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Published: Monday, 5/22/2006

Family life led to move to talk radio

With his 40th birthday on the horizon, Kevin Milliken did what a lot of people do when approaching the milestone. He took stock of his career.

He had spent 15 years in television news, working for seven stations in six cities. The balance between his work and family lives was off-kilter, and he wanted to correct it.

"I asked myself the question, 'If I left TV tomorrow, what would I do?' " he said. "I sat down with a pen and paper, and within 10 minutes I had a half-page of ideas."

Milliken quit his job as reporter at WNWO-TV, Channel 24, on March 31.

A month later, he landed at WSPD-AM (1370).

Same media universe, different medium.

"To be healthy, you have to have a sense of adventure in life," said Milliken, who will turn 40 on July 28. "For some people, it's jumping out of airplanes. For me, it's talk radio."

Kevin Milliken: WSPD talk show host spent 15 years in television news. Kevin Milliken: WSPD talk show host spent 15 years in television news.
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He is host of the hourlong Eye on Toledo, which airs at 6 p.m weekdays.

Unlike the other talk shows on WSPD, Milliken intends to keep his opinions to a minimum.

"There will be a very strong journalistic aspect to what I do," said Milliken, who is also behind the mic for the station's afternoon-drive newscasts.

He spent two years at WNWO. He also had a three-year stint at WTOL-TV, Channel 11, that ended in 2000. Between TV jobs, he worked 3 1/2 years as the public information officer for the Lucas County commissioners.

One thing he likes about his radio show is that it doesn't have the time limitations of a TV news report. Now, if he wants to spend 15 minutes on a topic, it's his prerogative.

And that difference was a part of Milliken's answer when he was asked about the perceived pay difference between television and radio.

"The pay is similar," he said, "but there's a little more freedom."

Another big plus for radio, he said, is the more "family-friendly" working hours. At WSPD, he will work 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. most days, "instead of 9 [a.m.] to God-knows-when" as a TV reporter.

"It's not always about money," he said.

REBOUND: Morning-drive radio in the Toledo market made a comeback during Arbitron's winter survey (Jan. 5 to March 29), the results of which arrived at stations earlier this month. Stations combined to average 96,800 listeners during a typical 15-minute interval. In the two previous ratings periods, the combined average was less than 90,000.

SECOND LOOK: Kevin Mullan is working for WUPW-TV, Channel 36, as a freelance reporter. He worked at the station a few years ago before leaving to run his own production company.

WEBCAST: Beginning June 1, WUPW will have four news updates weekdays at 10 a.m., 2 p.m., 6 p.m., and 11 p.m. on its Web site, news director Steve France said. The updates will be one to three minutes. The station will also have updates on the weekend, but the schedule has not been finalized.

TV RATINGS: Nielsen Media Research's May "sweeps" ends Wednesday. The next ratings period is June 29 to July 26.



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