Longtime WNDU Executive Producer Tom Cullen says farewell
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - We here at 16 News Now want to bid a fond farewell to a longtime member of our team.
Most of you have probably never heard of Tom Cullen. But Tom has been perhaps the most important person in our newsroom over the past two decades.
Tom came to WNDU 22 years ago, fresh from earning his television journalism degree from Syracuse University. Tom quickly impressed everyone with his writing and organizational skills, keen news judgement and quiet but confident leadership, universally earning the respect of our journalists.
He soon rose to the position of executive producer and had a hand in producing some 6,000 newscasts. He also quarterbacked all our special programming.
For years, the “Big Guy” has been the backbone of our biggest productions: Toys for Tots, Pack-a-Backpack, election nights, congressional debates, presidential visits, Notre Dame bowl games, and his pride and joy, the award-winning Countdown to Kickoff.
A prodigious composer, Tom has orchestrated some of Michiana’s television masterpieces. And for those of us in front of the camera who had your ear, we were blessed to have Tom’s reassuring voice in ours.
As Tom walks out of our newsroom for the last time, we are reminded of how he was usually the first to greet those who walked in for the first time.
Our young journalists all flourished under tom’s firm but compassionate guidance. They became better journalists, and better people, for having learned from him.
And when it was time for them move on, it was rare that Tom wasn’t there for their going away celebration. Now, the time has come or us to celebrate Tom and all he’s done these past two decades.
The “Big Guy” is moving on, leaving us with a big hole in our collective hearts.
And while all of us at WNDU have something positive to say about Tom Cullen, one interview with Reilly Jeffers, the son of the late dean of local sports, Jeff Jeffers, says it all for us in the video below and explains Tom’s devotion to our WNDU family.
From all of us here at WNDU, thank you for everything, Tom! We will miss you, and we wish you nothing but the best in your future endeavors!
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