Mike McCormick

Mike-McCormickDevotion to “The News” was the thread that ran through his 31-year television broadcasting management career. He served at KPLR-TV, St. Louis, from 1962-70, and as Vice President and General Manager oversaw the station’s transition from black and white to color delivery and established its first news operation. He served as Vice President and General Manager at WOR-TV, New York, from 1970-72 and established that station’s first full time news operation and instituted its first editorial process. His 15-year tenure at Journal Communications in Milwaukee began in 1972 as Vice President and General Manager of WTMJ-TV and it ended with his retirement in 1987, after his twelfth year as President of WTMJ, Inc., and Senior Vice President of Journal Communications. His legacy includes co-author of the first formal code of ethics for Journal Communications, leader of the WTMJ-TV editorial board and its editor for editorials, and establishment of a full time news operation and editorial process at the company’s Las Vegas television station. During his career, he served as a Director on the NBC Television Affiliates Board and on the National Association of Broadcasters Television Board.

Mike McCormick passed away on January 1, 2012.

One Comment

  1. Louis J Napoleon

    Michael McCormick was Vice President, WTMJ-TV, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, when I met him; later, he would become the station president. I had been out of the state prison ninety-five days, yet he saw something in me I did not. That was 1973.

    A WTMJ-TV reporter visited Wisconsin’s only Black advertising agency at the time, where I worked as an intern through the prison work release program. The agency owner said a few kind words about my work performance, and the reporter did a story on my transition from prison to the community for the evening news. Afterwards, he encouraged me to apply for a position with WTMJ-TV, which I did.

    I had taken a 2-year correspondence course in prison on TV, radio, and newspaper copywriting. My peers at the time laughed, giving me a bit of good-natured ribbing. “Man, you know you wastin’ your time with that course. Ain’t nobody gon’ hire you. You a convict for life!”

    ​Rest in peace, Mike. I thank God you did not feel that way. Not only did Mike hire me, take a personal interest in me, move me out of a high-crime area into my first apartment, he called the company credit union and had them waive the one-year loan policy so I could get a car! We lunched together regularly. He counseled me on life and career and, for 39 years, until he passed in 2012, we remained friends. When he was inducted into the Wisconsin Broadcasters Hall of Fame, I flew back to Milwaukee to congratulate him and thank him for a priceless friendship.

    From Mike, I learned that my past did not determine my future. My life philosophy now: Failure is not an option, which is a theme incorporated into the core of all the reentry resources I create, and the courses I teach on pre-and post-prison survival, job development and career advancement. He was my new beginning. Now, I help create new beginnings!

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