Page 40 - Salem Magazine Spring 2015
P. 40

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  It was a team effort and Stevens was the glue that held it together, making local sports fun for the staff and viewers on a weekly basis.
 “Mike is quick to give other people credit, but he was the one that made the show what it is today,” Brown explained. “He wasn’t just the host. The way he was able to interact with the players, the coaches and the station staff, it made Friday night special.”
That interaction lasted beyond Friday nights. Haley went on to play linebacker at the University of Virginia after graduation and still stayed in contact with Stevens.
“I would see Mike come to my first high school practices and got to know him all the way through college,” said Haley, who played in the NFL for the New York Jets, Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers. “Speaking at a news conference in Charlottesville and looking over at the reporters to see Mike there, it was comforting. He was from home.”
Stevens left WDBJ in 2008 to become the City of Salem’s Communications Director after 23 years on the air. The program has continued without missing a beat thanks to a former photographer turned Sports Director.
Stevens is now the Communications Director for the City of Salem after working 23 years as the WDBJ Sports Director.
“It would be a huge hole in this community if the show ever went off the air because it means so much,” said Wells, now the host of Friday Football Extra. “Who knew that three decades later we would still be going strong? People rush home from games to watch highlights for 16 weeks in the Fall.”
made me better both on the air and off of it,” Stevens said. “It’s very gratifying because I never believed in entering my work in contests and I always tried to encourage those who have worked with me to avoid self-promotion and do their best to stay humble.”
That’s all thanks to the efforts of Stevens, who didn’t miss a single show – over 350 consecutive broadcasts – ‘Always doing it for the people’.
That humility and love of sports made the premier broadcast on WDBJ what it is today.
“I was fortunate to work with so many talented people who
“Friday Football Extra matured so quickly and Mike drove it there,” Shaver said. “That show is the one thing that keeps that late news relevant to people in the marketplace. It had a high profile and it was all local. It made WDBJ the local television station.”
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