Susi Elkins

Interim Director of Broadcasting and General Manager

Susi Elkins is interim director of Broadcasting and general manager of WKAR Public Media at Michigan State University. WKAR Public Media provides mid-Michigan and the global community with award-winning original programming and the best from PBS and NPR via television channels WKAR-HD, WKAR World and WKAR Create; radio broadcasts at 90.5 FM and FM-HD, AM 870 and WKAR Radio Reading Service; and online at wkar.org and video.wkar.org.

Elkins was named to the position in May of 2016, after serving as WKAR television station manager for more than four years.

As WKAR television station manager, Elkins has overseen all programming, including original content production and partnerships for the station’s three broadcast channels and digital platforms.

Under her leadership, WKAR-TV has been named the Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) Public Television Station of the Year for five consecutive years (2011-2015), and has earned numerous regional Emmy Awards and top awards from the MAB and the National Educational Telecommunication Association, among others.

Prior to her appointment as TV station manager, Elkins served as Content and Community Engagement manager for WKAR, where she oversaw the convergence of media and programming in TV and Radio and the ongoing growth of original content across platforms. Under her direction, WKAR increased capacity for providing experiential learning opportunities for MSU students, offering one of the highest number of student paid positions available on campus. Elkins also increased WKAR’s commitment to early childhood education and solidified its reputation as a community institution through strategic partnerships and collaborations.

Elkins holds a bachelor's degree in telecommunication and a master's degree in educational technology, both from MSU.

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.

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