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Jim Barrett

I have been an early riser most of my radio career, starting with a now-defunct radio station in Cincinnati in 1974, continuing  today here at News Talk Radio WHIO. My day begins early in the morning as I work with the staff on Miami Valley’s Morning News (5 to 9am) to produce the most informative four hours of local, state, national and international news Monday through Friday.

Putting up with those crazy early morning hours is my loving wife and best friend, Eileen, who is a librarian.  

I worked at another station in Dayton starting in 1978 and was hired at WHIO Radio in October, 1985, ditching plans to take a new job offered by a radio station in St. Louis, Missouri. I have worked as a traffic reporter, a police and crime beat reporter and general assignment reporter in Dayton. I loved all of those beats because it allowed me to interact with the news makers.   

I received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mass Communication at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio where I later returned to teach Broadcast News Writing (part time) for ten years. My career has allowed me to interview childhood heroes (John Glenn), Presidents (George H.W Bush) and research pioneers like Wright State University’s Dr Jerrold Petrofsky  and University of Dayton researcher Dr Mickey McCabe. My favorite interview subjects are average citizens describing news events that happened to them. People love to tell you their story! 

Q & A  
Where were you born?  
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 

Where did you grow up?  
Pittsburgh and Middletown, Ohio…Dad worked for Armco (AK) Steel.

What was your favorite TV show then?  
Hogan’s Heroes

What was the first thing you ever wanted to be?  
A radio personality (true story).

How might someone have described you in high school?
B-grade student, Track team member, Thespian.

What was your first job?  
Assistant Custodial Engineer at my grade school  (minimum wage).

What was your first job in radio?
Paid by Junior Achievement company on WPFB, Middletown (circa 1968). 

What do you like about your job?
 I love writing and reading stories that listeners need to know. 

What do you not like about your job?
Sometimes when it rains, it pours. Too much news, not enough fingers to type it 

What might people be surprised to know about you?  
I ride bicycles with my wife, sometimes 50 miles. 

What is the hardest thing you ever did?
Covering tragic news in person like fires, plane crashes, etc. Contrary to popular belief, I don’t root for bad news to happen. 

What would be a perfect day for you?
Doing anything with my wife, Eileen and our sons Brandon and Bill. 

What advice would you have for someone wanting to go into the business?  
Learn every aspect of Journalism  that  you can ---writing, photography, performing “on-air”, especially adlibbing. 

If you could only keep one 5-minute tape from your career what would be on it?
Interviews I did with victims of the 9-11 tragedy in New York City

Favorite book:
 The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson   A book set in Chicago in 1893
Favorite radio program:  Miami Valley’s Morning News. (Some great anchors on that show…)
Favorite dream car:  Any vehicle that runs without fail…and is paid for !
Favorite food:  Cavatelli – Ricotta Base at Giovanni’s Pizzeria é Ristorante Italiano in Fairborn ($ 9.75) 
Favorite hobby: Hiking/Camping
Favorite Miami Valley place: Any spot along any of the bike paths in the valley !
Favorite movie:  Planes, Trains and Automobiles (most movies by the late John Candy)
Favorite music:  Classical, Country and Rock in that order. 
Favorite travel destination:  Kittyhawk, NC  (beach and history all rolled into one!)  

Latest from Jim Barrett

Sirens Not Related To Stormy Weather

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio--A routine testing of tornado sirens scheduled for this morning was cancelled by the National Weather Service. Clark Counjty Emergency Management Agency director Lisa D’Allessandris says some local agencies might have moved forward with their testing, pointing out local tornado sirens are located in New Carlisle and German Twp. Officials stress if any systems were sounded, ...


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