producer had in a television newsroom.

“I never had dreams of being Katie Couric,” said Herman. “I thought I wanted to be a reporter to write stories. Then, once I learned about being a producer, I knew I didn’t want to write one story, I wanted to write 50. I wanted to be in charge of the newscast.”

Rogus told Herman that if producing was what she wanted to do, she needed to start working at WOUB. And once Herman walked into the WOUB Newsroom, there was no looking back.

“I started at WOUB during the spring of my freshman year and worked my way up doing radio and then TV,” said Herman. “I stayed and worked over the summer at WOUB between sophomore and junior year. I had such a hands-on immersion by being able to produce a live newscast, all day every day. I loved the building of the show and having my hands wrapped around the big picture.”

While Herman was still a student, she got an internship at WSAZ TV in Charleston/Huntington, West Virginia. Due to the experience she had from WOUB, Herman landed a part-time weekend producing position at the station before she finished school.

“During my senior year, I was driving from Athens to Huntington on the weekends to produce the Saturday morning newscast, and then when I graduated, they hired me full time.”

After working a year in the full-time role, Herman accepted a position in Louisville, Kentucky as the weekend evening producer. Over the next several years, Herman worked as a producer, executive producer and managing editor in Indianapolis, Indiana and Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina 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,” said Herman. “Being able to produce live newscasts from start to finish on a daily basis and working in a real professional newsroom environment before I was in a commercial newsroom was crucial. As a student, I was able to learn how to deal with news as it was happening in real time with real deadlines. I was able to walk into my first job with much more experience than a typical college student who had just gone to class and graduated.”

To learn more about WOUB, visit woub.org.