Where are they now?

In ‘Dayton and Beyond’ with Sharon Howard

By Jim Bucher

She was on-air locally at Channel 2 for a very long time, but where is Sharon Howard, née Davis-Fair, now?

Seems like she was here one minute, gone the next. Sharon, though, is very much alive and well and onto a new career.

After she left the station, Howard went to the Dayton Development Coalition.

“I thought after all of my years in broadcasting, I pretty much knew everything about this region—completely not the case,” she says. “In 2014, I joined the Premier Health team…first at Atrium Medical Center and now at Miami Valley Hospital (MVH). Again, totally new area for me. Healthcare is a huge industry, and in this market, an industry leader that drives economic development. Leading MVH’s PR [public relations] and community relations allows me to continue to do the work that I love and have experience in, but, also, it allows me to showcase the great work our team does in taking care of our patients, their families, and…in helping to build healthier communities.”

But, I’m getting ahead of myself.  It all began right here in the Gem City.

“I am a native Daytonian, one of five kids.  My dad was a DPS [Dayton Public Schools]educator for over 30 years—he was also a jazz musician and played with Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Lou Rawls, the Four Tops, etc.  Mother was a daycare provider (which means that was a built-in “perk” for yours truly). Ran my parents crazy in high school because I was in everything—cheerleader, choir, editor of the school newspaper and yearbook. Finally, I was on the Dayton Speaking Team, giving speeches before civic groups all over the region.  Can’t you tell? I’m so shy!” Howard says with her trademark laugh.

Next, off to college. Where else, but right here.

“Followed in my dad’s footsteps and attended the University of Dayton, majoring in television communications. To this day, my mother can’t believe someone paid me to talk! While at UD, I was a cheerleader and got to know the sports team at WHIO-TV because they covered all the games. They literally took me in and introduced me to the HR [Human Resources] director. I graduated from UD on a Saturday and started working as a production technician on the following Monday—relationships do matter. I was there for only six months, floor directing and operating studio cameras,” Howard says. “It didn’t take me long to figure out at that time, no one ever left the ‘giant,’ WHIO-TV. I knew it would take me a long time to move and grow, so I left and accepted a position at WDTN-TV, Channel 2.  It was a six-month paid internship program that guaranteed full-time employment. That led me to a career of over 20 years. I worked in the sales department for a short period but soon found myself in community relations…I hit the jackpot!”

What most of you probably remember about Howard is her long-running time as producer and host of the public affairs broadcast program, Dayton and Beyond.
“The most fun a person could have ever had,” she recalls, “to be able to host your own show, tell stories, meet interesting people, help educate the public…what fun, but also what a responsibility…I had the awesome opportunity to interview the late Johnnie Cochran, Gloria Steinem, Kenny G, Debbie Allen, and many other newsmakers. This show remains the longest running local public affairs program—on the air for over 20 years.”

It was a great run, especially when tenures at broadcast stations averaged a couple years. Any advice for those seeking a broadcast career?

“Bring your passion and work ethic to the job every day,” Howard recommends. “Concentrate on the work, help and lift up others, don’t come with a ‘me’ mentality.  If you just do great work, everything else will fall into place. Put the work in to learn everything you can and work at meeting the ‘players.’  

“If you build meaningful relationships, your journey to success will be focused and impactful.”

Can’t end this without a comment from Sharon about working with me for so many years at Channel 2.

“Jim Bucher is crazy, crazy fun. Working with Buch was easy because our relationship started from a point we could both relate to. We both love Dayton, and we both wanted to celebrate our city and its people. We also got along because we didn’t allow other people to ‘rain on our parade.’ I am not independently wealthy; I have to work. Buch has to work. So, if we have to work, why not bring joy to the job. That’s how he lives his life and that’s how I live my life. We’re all about the fun!”

Can’t argue with that.

Cheers,

Buch 

 

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Jim Bucher
For over 25 years, Jim Bucher has been a regionally known and loved local television icon. “Buch’s” followers describe him as trustworthy, fun, the guy next door, a friend and role model. You can promote your business with Buch and grab your customer’s attention! Reach DCP freelance writer Jim Bucher at JimBucher@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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