Alumni and Friends

Thomas Garverick’s career changed course, but he was prepared thanks to OHIO and WOUB

Thomas Garverick came to Ohio University with plans of working in sports broadcasting. However, the COVID-19 pandemic changed all of that, and Garverick says he wouldn’t have been prepared to follow a new path without WOUB Public Media.

“In March of 2020, everything changed for me,” said Garverick. “My senior year was cut short. I was on my way to cover the Ohio University men’s basketball team in the MAC Tournament in Cleveland and found out that it was cancelled. Then everything was shut down, and we all went home.”

Garverick went back home to Columbus and did what he could to work from home for WOUB. He utilized all the skills he had learned over his time working at the station.

“I got involved at WOUB as a freshman and did everything I could in sports. I worked on Gridiron Glory, Hardwood Heroes and anchored sports for NewsWatch,” said Garverick. “I knew if you wanted to make an impact at WOUB you had to go all in, so I also took news opportunities when they came along. There was one time when we did not have a news anchor for NewsWatch, and I had to anchor news and sports for the entire show. Because of experiences like that, I understood what it looked like to cover news and realized that sports reporting translated to news. Thankfully WOUB gave me the foundation of news reporting.”

Garverick served as the sports director at WOUB during his junior and senior year, and with sporting events cancelled due to the pandemic, Garverick helped where he could covering news. 

“WOUB gives you the chance to do everything and that became really important when I started looking for jobs.”

After graduation, Garverick realized that due to the pandemic things in the media industry had changed and sports jobs might not be available for a while. So, he started applying for news jobs and accepted a position in Decatur, Illinois as a weekend morning news anchor and morning news reporter. 

“It was scary going into news,” said Garverick. “But because of WOUB, I had some experience.”

Garverick was in that role for almost two years, before he decided to try something different.

“I wanted to take a break and explore other things,” said Garverick. “I was still really passionate about TV, but with personal life desires, I wanted to explore. I worked for a couple non-profits as communications and marketing director, and I also worked at Farmers Insurance as a district recruiter.”

But Garverick couldn’t get rid of the TV bug and started to look for jobs in television again.

“I saw that there was an evening news anchor position open in Peoria, Illinois, and I put my name in the hat,” said Garverick. “I was offered the job the week of Thanksgiving 2023 at WMBD/WYZZ. It has been such a blessing.”

One of the things Garverick enjoys most about the new role is the opportunity to mentor young journalists. It’s something that he pays forward because of his time at WOUB. 

“I would be remiss if I didn’t say how much WOUB means to me and my career. I was mentored and learned how to mentor others. WOUB really blessed me with some amazing opportunities. As sports director at WOUB, I learned how to be a leader. I learned how to manage and run a sports department,” said Garverick. “WOUB gave me the foundation to blossom as a leader. Getting all those opportunities in sports gave me the foundation to go out and do news. I was able to think on the fly. I’m forever in debt to WOUB. WOUB helped me skip all the rustiness of that first TV job. It was nice to have all those reps and be comfortable in front of the camera. It allowed me to hit the ground running.”

About WOUB Public Media

As a member station of both NPR and PBS, WOUB Public Media is a trusted source of news, local content and educational resources that have proven to be worthy of the time, effort and support of our users. WOUB, an experiential-learning unit of the Scripps College of Communication at Ohio University, is a non-profit, community-supported multimedia organization which provides online and broadcast services, along with non-broadcast educational services and student professional development. WOUB serves 55 counties throughout southeastern Ohio, western West Virginia and eastern Kentucky with its broadcast signals. WOUB Radio’s FM Network has transmitters in Athens, Chillicothe, Ironton, Zanesville and Cambridge, while WOUB AM serves the immediate Athens area. WOUB TV is made up of seven television channels (WOUB HD, WOUB Classic, WOUB World, WOUB Create, WOUB Ohio, WOUB Kids and WOUB Voicecorps Reading Service) which are broadcast from two transmitters.

Through its support of public service, teaching, research and administrative missions, along with its high-quality local content and programming, WOUB enriches, enhances and expands the lives and horizons of the people in the communities it serves, as well as Ohio University faculty, staff and students. 

February 13, 2024
Cheri Russo