Interim Director Jak Tichenor
Jak Tichenor is a veteran broadcast journalist who spent the majority of his reporting career at WSIU Public Television in Carbondale, Illinois, the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) member station licensed to the Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees. He joined the television station in 1991 after serving as News and Public Affairs Director for WSIU Radio, SIU’s National Public Radio (NPR) member station since 1981. He was named the institute's interim director on November 1, 2016.
At WSIU-TV, Tichenor specialized in public affairs reporting and documentary television production for the station, as well as producing local political coverage and stories for WSIU InFocus magazine series. His documentary, P.S. Illinois: The Paul Simon Story, aired across Illinois on public television in 2014. He also produced and anchored the station’s One on One interview series and the SIU Connections program for the Office of the Chancellor at SIU Carbondale.
Tichenor is the executive producer and host of the statewide Illinois Lawmakers series on the Illinois General Assembly for Illinois Public Television and has served as Statehouse Correspondent for the series since 1991. Since 1995, he has produced the annual Lincoln Academy of Illinois television special for Illinois PBS stations.
During nearly ten years at WSIU Radio, Tichenor led the effort to create a professionally staffed public radio news department that included students in the SIU Department of Radio-Television and Digital Media. He earned reporting and documentary production awards from the Associated Press and United Press International while at WSIU Radio and produced stories for NPR’s All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Monitor Radio. In 2005, he received the University’s Lindell W. Sturgis Award for Professional Achievement from the SIU Board of Trustees.
He previously worked in commercial radio in southern Illinois and western Kentucky from 1971 to 1981 as an announcer, copywriter, music director, and news reporter.