Longtime Lexington News anchor Sam Dick says that whether he’s dumping trash at the landfill or stopping by a local barbecue, people often stop him to say, “We miss you. “.
Soon they will have the opportunity to see Dick on the air again, but this time he will not be in front of the camera.
Dick, who retired late last year after 34 years of anchoring the evening news at WKYTjoined WEKU, Eastern Kentucky University’s public radio station, as a part-time reporter.
Dick said he was intrigued by the idea of working in public radio and attracted by the freedom to choose which stories to work on, to work from home and to set his own hours. He expects his first story to air at the end of this month.
“I’m excited about it,” Dick said. “I feel like a rookie again.”
“Just don’t cut to stop doing what we do”
While much of his career has focused on political and investigative journalism, Dick said he now plans to work on human interest stories that shine a light on Kentuckians who otherwise don’t. wouldn’t make the headlines.
“I’ve always been a storyteller,” he says.
The arrangement came after Tom Martin, host and producer of WEKU’s “Eastern Standard” programinterviewed Dick about his retirement.
“This idea of retirement, in quotes, really doesn’t make sense to a lot of us,” Martin said. “We just aren’t meant to stop doing what we do. Sam is one of them.
WEKU is expanding its staff, said Mike Savage, station manager and general manager, and Martin pitched the idea of Dick joining WEKU at Dick and Savage.
“Before I knew it, he was hired,” Martin said.
Martin did another interview with Dick announces new position on the radio. It aired Wednesday morning.
Martin said the kind of stories Dick plans to do “will help us convey more of the flavor of our region.”
“It’s just like what we would like to have on the air,” Martin said.
Savage said the station gave Dick carte blanche to select his own story topics, “extending what he did on television to radio audiences”.
“He knows how to do that,” Savage said. “It’s been a long time.”
Dick said he got his start on radio.
“My first experience was at a student-run radio station,” he said at the University of Georgia, where he earned his journalism degree.
He joined WKYT in 1979, then moved to New York and Orlando in the mid-1980s before returning to Lexington and WKYT in 1987.
Dick said he was impressed with the WEKU staff and their work.
“They are aggressive with their journalism and their storytelling,” he said, noting that there are fewer radio stations producing local newscasts now, and they are fulfilling an important role.
WEKU broadcasts on nine FM stations in central and eastern Kentucky, according to its website.
In recent years, Savage said the station has increased the share of its funding that comes from donors as opposed to the university, making it “more balanced.”
“He is a highly respected and renowned journalist”
Dick’s addition, he said, is part of an overall effort for the station to take a more prominent position in central Kentucky.
“He’s a highly respected journalist, hall of famer,” Savage said. “Sam has a lot of fans. People trust him.”
Dick will produce a few feature films a month, “telling off-the-beaten-path stories of Kentucky people,” Savage said. He will be a one-man band, conducting and recording interviews and editing the sound he collects into stories that air on shows such as “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
Outside of his new position, Dick said he and his wife, Noelle, live in Garrard County and enjoy the lakeside life.
“I really fell in love with the lake,” he said, noting that he wanted a job that wouldn’t take away from “the peace and quiet I feel here.”
This story was originally published June 22, 2022 9:00 a.m.