WTOL’s Wiercinski is a homegrown productWritten by Jeremy Baumhower | | email@example.com
If you are one of the many who visited the German American Festival and watch WTOL 11’s news, you may have seen a familiar face. WTOL reporter Rob Wiercinski was proudly parading and dancing around in his lederhosen all weekend. He had a boot in one hand and an ax in the other. Wiercinski embodies the spirit of Toledo, and we are lucky somebody gave him a chance.
Working at WSPD as a reporter for 10 years, Wiercinski tried numerous times to get hired by a TV station. He was told he “was not what they were looking for” or he was not “TV friendly.” In other words, he is blessed with a face for radio.
In 2006, WTOL gave Rob a chance and hired him as a reporter, and has it paid off. Wiercinski is Toledo’s best TV reporter and carries the same respect as any print journalist in town.
Wiercinski is a first generation son of a Polish immigrant. A 1985 graduate of Whitmer High School, he is a true product of Toledo’s West Side. He dances with Toledo Holzacker Buam Schuplattler Group, although a back injury forced him out of Echoes of Poland Folk Song & Dance Ensemble. His children, Sophia and Henry, are now dancing in the two groups as well.
Why does the above information matter about a TV reporter? It matters because Wiercinski is as invested in Toledo as he could be. Toledo has always been a proving ground for TV reporters and anchors. Wiercinski will likely never leave Toledo because of his roots, his family and his job. I am surprised that he left the West Side and moved to Maumee with his wife; his mom must have cried for a month.
In a time where “If it bleeds, it leads,” Wiercinski covers stories that Toledoans should care about. Being 100 percent Polish can make Rob a hard person to work with — trust me, I know. We worked together at WSPD for almost four years. His blooper reel must be insane. But it’s that Polish passion and pride that make him Toledo’s best.
I challenge WTOL to feature more of Wiercinski’s work. WTOL is great at branding weather, Friday night football and establishing iconic anchors; just give this proud Polish kid that attention. Viewers should support and demand more homegrown products like Wiercinski. Who else could ever say “W” the way he does?
Email media columnist Jeremy Baumhower at firstname.lastname@example.org.