Rox: The man with nine lives: Andre Savage is Northwest Ohio’s TV Czar.Written by Martini Rox | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The man behind the scenes of much of Northwest Ohio’s late-night, local television is Andre Savage. His success with several shows he’s worked the camera for or produced himself. He has put a spotlight on the people in this city beyond what we see on the news. Shows like “Game Savvy,” “Game Savvy Late Night” and the recent “Love My 419” have allowed the Toledo area’s music, culture and everyday life to shine. The difference between him and other aspiring television producers is that his shows are consistently on the air. With so many ups and downs, one could believe Savage has nine lives in the entertainment industry. Savage is a complex and interesting character to say the least, but his passion is undeniable. He allowed me the opportunity to ask him about his television work-history past, present and future.
Martini Rox: How did you start creating your own television shows?
Andre Savage: First, [the] television show was created at Defiance College called “Controlled Chaos” and that was kind of a smorgasbord of sorts, a prequel to what would soon be “Game Savvy” one day conceptually to some degree. It revolved around happenings on campus and the immediate, Defiance area. Different things [like] videos were involved, talking to different people on campus, having the talk show feel so I was definitely zoned in that way. I created my own internship, because Defiance College did not have a program that was set up back then which was [in the] early ’90s. That was not a path that was laid out. I graduated and was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to work at NBC 24 as my first job as a camera person/editor.
Rox: You eventually moved to Atlanta, what opportunities did you experience while there?
Savage: I was actually working at the ABC affiliate [WSB], which is a Top 10 market where media is concerned when you talk about Atlanta, and having a supervisor’s position. [At] WSB [I] ended up getting into editing coordinator, responsible for any of the editing going on air. A [guy] I met at WSB plugged me in with the people at Turner Sports and I was also able to lock down a position as an editor on the “Inside The NBA” show. In 1999 or 2000 that show received its first Emmy Award. When you are a part of the cast, crew and production team … all of those people receive an Emmy Award.
Rox: After you received an Emmy Award in Atlanta what brought you back to Ohio?
Savage: With my marriage failing, I elected to pick myself up and move back to Ohio. Many would say [this] was probably the silliest move of my life. But I ended up doing a stint in Columbus because the wife and [my] child were there, so I ended up moving. It was tough to get a job for a while and that put some strain on the marriage. I finally did get a spot at the ABC affiliate there in Columbus, but by then we had split up. That just brought me back to Toledo and at that point it was about 2003-2004 at that time Toledo was going to get a local sports network; it was called BCSN and I joined the team in ’04 when they started the channel. Coming in I worked in sports radio on the air.
I did the Sunday morning show for 1470 WSPD, “The Ticket.”
In 2007, Savage began “Game Savvy,” the sports edition which spun off into “Game Savvy Late Night.” He continually gives back by mentoring local talent and presenting them the opportunity to work behind the scenes as well as on air. He is also raising his teenage daughter who has shown interest in what can now be called “The family business.” On Oct. 5, his latest show, “Love My 419 AM,” will make its debut right before the “Today” show on NBC 24. It is Toledo’s version of “The View” or “The Talk” centered on NW Ohio and surrounding areas.
As we continue on …