Susi Elkins

TV Station Manager

Susi Elkins is station manager for WKAR Television, the PBS affiliate serving mid-Michigan with children's progamming, news, art, drama and how-to; and local productions BackStage Pass, Off the Record and QuizBusters.

Susi may also be the most recognized face on WKAR, seen on the air each day making connections between WKAR programs and the mid-Michigan community.  "I LOVE getting out and being right in the heart of what makes our community so amazing," she says. Susi is involved in such community boards as the East Lansing Art Festival and has received Emmy and Michigan Association of Broadcasters awards for work on WKAR productions.

Susi Elkins came to WKAR as a student in 1992, and after a stint in Chicago, returned in 1995. She has been a multimedia producer, television producer, content and engagement manager, and presently oversees WKAR-TV as station manager.

Ways To Connect

Rain in performance
Cylia von Tedermann

Every so often, Cathy Zell, our Development Director, arrives and shares the news that we have a special ticket offer, courtesy of our friends at Wharton Center with whom we have a terrific partnership.

This week, we have a special offer. The first is tickets to the performance of Rain at Wharton Center.  This well-known group performs Beatles songs with the costumes, make up and spot-on voices of the Fab Four.

w.r. richards/WKAR

BackStage Pass premieres on January 20, at a new time! Look for us every Sunday at 7 p.m., with encore broadcasts at 8 p.m. the following Saturday on WKAR World and at 11 p.m. that Saturday on WKAR.

Amber Taylor

Last night WKAR hosted another fantastic Community Cinema event featuring the Independent Lens film "Soul Food Junkies."  I'd like to thank everyone who came out and participated in a fun and interesting discussion around food and culture.

I'd particularly  like to thank our panel of guests: Andrea Collier, Lorraine Weatherspoon and Laura DeLind.  They each brought an interesting perspective, including history, health and community.

We had a terrific time meeting so many Downton Abbey fans last night at Studio C! theatre when we previewed the first hour of the new season. It was great fun to meet old friends and new and have such a grand turnout that we had to add a third show!

I want to toss an extra kudo or two to the folks at Studio C. They had to do some rearranging of their schedule to fit in the third screening. We were grateful and so, too, were those who were unable to get a seat when the first two screenings were sold out.

While life in other places of business might slow down between the holidays, here at WKAR we are busier than ever processing year-end gifts to WKAR. I have to tip my hat to our membership team and say thank you to all of you who are keeping them so busy!

Jeanie Croope/WKAR

I don't know about you but at this time of year it seems as though our senses are stretched in every direction. Beautiful trees and cheerfully wrapped gifts share the stage with crowds at the mall and the frenzy of writing cards or standing in post office lines.

Sometimes it is easy to forget that the holidays are really the time to hold our loved ones close and share moments with them that will be remembered long after the toys under the tree have been left behind.

Susi's Station Notes: Home for the Holidays!

Dec 14, 2012

I was taking a look at our Stay Tuned program guide and was excited to see some of the specials we have, beginning with a back-to-back Beatles evening tonight (Friday). This Great Performances double-feature looks at the Beatles' film "Magical Mystery Tour" and then offers the film itself. 

w.r. richards / WKAR-MSU

Our annual December pledge campaign wraps up on December 10 and I just wanted to take a minute to thank those of you who have contacted us already with your renewal, new pledge or additional gift. Your dollars really do make a difference to what you see on WKAR-TV and how we can serve you. Thank you so much.

Jeanie Croope/WKAR

About a week ago I had the chance to step into Linda Hundt's kitchen at Sweetie-licious Bakery Cafe. While we taped a wonderful cooking special that premieres Saturday, December 1, at 10 a.m., I also soaked up everything I could about making a perfect pie crust, pie, gingerbread men and a coffee cake to die for!

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday. I know that as I was giving thanks for my family and all the other things that matter in my life, I couldn't help but thinking of WKAR and the many thanks due from us to you.

Thank you for your gifts of support that allow us to bring you the best public broadcasting programming available into your home each and every day of the year.

Thanks to our volunteers who tirelessly answer phones and help us in so many ways.

If you aren't already excited about the holidays, I'm certain this weekend will get you in the mood.

On Friday, we'll be broadcasting the Silver Bells in the City parade live on WKAR-TV. Michael Patrick Shiels, Mark Buzzitta and our own Melissa Nay will host. We'll have it all, from the first float to the last firework! That starts at 6 p.m., so if you are home, tune in and if you're at the parade, be sure to give a wave to the cameras.

