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LON TEGELS
News Director
ltegels@wlio.com

Hello Lima,

I’m now heading into year eight of my duties  at WLIO-TV. When I started, we were called the News Journal.  Don’t ask me why, that’s just what we called when I arrived.  A few years later we re-branded ourselves as “NBC Lima.”    In February of 2009 our owners purchased the Fox, CBS and ABC affiliates here in town.  That meant “NBC Lima” wasn’t going to work anymore. We have now morphed into “Your News Now”, airing on your Hometown Stations. We provide news at 6am,noon 5pm, 6pm, 10pm and 11pm.  If you want to know what is happening in our region from Putnam to Auglaize  Counties not to mention a half dozen surrounding counties, “Your News Now” is the place to turn to.

I’ve has been in broadcast news business for more than 25 years. I joined WLIO TV in April 2003. In addition to my duties as News Director, I’ve also been a reporter, photographer, sports anchor, and assignment manager. I’m a graduate of Iowa State University. A native of Story City, Iowa (near Des Moines) .

Highlights of my career include breaking the "Heaven's Gate" mass suicide story while working in for NBC in San Diego. Remember the group who wanted a better life by chasing the Hailey Bopp Comet? Other highlights include the announcement of the Jacksonville Jaguars as the 30th NFL team while working for WTLV in Jacksonville, FL. I’ve organized local coverage for the Super Bowl, National League Championship Series between the Padres and Braves, and the 1994 Republican National Convention.  In Florida it’s was Hurricane Andrew. And you can't work in television in Iowa without covering the Iowa Caucuses. I’ve covered three.

I’m not really big on awards but appreciate them when they come my way. My staffs have won numerous awards including one for a documentary on Flight 232. You might remember the DC-10 Jet Airliner that crashed at the Sioux City Gateway Airport in July of 1989. It's the one where you've seen the clips of the tumbling jet on fire. AFTER the crash 189 of the 285 passengers walked away to survive. Locally we’ve done well here in Lima including Best News and Weather Operations from the Associated Press.

My life has been a working vacation. I’ve worked in TV stations across the country. From Boise, Idaho to Ft Myers., Florida. From Hartford, Connecticut to Evansville, Indiana and Sioux City and Des Moines Iowa. I’ve worked every position in the newsroom. I’ve also spent some time in the restrooms doing amateur plumbing.

When I came to Lima I thought life was going to slow down. It didn’t. My first week here it was announced that the President was coming to visit the tank plant. So much for breaking into a new job slowly. In addition to the tank plant, President Bush came back to Lima in 2004. It maybe was the most challenging  of his visits. President Bush visited Lima Senior High and a thunderstorm swept through the area making it difficult for him to leave Lima.

There have been other big stories in Lima including the tragic deaths of the Bluffton Baseball team, flooding in Putnam and Hancock Counties  and of course the terrible night in Lima when a woman was shot to death during a drug raid.  Of course there are better times like moving our newscasts to the Allen County Fair, Square Fair and for a while the Futures Women’s Golf Tournament at Lost Creek. There are also the responsible times of bringing information to area viewers with trips to Washington DC to cover our delegation while our tank plant faced closure. We also have provided live coverage to numerous political debates. Our most recent project is a half hour special on Lima Central Catholic’s state championship title.

I’ve lived in 17 cities during my career.  All had good things, and some had bad things about them.  But because of the people of Lima…I call this home.  Thanks for watching.  Have an idea for a story…

e-mail me at ltegels@wlio.com.

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