Brendan Henehan began his broadcasting career in 1982 when he showed up on the steps of Twin Cities Public Television unemployed in the middle of a recession. Aided by a paid internship program funded by the McKnight Foundation, Brendan quickly learned that he loved live television. He cut his teeth working on tpt’s Turning Point public affairs program under his mentor Bill Hanley. As part of that series he created our region’s first TV specials focused on the topics of AIDS and global warming (then quaintly called the greenhouse effect.) He produced his first political debate during the 1986 governor’s race and he likes to say that he has produced more statewide political debates than anyone in Minnesota history.
No one can prove such a thing but he still likes to say it. History is one of his passions. Brendan has created documentaries on the histories of Minneapolis and St. Paul and oversaw the multi-part tpt documentary North Star: Minnesota’s Black Pioneers. He was both honored –and surprised– in 1984 when he received a National News Emmy for his work covering the farm crisis as a reporter for what was then known as the McNeil Lehrer NewsHour.
Brendan has from time to time won a stray regional Emmy or two mostly by wisely avoiding categories frequented by Boyd Huppert. For the past thirty years he’s had the great pleasure of working with Cathy Wurzer and Eric Eskola and the fine cast of characters responsible for Twin Cities Public Television’s weekly public affairs program Almanac. He was Almanac’s producer when the series went on the air in December of 1984 and he is still the show’s producer today. Almanac has been called the most successful local program in the PBS system. Its longevity is a great testament to Minnesotans’ uncommon interest in politics and public affairs. He wouldn’t trade his job with anybody.