It may seem early to talk about the holidays but here at WKAR, we get a head start on everything! So, this week I'm headed on location to record some video billboards promoting WKAR's involvement in the annual Silver Bells in the City Electric Light Parade. I'll be announcing along with Mark Buzzita and Michael Patrick Shields and we'll be airing the parade live on November 16 from 6-8 p.m.

Lights
Jeanie Croope

This past week I’ve been at the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA) meeting in St. Louis with several of my colleagues. We have had an inspiring week of workshops combined with thought provoking talks from PBS’ president Paula Kerger, Corporation for Public Broadcasting president Patricia Harrison and others.

Events like this fill us with inspiration as we learn from our colleagues in public broadcasting and share some of our own successes.

Susi Elkins
w.r. richards/WKAR

Every month I meet with our programming team and look ahead to some of the new programs or initiatives coming up for WKAR-TV. I thought you might enjoy hearing a few things on our radar.

WKAR is doing so many things this month, it is hard to keep up! One I am particularly excited about is the second in our series of Community Cinema screenings and follow-up community discussions.

A moment from the 2011 Teddy Bear Picnic
MSU

When I hear the words "Teddy Bear Picnic" I think of the delightful children's song. But the Teddy Bear Picnic that I'm most looking forward to isn't "in the woods at night," but right here at MSU during the middle of the day.

Did you know that this week WKAR's Public Media Facebook page is hovering at nearly 2,000 friends who "like" the page? This is by far our page with the most "likes," but it certainly isn't our only one!

You may have noticed WKAR is busier than ever, with frequent screenings, like last night's Call the Midwife. Thanks to all who came — we hope you enjoyed the show!  Our “Evening at WKAR” events have been a huge hit, so I am especially excited to announce our newest initiative, kicking off next week.

Some things make my job even more fun than it already is. WKAR's taping of our QuizBusters Special Edition on Tuesday, September 11, was one of them.

We had 16 special guests — all well known in the community — playing our popular QuizBusters game. They were lively, fun and smart – and they all seemed to be having a great time. It was fun to see all the Facebook chatter after the show.

WKAR-TV is proud of its PBS national schedule, which offers you the best in drama, documentary and news. But we are equally proud (maybe a little more so) of the terrific work done right here at WKAR, including BackStage Pass, Off the Record and QuizBusters.

You may have noticed that WKAR's fundraising campaign began on Thursday. We're trying something new this year. Instead of having our regular 16-day campaigns four times a year, we are hoping to have those events go only eleven days.

You might say, "Don't you need the money?" and the answer is "Yes! We do!" Our goal is to do a better job of reaching out to more WKAR viewers with the opportunity to become WKAR supporters -- making WKAR and public broadcasting stronger in our community.

It's hard to believe we are into August and the summer days are counting down.  I guess it’s true that time flies when you’re having fun – and we’ve definitely been having fun at all the summer festivals!

It's been another busy week for us, both in the studio and out! On Thursday we recorded the only debate that U.S. Senate candidates Pete Hoekstra, Clark Durant and Randall Heckman will hold before the primary. This Off the Record Special was moderated by Tim Skubick and with the no-rules format, it made for some lively conversation.

Every day I am more and more impressed with the incredible talents of people who live right here in our mid-Michigan community.

Earlier this week, WKAR welcomed Molly Fillmore as our guest for an "Evening at WKAR." Two years ago, Molly appeared on BackStage Pass with some of her colleagues from the voice faculty at MSU's College of Music. Little did we realize back then that we were working with a woman who would appear on one of the great stages of the world — the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.

On July 1, WKAR celebrated its first anniversary as part of the College of Communication Arts & Sciences at MSU.  During a staff meeting this week, Dean Pamela Whitten and Gary Reid, WKAR's general manager, congratulated the staff on an amazing year of hard work and major accomplishments.  As they gave us a snapshot of how far we’ve come in just twelve months, it struck me that each point of pride was in direct relation to how much we have opened ourselves up to our community.

I have two kids – they’re 8 and 11, and like every kid, they want to watch TV. You’d think, given that both my husband and I have spent our careers in television, that this would be fine with us, but that’s not always the case.

Poster
Samantha Novak / WKAR

This is a busy week for WKAR-TV! On Thursday, I went over with some of our staff to check in on the set-up for BackStage Pass at East Lansing’s Hannah Community Center.  I’m really proud of our team for all the work they’re doing to stage the show in this new venue.

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