“I got into broadcasting by almost pure accident,” Schudiske reflected. “I knew a director at the ABC affiliate in Milwaukee and he asked if I wanted to come down and watch him direct the news broadcast and then pre-tape the segments for their ‘Creature Feature’ Friday night show, popular in the late 60’s.”
Schudiske graduated with an A.A.S. degree in Telecasting from the Milwaukee Area Technical College in 1971.
“I worked part-time on the production crew at the educational station (WMVS-TV) in Milwaukee,” Schudiske said. “One day we set up the studio for a press conference about a new series that was going to begin airing. Joan Ganz Cooney was promoting her new series ‘Sesame Street.’ I then knew that PBS, as it was going to become known, was the place for me.”
Since then, Schudiske has worked to educate himself in nearly every aspect of broadcast television. He has been involved in traffic and continuity, as well as production and direction. Prior to his work with CMU, Rick worked at WLUK-TV in Green Bay, Wisconsin; WHA-TV in Madison, Wisconsin and the Nebraska ETV Network based in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Schudiske has been at CMU Public Broadcasting (WCMU) since December 1978, when he joined the staff as a Producer/Director. In 1982, Rick was promoted to Program Manager and held that position until August 2000 when he was appointed Assistant Director of Television. In 2003, he was promoted again to Director of Television and then in 2005, he was named the Assistant General Manager and Director of Television.
“He has a passion for Public Television, and it shows through in his commitment and leadership,” said CMU Public Broadcasting General Manager Ed Grant. “He has accomplished so much with so few people and resources that it is truly remarkable. Furthermore, he’s mentored several young staff members, helping them progress into extremely talented professionals.”
“I have had the opportunity to work on national, regional and local programs and have gone through the evolution of black and white to color, analog to digital, and tape to memory card,” said Schudiske “It has been a great journey and through all of that I have worked with--and for--some outstanding people. That is what I will remember about this award: all the people that I have met and worked with during my career and what we have accomplished together!”
“As my instructor said a million times, ‘making television programs is easy; make sure it is a good story, well told.’ I have tried to remember that and pass it on through the years. Technology changes, but it doesn’t ever replace good, basic storytelling.”
CMU Public Broadcasting is the nation’s largest university-owned Public Broadcasting network. A service of Central Michigan University, CMU Public Broadcasting (WCMU) informs and entertains its audience throughout Central and Northern Michigan with programming and services that reflect and respect the cultures of our state and world.
CMU Public Television includes WCML Channel 6 Alpena, WCMU Channel 14 Mt. Pleasant, WCMW Channel 21 Manistee, WCMV Channel 27 Cadillac and WCMZ Channel 28 Flint.
CMU Public Radio is a service of Central Michigan University. The network serves Central and Northern lower Michigan and the Eastern Upper Peninsula. In the central counties, tune to WCMU-FM 89.5 Mt. Pleasant. In the Tri- Cities and Thumb, tune in to WUCX-FM 90.1 Bay City or WWCM-FM 96.9 FM Standish. In Northern Lower Michigan, tune to WCML-FM 91.7 Alpena, WCMB-FM 95.7 Oscoda, WCMW-FM 103.9 Harbor Springs or 95.1 FM Traverse City. In the Eastern Upper Peninsula, tune to WCMZ-FM 98.3 Sault St. Marie.