From Kent State to Fox 8: How TV2 helped Wayne Dawson land his first job as a broadcast journalist

Julia Kerchenski

Wayne Dawson scored his first job at Fox 8 News with the help of his TV2 recordings upon graduation from Kent State’s Journalism and Mass Communication (JMC) program in 1979. Thirty-five years later, Dawson is still at Fox 8 as the morning news anchor. 

In his four years at Kent State, Dawson spent his time working for TV2, Portage County’s only student-run, local television station. 

“KSU prepared me totally,” Dawson said. “It taught me how to write; it gave me reporting skills; it gave me everything I needed to get a job.”

JMC is honoring Dawson with the William D. Taylor Journalism Alumnus of the Year Award on Friday, Oct. 17 in the First Energy Auditorium in Franklin Hall at 4:30 p.m.

JMC Director Thor Wasbotten chooses the winner every year and said Dawson was an obvious choice for the award.

“(Dawson) has represented himself, JMC, Fox 8 and our community very well,” said Wasbotten.

Dawson majored in journalism, concentrating in broadcast, with the hopes of becoming a sports journalist. Originally, Dawson said he applied to write for The Daily Kent Stater, but upon discovering there were no openings at the paper, he found his place at TV2. He then started out as a sports anchor, ending his TV2 career as a news director. 

Graduating in December 1979, Dawson immediately submitted his recording to Fox 8 News. 

“I came up to Channel 8 with a Kent State University TV2 tape and got hired right out of college,” said Dawson. 

He was on the air with Fox 8 that January. Currently, Dawson is anchoring the morning news alongside Kristi Capel.

“[Dawson] teaches me something new every day,” said Capel. “The fact that I sit next to Wayne Dawson is an honor.”

Dawson credits Kent State for preparing him for his long career in broadcast journalism. He will revisit his alma mater this Friday to accept his award and to discuss his career with students.

Contact Julia at [email protected].