By Matthew Schmuck
Campbellsville University Student News Writer
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. (June 11, 2012) — As cliché that it is to say, the phrase, “been watching it since it started” just so happens to fit the script when looking at the impact one man has made on Campbellsville University television.
Ed McGuire has been a stalwart founder and supporter of Campbellsville University’s television production from its beginning in the late 1980s.
McGuire, who was working at Kentucky Educational Television, was hired to assist Ginny Flanagan, who at the time was the director of public relations at Campbellsville University and the person set in charge of CU’s television station, TV-4, now WLCU-TV. McGuire’s role in the beginning was simple, although not easy: design a mission statement for the station.
So he did. WLCU’s home page displays the Mission Statement as follows:
“WLCU is a service of Campbellsville University, where we believe there has never been a better time for Christian higher education.
“WLCU broadcasting serves academic purposes for students at Campbellsville University. Students learn the day-to-day process of running both a radio and television station.”
But once that task was complete, McGuire soon became a voice in brainstorming discussions pertaining to possible television shows for the station. Pitching an idea for a cooking show, which he would eventually star and host.
McGuire claims that the idea was just to fill a time slot. It wasn’t long before, “What’s Cooking, Neighbor?” made its way to television.
Episodes of “What’s Cooking, Neighbor?” can still be found periodically on cable Channel 22 with McGuire cooking up recipes and teaching viewers to do the same. McGuire has had some illness recently, and his show isn’t in production at the moment, however, reruns are occasionally aired.
Director of Broadcast Services Jimmie Wooley said, “Ed wants to continue to try to do this, if we can. It’s just a matter of working out a time appropriate to do so.”
Recently, McGuire shot two shows, which have already hit the airwaves. Paula Smith, Campbellsville University’s director of alumni relations, and Teresa Elmore, CU’s director of career services, both donned the apron alongside McGuire on separate occasions.
Campbellsville University’s Department of Mass Communication recently honored McGuire with a Campbellsville University Distinguished Service Award.
“It’s an honor to receive this recognition,” McGuire said. “It’s just part of the investment in the school; with time and a little bit of money here and there.
“But the big thing is, it’s an investment and opportunity for students. They have a chance to be hands on and grow. In other words, they can’t break into the industry without experience.”
Experience is an area McGuire is more than familiar with, being honored for nearly 30 years of service at WLCU.
McGuire graduated from Campbellsville University in 1961 and proceeded to become an instructional assistant in the Taylor County School System before putting in 25 years of work at Kentucky Educational Television, from which he retired in 1999.
After his retirement from KET, opportunity found McGuire in the form of casual conversation in the Taylor Regional Hospital parking lot with Dr. Frank Cheatham, vice president for academic affairs. An invitation for extended conversation quickly turned into an introductory level broadcasting professor position for McGuire and eventually his position at WLCU.
Prior to being recognized at the university’s Annual Media Luncheon in the spring, a brief highlight video of sorts was presented to those attending the Media Luncheon in the Banquet Hall in the basement of Badgett Academic Support Center. The video was made up of clips from various “What’s Cooking, Neighbor?” episodes over the years. Campbellsville University’s John Chowning and Stan McKinney were just a few former guest hosts highlighted in the video.
Chowning in a clip, recalled a time where a fan of his WLCU show, “Dialogue on Public Issues,” told him that she loved his show.
Chowning, vice president for church and external relations at Campbellsville University. said he reacted in a humble manner before the fan finished by saying that she used his recipes every week; mistaking him for McGuire.
Stan McKinney, associate professor of journalism and lead professor of mass communication, was also featured in the video. McKinney, who has known McGuire since their days as adjunct instructors, spoke of McGuire’s impact on Campbellsville University.
“His dedication and devotion to this department and Campbellsville University are second to none,” McKinney said. “He has helped shape the department into what it has become. Many young men and women have left here for successful careers filled with inspiration fueled by Ed McGuire.”
McKinney presented the award, and said it was in his deepest honor to present McGuire with a Distinguished Service Award.
Through his near 30 years of service at WLCU, McGuire’s most memorable moment was hard to come by. Nonetheless, he recalled a time when his suit tie fell over his cooking apron and somehow made its way into a frying skillet and caught fire, all while on camera.
“That was an interesting episode to say the least,” McGuire said.
But from fried ties to outspoken guests, McGuire has nearly seen it all on set in the WLCU studio. McGuire played a major role in the turning of TV-4 into what is now known as Campbellsville University’s flagship station, WLCU-TV.
A career partially summed up into a presentation, a Distinguished Service Award, countless television episodes that bring to life stories, memories and one emotional acceptance speech where McGuire recalls and acknowledges that none of that would ever have been possible if were not for one woman who helped start it all, Ginny Flanagan, who is a CU alumna who formerly worked in various positions at CU and who is now part-time special assistant to the president.