Sophia’s Column: My experience visiting WKYC studios


Laken Kincaid

Campus Editors, Sophia Giallanza and Grace Sherban, along with Managing Editor, Laken Kincaid, are pictured with former NBC correspondent and current journalist in residence at JCU, Pete Williams, at WKYC studios in Cleveland.

Sophia Giallanza, Campus Editor

For this column, I thought I’d shift my focus from my typical reviews to share an experience I had this past Thursday visiting WKYC studios with some of my Carroll News colleagues. Myself along with my fellow Campus Editor, Grace Sherban, and Managing Editor, Laken Kincaid, were invited to accompany College of Arts and Sciences Dean Bonnie Gunzenhauser, communications professor Brent Brossmann, political science professor Colin Swearingen and former NBC Supreme Court correspondent and JCU’s own journalist in residence, Pete Williams, to WKYC studios in Cleveland. 

Upon arriving at WKYC, I expected our group would get a brief tour of the news facility followed by a complimentary lunch (as far as I was told). However, it was soon clear that our JCU crew, whose status may or may not have been elevated by Pete Williams, would be treated as esteemed guests and allowed inside access to the studio. 

Our tour was given by Micki Byrnes, the President and General Manager of WKYC. She showed us around the newsroom, stopping by some JCU alumni staff members along the way. We then saw the sets where broadcasting takes place, expertly photographed by The Carroll News’ own Laken Kincaid.  

From there, we were served lunch along with the WKYC staff and some of the local news anchors. As someone who was born and raised in the Cleveland area, it was surreal to see individuals I grew up watching on television in person (Chief meteorologist Betsey Kling sat behind me!). In a roundtable discussion, the esteemed reporters asked the guest of honor, Pete Williams, many questions that ranged from his experience at NBC to what he foresees for the future of a conservative majority in the supreme court.  

After lunch, we were given the opportunity to engage with the staff and, to my excitement, see news anchor Russ Mitchell interview Pete Williams about his experience at JCU and his time in Cleveland. We watched the interview from behind the camera and even posed for a photo at the newscounter with Pete. 

Overall, I felt overwhelmingly honored to take part in this experience. Seeing the behind the scenes of a news studio and meeting local celebrities was really inspiring, especially since many at the roundtable exclaimed they started their careers as interns themselves. Since WKYC expressed interest in maintaining a lasting relationship with JCU, only time will tell if some of our Carroll News staff will join the team in the future.