I chatted with DC native, Michael Quander, about his career thus far and his return to the DMV.
Q: Talk about your childhood, where you grew up, etc
I grew up in Northeast DC. The interesting thing is that neither of my parents had an opportunity to go to college, so they fought REALLY hard so my sister and I could go. I ended up at Morgan University. That’s when I started in the media world.
Q: Who inspires you?
Outside of the profession, it’s people like my mom; my grandfather. They’ve shown me that hard work and education is an integral part of success. I share those same values.
Inside the business, someone like Vic Carter comes to mind. When I announced I was leaving WMAR, he bagged up a few of his neck ties and sent them to me. I have some of those neck ties to this day! ::laughs::
Q: What is the most memorable store you’ve covered and why?
At the end of last year, there were wildfires that spread in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. I worked in Memphis, but they sent me to the other side of the state to cover the story. It was tough, but I felt honored that these residents would let me tell their stories. Unfortunately, that meant touring devastated neighborhoods and homes. One positive aspect was seeing how they stuck together.
Q: What is the best part of your job?
The best part is telling people’s stories. I get to wake up everyday and go to a job that I love.
Q: What are you going to miss most about Memphis and WREG?
The people I worked with and the people that I’ve met. Memphis is such a fun city. I didn’t realize how much history is there. It’s a Civil Rights mecca of sorts. Memphis is it’s own character, just like Baltimore. The people are so unique and proud of where they live.
Q: What advice do you have for aspiring journalists?
Do the work. There are going to be people that say ‘NO.’ I’ve had quite a few people tell me that I would never be a reporter, and that I should stick to producing. Press forward and follow your dreams.
Q: I’m..pretty sure I know the answer to this next question, but are you excited about coming home to DC and beginning a new journey on WUSA 9?
OF COURSE! ::laughs:: See, you did know that answer! I’m so excited. I feel the station is heading into a great direction. They’re focused on storytelling, and not just covering the blood and shootings. Those things WILL be covered of course, but going to a station where storytelling is a high priority means a lot to me.
You can see Michael on WUSA 9 in DC starting Monday, March 13th!
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