BILLINGS - After 27 years as News Director of KTVQ (Q2) in Billings, MT, Jon Stepanek will leave the station in June.
Prior to coming to Billings in 1993 Stepanek held various roles in news and sports in Montana, California, and North Dakota.
“I feel so fortunate to have had a long career at one TV station. I am one of the few News Directors who have been lucky to find a station and community they love,” Stepanek said. "This moment gives me a chance to reminisce about the many talented journalists who have worked at Q2 through my time. News, weather, and sports reporters and anchors, technical and production staff have flourished in our station and in some cases moved on to roles in larger markets. I also thank the many department managers and staff who help make Q2 a great TV station. “
“I have enjoyed helping to shape news coverage in Billings and around Montana," Stepanek continued. "Q2 has been the number one choice for local news in the region my entire career. The only way that happens is to have talented journalists at Q2 committed to telling good stories.”
“The most memorable moment for me was hosting President Bill Clinton for a town hall meeting at the Q2 studios June 1, 1995. We only had a week to prepare and set up for a live broadcast that included about 100 guests and of course security for the President. It was a moment everyone involved will never forget. I am also grateful for the opportunity I have had to meet with Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump.”
“The most difficult story in my career has been the pandemic. Trying to provide facts on a virus we didn’t know much about early on was a challenge. It was months of uncertainty and mixed messages. Our concern was trying to make sure viewers and readers had the best information available.
“The most impactful was coverage of the terrorist attack of 9/11. The horrific images from New York, Washington D.C., and Shanksville, Pa., were hard for everyone to comprehend. There was a groundswell of support for our country and from the Billings community like I’ve never seen.“
Stepanek served six years on the National Board of Directors for the Radio Television Digital News Association as a representative of members in Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Idaho, and Montana.
He served on the board of the Montana Freedom of Information Hotline promoting freedom of information issues.
Stepanek wraps up a 40-year career in broadcasting that includes TV and Radio news and sports. He was named California sports play-by-play broadcaster of the year four times while announcing football and basketball games for Cal Poly University San Luis Obispo.
Some of Stepanek's favorite sports moments included interviewing Roy Campenella of the Dodgers, Tony Oliva of the Minnesota Twins, and John Madden.
Stepanek has been active in the community having served on the board of directors of the Big Sky Economic Development, YMCA, Billings Downtown Rotary, Billings Catholic School Trust, Billings Studio Theater, and the Tumbleweed Youth Program.
Stepanek will transition to a content strategist role with Arrowhead Marketing in Billings. He looks forward to spending more time with his wife Madonna on the golf course and visiting his three grown children.
Located in Billings, MT, Q2 is actively recruiting for a News Director and several other opportunities. To learn more and apply visit scripps.com/careers.