Farm-boy-turned-TV-reporter calls himself lucky
Randy Hanson photo - Boyd Huppert and photojournalist Aethan Hart, a frequent working partner, prepare to cover the meeting between the two neighboring governors, Wisconsin's Jim Doyle and Minnesota's Tim Pawlenty, in Hudson Friday at the St. Croix Marina.
How does the son of a well-known River Falls dairy farmer go on to become one of the most recognized TV reporters in the Twin Cities? KARE-11 TV general assignment reporter Boyd Huppert said that upbringing is more important than one might imagine.
Yet he admits he was never cut out to be a farmer like his dad, Andy, or even his brother, Jay.
"It needs to be in your blood," said the 47-year-old Huppert, a 1980 River Falls High School graduate. "There was never any pressure to farm or follow in their footsteps, though my brother Jay and his wife Lisa have done a remarkable job with the farm since my folks retired. We were all encouraged to strike out on our own."
A journalism class taught by Don Richards (current River Falls mayor) sparked his interest back in the late 1970s. The teacher later helped Huppert land a part-time job at local radio station WEVR.
Today Huppert has been at KARE-11 for 13 years. He's won numerous awards, including 33 regional Emmys and five national Edward R. Murrows.
The most recent -- another prestigious national Murrow award -- was for a feature called "Duck in a Truck." Huppert and photojournalist Jonathan Malat, a co-recipient, will go to New York this September for the honors.
Huppert said he loves the storytelling aspect of his job, considering it both a privilege and creative outlet. He also enjoys collaborating with all the other people who help make the stories happen.
"Yes, I do get ribbed about the amount of stories I do for Pierce and St. Croix counties that I bring back," Huppert said. "The videotape editor will say, 'Let me guess, you were in River Falls today.'"
The reporter and former UW-River Falls student says family influences helped him learn a strong work ethic and good listening skills. He worked at a TV station in Wausau, met his wife, Sheri, at the Pierce County Fair and went on to work at Omaha and Milwaukee TV stations before starting at KARE-11 in 1996.
Read more about Huppert's career and connections to local life in the July 30 print edition of the River Falls Journal.