Those watching WKYC-TV’s morning news might have noticed a change at the anchor desk Oct. 22 with the addition of sports reporter Dave Chudowsky in place of John Anderson. Responsible for that change is former Orange resident Adam Miller, who returned to WKYC-TV Oct. 8 after a decade at NBC’s “Today” show with the goal of producing quality broadcast television through audience connection.
“I’m coming from 30 Rock and I’m going to the Rock and Roll capital of the world,” he said, referring to NBC’s headquarters at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City. He was hired for the newly created role of director of content and thought it was time to leave the “Today” show as senior producer as he sees Cleveland experiencing a rebirth.
“It’s a time where the city clearly is undergoing a resurgence, so I couldn’t think of a better time to return to (what) I truly think of is the greatest city,” said Miller, 32. He added his family is still in the Cleveland area and he wanted to raise his two daughters in Moreland Hills near family. He’s a fifth-generation congregant of The Temple-Tifereth Israel in Beachwood.
He will join Denise Polverine, director of digital and regional digital director, and Jon Adkins, who was promoted to director of news content, to round out WKYC’s content leadership team. Both Polverine and Adkins report to Miller, who oversees the vision, hiring and strategy for all editorial coverage and the distribution of news across all content platforms like the website, app, broadcast and social media profiles.
He first saw the impact stories have on a community over a decade ago while in college when he worked at an NBC affiliate station in Topeka, Kan. It was around Yom Hashoah that he produced a story of a Holocaust survivor in the area. As a grandchild of Holocaust survivors himself, he said it was moving to tell the story to a market that might not have been as familiar with Holocaust survivors.
More than two weeks after taking the position in Cleveland, he’s looking at the “puzzle” that is Channel 3. There’s different aspects and talent he sees in the newsroom and he wants to rearrange the pieces to create a new picture, which audiences are already seeing.
While accuracy is always first when reporting a story, Miller wants the news to show personality. In a world where consumers can get news notifications without unlocking their phone, he said he needs to provide a reason for them to go to WKYC and he thinks personality can be that reason.
It’s no secret, Miller loves morning news shows and he wants audiences to love it, too. That’s why tackling the morning show was first on his list to rearrange. During the summer, the station was highlighting different areas throughout Cleveland. Now that the cold is coming in, he wants the focus to be on the station’s studio A.
“I guess you could say I’m looking at Channel 3 as a mini 30 Rock,” he said. “I was most excited to dive into the morning show here first because I just saw so much promise and opportunity. The thing about mornings is that viewers crave that audience connection and I think it’s a human connection. I think it’s important for morning shows to still deliver news first and foremost but also to be human and connect with each other as an ensemble and a family waking up with you in your own home.”
Next on his plate is WKYC’s 70th anniversary, which is Oct. 31, but he doesn’t plan to limit the celebration to one day. Instead, he’s using the whole month of November to celebrate WKYC’s history with a few cameos from past WKYC members among other celebratory segments.
WKYC is no stranger to Miller. When he entered Orange High School in Pepper Pike, he was determined to work on the “Today” show. During his senior year when he needed to find a place to shadow for a month for his senior project, an opportunity presented itself to shadow a producer at the station. Being a wide-eyed, ready-to-go 18 year old and seeing how the station presented stories along with engaging the community, he said he caught the news bug instantly. That bug took him to the “Today” show and now brought him back home to WYKC.