Pitt student Nolan Wherley on the anchor desk with Ken Rice (KDKA-TV anchor)
Four of the Tri-State's most prominent and accomplished news anchors and reporters joined the University of Pittsburgh's inaugural Broadcast I class on Wednesday.
Pennsylvania Hall of Fame broadcaster and legendary WTAE anchor Sally Wiggin, KDKA-TV-2's Nationally honored anchor Ken Rice, ground-breaking Pittsburgh Steelers team reporter Missi Matthews (a Pitt grad) and the main anchor at WTRF-TV (Wheeling, West Virginia) Kat Ghion took to the Pitt Studios anchor desk to work one-on-one with the 16 students enrolled in the class.
On Monday, the broadcast students worked on news and live event formats, then prepared news copy stories. Their news stories were loaded into the teleprompter. With cameras rolling, the guest anchors read the news copy stories with each student. The students also received individual critiques, advice and tips from each of the guest anchors.
Sally Wiggin became the co-anchor of WTAE-TV's weekend news in 1981, a position she held until 1986 when she was named anchor of the weeknight newscasts. She anchored the 11 p.m. news for 16 years and the 6 p.m. news for 22 years. During her legendary career, Wiggin earned numerous awards including a George Foster Peabody Award, regional Edward R. Murrow Award, a National Headliner Award and the Board of Governors Award for the Mid-Atlantic Emmys. She was inducted into the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
A National award-winning journalist, Ken Rice co-anchors the weeknight editions of KDKA-TV News at Five and Eleven and the KDKA Ten OO'clock News on Pittsburgh's CW. Ken also shares hosting duties on the station’s Sunday morning public affairs program, The KD/PG Sunday Edition, produced in partnership with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Ken has hosted various special programs on the station, including an in-depth examination of Sports and Race Relations and a “VIP” tour of Heinz Field; and Ken has moderated numerous debates among candidates for US Senate, Governor of Pennsylvania, Chief Executive of Allegheny County and Mayor of Pittsburgh. He has been honored with local, state and national journalism awards, including a national first place Associated Press Award for an investigation called "Harrisburg Paydirt." Other honors include Golden Quill Awards from the Pittsburgh Press Club and awards from Radio-Television News Directors Association for investigative reporting.
Seven years ago, Pitt grad Missi Matthews achieved a first for women in the NFL when the Pittsburgh Steelers named her the team reporter and TV show host. Missi, whose father played football on Pitt's 1976 National Championship team, has worked on Network television as an NFL sideline reporter.
Kat Ghion joined the WTRF 7News team in Wheeling, West Virginia in March 2018 as a weekday reporter and Saturday evening anchor. She now anchors the 11 p.m. newscast at WTRF. Kat also worked for WPXI in Pittsburgh as a production assistant and began her career as a sports announcer for the University of Pittsburgh.
A question and answer session with Sally Wiggin, Ken Rice, Missi Matthews and Kat Ghion was conducted in Pitt Studios following the individual anchor segments.
Pitt's Broadcast I curriculum offers a one-of-a-kind, "hands-on" educational experience for students by incorporating broadcast industry professionals into each class. The curriculum covers every aspect of both live events and newscasts. As part of Pitt's Film Studies program, the broadcast curriculum emphasizes a personalized Liberal Arts education with professional outcomes. The Broadcast I class meets every Monday in the Cathedral of Learning and Wednesday in the new, state-of-the-art Pitt Studios in the Petersen Event Center.
- Kevin Smith