Steve Betchkal is the longest-tenured Video journalist in the history of the Eau Claire Market. Steve graduated from the University of Eau Claire, Wisconsin with a degree in Biology. In 1987 he needed a job, so he walked into the NBC affiliate in Eau Claire, and was hired as a part-time videographer by John Hoffland, the News Director of WEAU. A year later, he began working full-time.
After 14 years at WEAU, he took a job with Northland Adventures, an outdoors program, produced at Eau Claire’s ABC affiliate, WQOW. He returned to news in 2004, as a Video journalist, where he began writing his own stories. While working for WQOW under Lisa Patrow, Steve received his first Emmy in 2013, for a video essay on glassblowing. In 2014 he received 6 nominations, and Emmys in Health – for a series on dyslexia – and for Video journalist. In 2015 he received his 4th Emmy, in Science/Environment, for a series detailing the plight of migratory songbirds. In 2018, Steve received Emmy number 5 for a series based on his seven weeks on a boat with Lindblad-National Geographic in the Galapagos Islands off Ecuador.
Now “semi-retired,” he currently teams with Micah Davis of Eau Claire to produce Storytime with Steve & Micah, a humble journalistic venue that features two guys producing feature stories – on Facebook. In 2020, Storytime with Steve & Micah was nominated for four Regional Emmys including Science/Environment, News Writing, and Editing. In 2022 Story Time with Steve & Micah received their first Emmy for “Champion Trees,” entered in – what else? –Science/Environment.
Steve served on the Upper Midwest Emmy Board of Governors as Awards Committee Chair and as Regional Vice President for Wisconsin.
His entire career Steve has told the “small market” story of Western Wisconsin, the place he calls home, and he is proud of his creativity in telling those stories. Hired with no experience or training in journalism, he progressed from part-time videographer to accomplished news writer. His innovative and daring approach to TV storytelling has earned him more than 80 awards for excellence, including multiple state of Wisconsin bests in news writing and video, and a Regional Edward R. Murrow for News Writing.