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Emmy-Winning Video Editor Credits WOUB with Success

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Mark West volunteered at WOUB in the Mid-1970s

ATHENS, OH – During Mark West’s vast career as an editor in broadcast television, he experienced working for places like NBC, Merv Griffin Entertainment, BET Television and 20th Century Fox Television. But West says his time at WOUB Public Media is the experience he treasures the most since it established a crucial foundation for his career.

“WOUB was everything to me. I knew nothing,” said West. “WOUB taught me the basics which was so important for me to be able to continue learning throughout my career.”

West grew up in Columbus and started working at WOUB after coming to Ohio University in 1974.

“I met someone who had worked at WOUB as a student, Tom Edwards. He encouraged me to go to Ohio University and get involved with WOUB,” said West. “I visited Athens while in high school, and I fell in love with the campus.”

West started as a dual major, studying communications and music. But it wasn’t long until he realized that he wanted to focus on communications and dedicate more time to WOUB.

“I started at WOUB doing audio for Newswatch. I adjusted audio levels and played audio carts during the show,” said West. “I decided I wanted to branch out and started learning all the other production positions. I did camera training, duty directing, graphics, and I was even an announcer during break staff. It made me more versatile.”

West also worked on a program at WOUB called Reflections on Rails. The program was about the history of trains and was shot on film. West worked on the audio for the program adding layers of effects to the audio track.

“Even though the program was shot on film, it was edited on videotape. I watched the editing process. I was fascinated with it all.”

West graduated in December of 1977. He worked to get his coursework done early, so he could take a job working on the Chicago White Sox baseball television production at WGN. But, after graduating, the job fell through.

“Shortly after graduation, WGN called me one morning to say I officially had the job,” said West. “I was really excited. But then they called back that same afternoon and told me the White Sox cancelled the production contract, and I no longer had a position.”

This put West out in the job market. He scheduled an interview at WEWS in Cleveland on January 25, 1978. But, the historic blizzard that dropped feet of snow across Ohio prevented the interview from moving forward.

“WEWS called and cancelled the interview that morning,” said West. “However, that same afternoon, WBNS in Columbus called me and said ‘If you can get in here by 4 p.m., you’ve got a job.’ So, I did! My life has been a phone call in the morning, a phone call in the afternoon.”

West went on to work at a television production house in Pittsburgh, where he moved from being an audio producer to a position as a video editor.

In 1981, West went on vacation in Hollywood, California. A friend told him to go and meet a connection at NBC while he was there. After the meeting, the NBC executive offered West a job. West gave two weeks’ notice in Pittsburgh and started his career in Hollywood.

“After working for NBC, I worked for a company called Complete Post and did the Kennedy Center Honors for eight years,” said West. “Then I became a freelance editor and did work in music productions, comedy productions and situation comedies.”

“One of my favorite musical productions was Neil Diamond’s Hello Again in 1985,” said West. “We had so much fun and he was such a nice guy. In comedy, I worked on a program called Not Necessarily the News on HBO for seven years. It was a place where the editor was king. For the first time, I could say ‘Look Mom, no hands!’ It was a place where the editing was the centerpiece of the joke. It was so rewarding.”

West retired in 2017 and now lives in Las Vegas.

“I loved my career. It was so much fun,” said West. “And it all started at WOUB.”