Turning Back the Dial: Marilee Morrow

We sit down with Marilee Morrow as she remembers her time at WTAP.
Published: Aug. 11, 2023 at 6:13 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - This is Marilee Morrow. She is a native of western Pennsylvania who came to Ohio in 1987 to obtain her undergrad at Ohio university. Knowing that she wanted to be a news anchor.

“I started working for Ohio University’s affiliate for National Public Radio, and I fell in love with talk radio, and so, long story short, ended up in Cincinnati working in talk radio. So I did the talk radio thing for a little while, we moved back to this area, moved to Marietta and Roger Sheppard,—who was the News Director at the time — had heard I worked in talk radio and so he started bugging me to work for Daybreak because he wanted me to bring a talk radio feel to Daybreak, and he suckered me into it because I love talk radio and all the writing and producing was... The whole idea of doing that was really interesting to me, and it ended up being really fun, and I loved it while I did it. So that’s how I started working at WTAP.”

During her time at WTAP, Marilee was a woman of many hats, as she took on many positions of responsibility in the newsroom.

“So I produced Daybreak for around three years, and I was the first female employee in The Newsroom to have a baby. So after that for about another year I produced Daybreak and then I was the senior producer here for a while before I stopped working full time.”

Looking back on her time at WTAP, Morrow reflects on the importance of all the people that surrounded her.

“Oh gosh, at the time we had a person for every position and so there were a lot of people here in the morning with Daybreak, and so we were a family. Everybody got along just great, and it was a lot of fun, you know? They were wonderful too, and really wanted everybody to work together well to produce as good as news shows as we could.”

Having made the Mid-Ohio Valley her chosen home, Morrow touches on what working in the news in the Mid-Ohio Valley means to her.

“Well, we’re a small region. And you know, like most people you leave the region and you realize how small we are, and that makes information even more important, and accurate information even more important, because it’s very easy for small areas in the world to get lost and not get accurate information.”

Through her work at WTAP, Morrow made her way to Marietta College, through which she can do all of the things that she loves.

“I’d been doing some freelancing and I produced a documentary for WTAP. There was a terrible storm in the late 1990s and you know, a number of people died in this storm, so the newsroom folks did not have time to produce this. So I was asked to take on this project and ended up winning for the station in an Associated Press Best Documentary. So then one of my neighbors who worked at Marietta College heard that we’d won this award and asked me to teach a documentary production class at Marietta College, and that’s how I got started teaching there. And they just kept asking me to teach and take on different things, and however many years ago I finished my graduate work, I got tenure, full professor, all that fun stuff. And I’ve been there for quite a long time and I get to do...All these things that I love, we have a TV station, 2 radio stations, and a student newspaper. So I get to, you know, play TV, play, radio, play, newspaper. I have a lot of fun.”

After looking back, Morrow says that her main take away from her time at WTAP is finding out what she loves within the field that she has dedicated her heart... and her life to.

“I really like working in the background. I enjoy writing and producing extensively. I, of course, over the years have served in freelance capacity here doing, you know, Money Matters, Health Matters, Moms Everyday for a whole bunch of years, but really, my love is the writing and producing that goes on behind all of that stuff. Well, obviously I would not be in higher education if I did not have my experience at WTAP that applied practical experience in the development of my skills. I would have never been able to do what I do now without that, and of course there’s a lot of learning. That goes into any new job and it just helped me get even better at all these things that I like doing. I have a lot of fun.”

L.V. Hissem for WTAP News. This Is Home.