Job Shadow: WEAU’s Stephanie Olsen

By Taylor Pomasl

Meet Stephanie Olsen.

The recent college grad is now WEAU Channel 13’s producer for the noon and 5p.m. news, operating the entire news cast from behind the scenes.


On Feb. 1, 2016, Olsen worked the 5p.m. newscast in the WEAU control room. © Taylor Pomasl, 2016. All rights reserved.

Olsen was raised in a small town in southwest Wisconsin, but had big dreams and ambition. She attended UW-La Crosse for 4 years, majoring in communications with an emphasis in broadcast digital media and a minor in sports broadcasting. Throughout her college experience, Olsen maximized her opportunities, partaking in 4 internships by the time she graduated. The first was in a radio station in her hometown, the second with a baseball program where she worked cameras, the third with WKBT out of La Crosse, and finally, with ESPN in Connecticut where she did behind the scenes work with graphics and video.

After graduating in December of 2014, Olsen received her producer position at WEAU as her first post-graduate job. Though it was a change from ESPN, Olsen says she enjoys the people and the unpredictability each days brings.

“I love the people. We know how to communicate, and it’s a fun group,” Olsen says.  “Also, everyday is different. I don’t get into a routine.”

Olsen’s newscast was an exceptionally fun environment, yet was a beneficial learning experience. Having previously planned out the entire half-hour news cast to the second, Olsen was in charge of making sure the broadcast stayed relatively close to the scheduled time and communicating with the anchors and reporters, both in and out of the newsroom. An example of this is when one of the reporters did a live shot from the local police station, and Olsen had to time her cue exactly right so the reporter wouldn’t hesitate too long or cut into the anchor’s lead-in. Olsen’s cue was flawless. That, along with the entire newscast, ran smoothly. The whole time, Olsen remained positive and energetic, joking with others in the control room and talking me through the entire program. Though I know planning and operating a newscast is no easy feat, Olsen’s performance certainly was a tribute to the work she’s done so far.


After a successful broadcast, Olsen will already begin piecing together the next day’s newscast. © Taylor Pomasl, 2016. All rights reserved .

Olsen contributes much of her success to the internships she had throughout college, saying even if it’s not paid, it’s worth the experience and will lead to greater things.

“Don’t ever think something’s out of reach,” Olsen stresses. “I was a small-town girl from southwest Wisconsin, and I had an internship with a huge sports program, so dream big.”

Sports being her passion, Olsen’s new goal is to get back into that type of broadcast media and return to ESPN, this time as a paid employee.




This entry was posted in #UWEauClaire, Blog Post, Broadcast Journalism, cj 222, CJ222, job shadow, Journalism and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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