Former WOUB Student Steve Kurrent retires after 32 years as a producer/director at WEWS in Cleveland

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Kurrent graduated from Ohio University in 1983

ATHENS, OH – Steve Kurrent won 24 regional Emmy awards in his nearly 40-year career as a television director. He says without Ohio University and WOUB, none of it would have been possible.

“I grew up in Euclid, Ohio near Cleveland,” said Kurrent. “And I always wanted to work in TV. When I graduated high school, I knew I had to go to Ohio University because it had one of the top media programs in the state.”

Once Kurrent got to Athens, he immediately felt at home. He started working at WOUB his freshman year.

“I had a work study job in the media distribution center at WOUB and got to know some of the professional staff,” said Kurrent. “That helped me be able to start working at WOUB TV a little earlier in my freshman year than many others.”

Kurrent started working with studio lighting and then eventually worked his way up taking advantage of every opportunity that WOUB offered.

Steve Kurrent directing NewsWatch in the 1980s
Steve Kurrent working at WOUB in the early 1980s

“I worked on NewsWatch. I did one episode of Ramblin’,” said Kurrent. “I technical directed and directed. I did everything behind the scenes that I could.”

As a radio and television major, Kurrent liked that he could take what he was learning in class and apply it to real-world, professional work.

“WOUB and Ohio University offers this tremendous opportunity to get actual hands-on experience as a student, and I learned so much from that.”

On February 14, 1983, Kurrent got to be part of Ohio University Bobcat Men’s Basketball history as a student worker at WOUB.

“DePaul was coming to Athens to play Ohio University at the Convocation Center. And WGN called WOUB because they needed a crew to broadcast the game nationally. So, of course, I jumped at that opportunity. But I don’t think the WGN director realized he was going to be working with students until he got here. He was a little nervous,” said Kurrent laughing. “I ran handheld camera under the basket. And it ended up being an amazing game. The Bobcats won in double overtime and we, the WOUB student crew, pulled it off!”

The final score of the game was 63 to 62 and the game was dubbed the “Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre in the Convo.”

“The WOUB student crew did a great job. It’s such a testament to the training that you get from WOUB.”

Kurrent ended up graduating in August of that same year, a little earlier than expected.

“I got out a year early all because I worked at WOUB over summer and winter breaks and took classes at the same time,” said Kurrent. “It was great.”

Kurrent was immediately hired as a floor director at WBNS TV in Columbus thanks to a connection from WOUB.

“I was working at WOUB for summer break and a former student who was working in Columbus called WOUB,” said Kurrent. “He told us he was leaving his current position at WBNS to go to Boston, and that I should apply for the open floor director position. So, I did just that, and got the job. That Bobcat/WOUB network is so important.”

During his five years in Columbus, Kurrent was promoted to a director. He then moved on to take a newscast director position in St. Louis, before coming home in 1989 for a weekend newscast director position at WEWS in Cleveland. He spent the next 32 years there eventually moving into a producer/director role.

“I retired this past January,” said Kurrent. “I got some great opportunities there. I was lucky to be able to come home and do what I loved.”