Former TV news station produced notable alumni

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Former TV news station produced notable alumni



By JULIANN VACHON
jvachon@beaufortgazette.com
843-706-8184
Published Friday, November 5, 2010   |  318 Words  |  
  • Ask former WJWJ-TV news director Juan Singleton about his time working at the station -- back when it still regularly produced local news -- and he fondly recalls a group of people who enjoyed bringing local news to residents.

    The S.C. Educational Television station got rid of its news department in 2007, but many who worked there still remember it as a launching pad for bright careers in media, Singleton said.

    Some former employees have gone on to regional and national positions at major networks, including Fox News Channel's Bret Baier, who worked as the network's chief White House correspondent and now hosts "Special Report with Bret Baier."

    "We really had some dedicated television journalists who came through there," Singleton said. "A lot of them are still in the business in some type of way."

    For Singleton, a Beaufort native who spent 16 years at the station, WJWJ-TV was a job where friends and families could watch him reporting on air or see his production skills at work.

    He worked his way up from production assistant to reporter, then left briefly for a job in Huntsville, Ala., before coming back and climbing the ranks to news director, he said.

    "It was a privilege and an honor to work in my hometown," Singleton said in an e-mail. "I had the opportunity to see and help friends and family. ... I think it was nice for the Beaufort area to see one of its own come back home and do good."

    Singleton stayed at WJWJ until 2008, doing production and some public relations.

    He now is media director for the city of Hardeeville, where he runs the local television network and does other public-relations work.

    "It's a little different, but I'm really enjoying it," said Singleton, who still lives in the Beaufort area.