I have just returned from Sitka, Alaska and the memorial service of a dear friend, colleague and mentor, Steve Will. Steve hired me for my first radio job. In January 1991, fresh out of J-School, I boarded a ferry for Alaska to begin a stint as reporter and later news director at Raven Radio, KCAW-FM in Sitka.
It was the best thing I ever did. Steve was the perfect boss: brilliant, demanding, and above all, fun. He had an amazing ear and a restless intelligence and curiosity that served him well as a journalist and radio producer. Those qualities are captured in this radio piece about his broadcasting career.
The stories we covered together in Sitka were as good as any I’ve covered since, from city council sagas and school board controversies to environmental disputes and dramatic Coast Guard rescues. But Sitka and Raven Radio and Steve Will gave me far more than reporting experience. They taught me the importance of community (huddled together as we were on the edge of an island in Southeast Alaska), and the powerful tug a particular landscape can have on the heart.