Alumni and Friends

After 40 years on the air, Jack Caudill reflects on how his time at OHIO and WOUB shaped his career

Former WOUB Student Jack Caudill has a day named after him in Rapid City, South Dakota. That’s because in December 2023, the KOTA/KEVN news anchor celebrated 40 years on the air in that community.

“It’s a nice place here, and they have treated me well,” said Caudill. “It’s a good community. I started my career here and stayed here because I never really liked the idea of bouncing from city to city to city every couple of years.”

But there was one other media station Caudill worked at before KOTA/KEVN. He volunteered his time at WOUB Public Media while he was a student at Ohio University. Caudill came to Athens from Cincinnati in 1979. The radio and television major knew it was important to get involved in the activities on campus where he could get real world experience.

“When I came to Athens for my college visit, we toured WOUB,” said Caudill. “It looked like the big time. All I had ever seen before was the one-camera small outfit at my high school.”

Caudill worked at ACRN his freshman year and started working at WOUB during his sophomore year. He was interested in pursuing a career in broadcast TV sports.

“I started out doing radio sportscasts, then worked the high school football and basketball beat and did radio play by play for Athens High School football and basketball,” said Caudill. “I also covered Ohio University baseball, Ohio University hockey, and anchored TV sports on NewsWatch. It was a great experience. I still miss a nice spring day in Athens.” 

Caudill graduated in 1983 and got a job as weekend sports anchor in Rapid City in December of that year. Since then, Caudill has worn many hats at the station. He became sports director but then moved over to the news side serving in roles that have included news director of KEVN, and anchor of KOTA Territory News at 5:30 and The Six on KEVN.

December 21, 2023 was Caudill’s official 40th anniversary and Rapid City’s mayor honored Caudill with an executive proclamation making the day “Jack Caudill Day.” As Caudill reflects on the four decades of his career, he knows it wouldn’t have been possible without Ohio University and WOUB.

I think I was very, very prepared, and we had an advantage over other people coming out of a lot of other colleges,” said Caudill. “By the time I graduated, I had already anchored a live TV newscast for two years. At WOUB, there were pretty high expectations of the work you would turn out. The professional staff would push you pretty hard and you were driven to meet those expectations. The equipment and opportunities at WOUB were there for students to use and take advantage of. I spent so much of my time there on the third floor of the Radio and TV building.”

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April 2, 2024
Cheri Russo