New in the Newsroom at WEEK/WHOI-TV

    Four new staffers are reporting news and weather at the two stations that broadcast out of the same facility in East Peoria.
    Cassandra Hager is producing and anchoring the weekend newscasts.  She’s a Wisconsin native who previously worked at stations in Cheyenne, Wyoming and Grand Island, Nebraska.   
    Maddie Heidenreich is doing weekend weather.  She studied at Missouri and worked on-air at KOMU-TV in Columbia.  The Freeburg, Illinois native is also pursuing a meteorology degree from Mississippi State University.
    Reporter Samantha Chatman comes to Peoria from Chicago, by way of the University of Illinois.  She worked at UI-7 News there and interned at WCIA-TV, WFLD-TV and WLS-TV.
    Chris Lovingood grew up in Peoria and just graduated from Western Illinois University. While there, he worked for WIUM/WIUW radio and also for the News3 newscast.  He also won several S-INBA Awards at the recent INBA Spring Convention.
    Others new to the NBC/ABC affiliates' newsroom are: WHOI Daybreak Producer Kristen Bolden, a recent grad from the University of Alabama and Web Producer Valerie Wojs, a Columbia College grad.
    All have been hired by News Director Greg Schieferstein, who is fairly new himself – he arrived in the Peoria market last October, and has held News Management roles at stations in Ohio, Georgia, Montana, Idaho, Alabama and Florida.  He’s been in Illinois once before, as Managing Editor at WIFR in Rockford.  He’s a graduate of Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington.  He has also taught broadcast journalism at the University of Florida.

Michelle Eccles McLaughlin

INBA is an organization that really caters to continuing education for professionals. It offers a relatively inexpensive way to learn new things, reinforce best practices and network.

Mike Miletich

Joining the INBA was one of my best life decisions. I met some of the best broadcast journalists while I was still a college student. Plus, I ended up getting a job through the connections I made!

Molly Jirasek

One of my top goals in my career was to get to Chicago. Thanks to INBA I met Margaret Larkin. She remembered our great conversations about Chicago and first alerted me to a job opening in the city I might be interested in. Lo and behold, I got that job! INBA helped me reach my dream.

Aaron Eades

As a student, it's often difficult to picture what working in the real world will be like. For me, the INBA bridged that gap by giving me the chance to talk to professionals who used to be in the same shoes I'm in now.

Bob Roberts

INBA is as much about friendship and as it is about achieving common goals. It provides two things individual newsrooms cannot: in-service training, and the ability to speak out on issues affecting the profession. But most of all, it brings newspeople together.

Nora Baldner

The support INBA gives to student journalists is vitally important as we all discover how technology is changing news dissemination, INBA monitors and actively encourages truth, transparency and accountability from students and their universities.

Brian O'Keefe

One of the greatest benefits for me has been getting to see and know other parts of the state. I’m not from Illinois and traveling to spring and fall conventions over the years has transformed dots on a map to memories of places that enhance my story telling process.

Ryan Denham

“I recently attended my first INBA conference—and it won’t be my last. The combination of professional and student journalists learning together is electric. Everyone learns from each other and walks away with new friends (and LinkedIn connections). I know I did.”

Jeff Bossert

When I was working in radio for the first time, I had no idea whether I could truly handle the demands. But INBA made me curious and want to improve. Even now, when I’ve maybe worked a lot of hours or planned some stories that didn’t come together for one reason or another, what I learn from an INBA conference gets me re-invigorated about the business.

Jennifer Fuller

INBA is not only a great networking tool, it also provides advocacy and support for journalists in an ever-changing world.

Andrew Tanielian

INBA taught me how to network in a meaningful way. The scholarship process taught me how to endure a hard job interview and thrive.

Alexis McAdams

INBA played a huge part in preparing me for my broadcasting career. The INBA conventions connect students with on-air talent and news directors who give feedback on now to improve your work. Through relationships I made at those conventions, I was able to obtain my first on air reporting job.

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