You have heard their voices on radio and seen their faces on TV. Now The Blade goes behind the scenes to introduce you to your favorite media personalities. Stay Tuned appears the third Monday of every month.
First job: My first true paying gig was as a trumpet player in the orchestra for an outdoor drama at Bob Evans Farms. It was the summer of 1978 and the performances were only on the weekend. I was a sophomore in high school.
First salary: That job paid $500 for the entire summer. I thought I was rolling in money! My first broadcasting job wasn't much better: $7,500/year in radio.
My idol is: I'm a major American history buff, particularly presidential history. Abraham Lincoln would be hard to beat as a role model.
Most embarrassing TV moment: Where to start? Some of them probably happened this morning. I do remember shooting a story years ago, hauling the camera around, doing interviews, and jumping on and off a huge truck that was being loaded with goods for a relief effort. When I hopped back in the car I realized that the entire seat of my pants was ripped out.
Highlight of my career: It's interesting. I've interviewed presidents and celebrities, covered 30 years of elections, and appeared in TV markets around the country and on national television. But the highlights I'm most proud of are riding to Washington with Honor Flight or rappeling down the side of a cliff in West Virginia. We're very privileged in this business to very regularly do things that are completely out of the ordinary.
My favorite thing to do outside of work: Lots of family time, of course, but I also love hiking, cycling, and anything outdoors.
I think Toledo's best-kept secret is: Something I've been absolutely stunned by is the incredible musical talent here. From the Saturday nightspots to local churches to the Toledo Symphony — the level of talent is beyond belief.
People may be surprised to know that I: am a major-league NASCAR fan. Go Mark Martin!
In five years, I see myself: Using whatever skills I have to make a profound impact on the lives of others. It's truly what we try to do everyday, but it goes beyond the day job. I want to continue to expand any kind of help I can give to those organizations across northwest Ohio that are meeting the needs of others.
My dream job is: Excluding the one I have, of course? I could see myself as an archeologist, preservationist, conservationist … so many interests, so little time.
Contact Kirk Baird at kbaird@ theblade.comor 419-724-6734.