Jon Stepanek

News Director

Phone: 406-672-5504

What is your job?
I oversee the content creation and delivery of news and community information on our broadcast channel KTVQ and multiple digital news platforms. I work with and encourage our staff on story ideas and execution. I keep involved in our community to keep a pulse on issues and concerns and develop coverage strategy to help inform. I work with other managers at KTVQ to provide leadership to our staff and address developments.

When did you start working here?
I was hired as News Director at KTVQ in August 1993.

Where else have you worked?
WDAZ - Grand Forks, ND News Director

KVEC - San Luis Obispo, CA News and Sports Director. Voice of Cal Poly Mustang Football and Basketball

Where did you go to college?
University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND

Where did you grow up?
Williston, ND

What are some of the biggest news stories you have covered or led coverage of?
In Billings we hosted a town hall meeting in our studio with President Bill Clinton. It was a week of planning and working with the White House and included an audience of about 100 locals to ask questions. It's a whole new effort when the President is in your house.
Getting an exclusive interview with President Trump in 2018 during his visit to Montana. Local reaction to civil rights issues and corona-virus this year have been giant story coverage responsibilities. Local reaction to 9/11 will always be seared in my memory. I was proud how we came together as a station and a community during an incredibly difficult time. In San Luis Obispo I was the lead emergency broadcaster during the Las Palitas fire which threatened to sweep into the community. I stayed on air for hours delivering critical emergency information. Interviewing my boyhood baseball hero Tony Oliva in the dugout of a major league baseball park was pretty cool.

What is your philosophy on news?
My core philosophy is delivering news and information to our consumers that is truthful, balanced, timely, and well-sourced. We are here to enlighten, inform, and hold the powerful accountable. We need to be mindful to change in where our consumers want to get their information and how they want to consume it.

What do you love about living here?
The joy of living in Montana is best seen through pictures. I love our mid-sized community and the people who live here. Billings and the region offers a great opportunity to work and play. We call Montana "the Last Best Place" for many reasons and I'm a believer.

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