KWWL news anchor Ron Steele marks his 40th year at the Waterloo, IA, NBC affiliate Tuesday.
Steele came to KWWL in April 1974 as sports director, then later made the switch to news.
According to the Waterloo – Cedar Falls Courier, Steele credits his longevity to his family and his loyalty to the station and a willingness to embrace change.
Steele also credits his co-anchors over the years. “I’ve been lucky. I’ve had five female co-anchors. All of them have been just great — Liz (Mathis, now an Iowa state senator) and Bobbi Earles, then Ann Kerian, then Tara (Thomas) and now Amanda (Goodman).
That makes it easier. We really need to get along, and we do. Those five, they’re all really talented, hard-working reporters.”
Steele was asked to name his mentors. “Well, Grant [Price], obviously,” he said. “Tom Petersen. I would even say Liz,” in their early days together on the anchor desk. “Jim Waterbury,” former station executive now at Allen Hospital. “Bolster. All those people I worked for I admire. Tom Brokaw is someone I really admire. And somebody like (ABC News investigative reporter) Brian Ross, who used to work here years ago.”
The most emotionally difficult stories, Steele said, included the 2009 shooting death of Aplington-Parkersburg football coach Ed Thomas, the 1981 murders of Waterloo police officers Michael Hoing and Wayne Rice and the 2012 disappearance and slayings of young cousins Lyric Cook-Morrissey and Elizabeth Collins.
“I’m still really bothered by the fact that somebody needs to pay for Elizabeth and Lyric,” Steele said.