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!”