How this photo led to a radio romance story

Baylee Steelman contains her reaction to Howard Packowitz hitting his head on a table at a Bloomington City Council meeting in 2017.

 The story of these two newsroom sweethearts actually started because of the actions of another newsroom veteran, longtime INBA member Howard Packowitz.

  When covering a Bloomington City Council meeting in 2017, Howard was reaching under the media table and hit his head on it. His facial expression is, well, interesting. WGLT student reporter Baylee Steelman was sitting right there, and her reaction was to put her head in her hands.

  That might have been the end of it.  But enter Howard’s WJBC Co-worker Sam Wood.  He posted a screenshot of the awkward moment on social media and captured Steelman’s attention. “I thought he was pretentious and messing with me.  But we got to talking and he asked me out for drinks.”
Drinks led to dating, which the two continued through Steelman’s ISU graduation in 2018.  Shortly after, both got jobs as producers at WSIL-TV in Carterville. 

  After about 18 months in Southern Illinois, they were both able to land new producer jobs north of the border, in Milwaukee: Sam at CBS58 and Baylee at FOX6.  That was early in 2020, and Steelman says though the pandemic has made them miss much of what Milwaukee is about, like the many music and cultural festivals, they have still been able to explore safely. They celebrated three years together in December 2020.

  The unfortunate incident captured on video is now a fond memory for the couple. Steelman says, “If Howard didn’t hit his head on that table, I don’t know if we would be together!”

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.

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.

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.”

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.

Jennifer Fuller

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

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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