Doug Drew Headshot

Career in International News Consulting Started at WOUB

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Doug Drew graduated from Ohio University in 1978

ATHENS, OH – Doug Drew has had a wide-ranging broadcast television career which included time as an on-air reporter, a behind-the-scenes producer and a news consultant. But he says none of it would have been possible without the head start he got by working as a student at WOUB Public Media.

Old photo of press conference
Drew covering tower collapse in 1978 for WOUB

“WOUB is a real working newsroom,” said Drew. “I got so much experience covering news in the region. The biggest story I covered was in April of 1978. The news director and I drove to Parkersburg, West Virginia where a cooling tower at the Willow Island Power Plant had collapsed, and 51 workers were killed. All the news networks were there. It was a gigantic story, and it completely prepared me for going into my first job and every other job after it. I knew what to do because I had already done it. If I hadn’t had that WOUB experience, I have no idea what my career would have been.”

Drew grew up in Cincinnati and started at Ohio University in the mid-1970s. Drew fell in love with Athens and was excited to get involved at WOUB. He came to campus thinking he wanted to be a sports broadcaster.

“I remember when I came to the WOUB orientation meeting for new volunteers, we were in one of the large broadcast studios. There were about 50 people there. And the person running the meeting told those interested in sports to go to one side of the studio and those interested in news to go to the other. Three quarters of the people went over to sports, and right there I realized that the best opportunities for me were in news. It was a turning point in my life and the best decision I may have ever made for my career.”

Drew on Newswatch set
Doug Drew (center) on Newswatch

Drew volunteered at WOUB doing both production and on-air work. He enjoyed learning how to do lighting and operating the audio board in the studio, while he also liked calling on stories and ripping state and national news from the newsroom wire services. He eventually worked his way up to a paid student position in the newsroom and anchored NewsWatch.

“Once I got to Ohio University, everything fell into place,” said Drew. “I was working at WOUB and had more fun than I ever had in my life. I was great friends with all of the students who worked there. We stuck together inside the station and out and still do to this day. One of the great wonderful moments of my life was being part of that WOUB experience.”

“One time Mike Wallace from 60 Minutes was on campus for a speaker series, and I interviewed him after he was done speaking. When we got back to the newsroom the news director checked the audio on our recording, and there was no audio. The news director told me to go back and reinterview Mike Wallace, who was one of the most feared men in broadcasting. I was so afraid to ask, but Mike Wallace was so nice and allowed me to interview him again. I look back at that now and know how important it was to be pushed like that by the news director at WOUB. It was so valuable.”

After graduation, Drew got his first job as a TV reporter in Flagstaff, Arizona.

“I was well prepared, thanks to WOUB and Ohio University,” said Drew. “Even though it was my first job, it felt like my second. WOUB was my first job.”

Over time, Drew was promoted to news director at the station. But he eventually decided to move on. Drew left for a news producer position in Tucson, where he learned that he wanted to stay on the management side of television news. He worked as a producer, executive producer and assistant news director at several other television stations before becoming a news consultant.

“I’m still consulting to this day,” said Drew. “I have had the opportunity to work with stations all over the world. I even worked with a Turkish news channel in Istanbul.”

Drew has his own consulting firm, Douglas Drew Media, and he’s now based in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“I’ve had a lot of amazing opportunities,” said Drew. “And I credit WOUB for helping skyrocket my career.”