Liam Niemeyer is the Ohio Valley Resource Reporter and new Assistant News Director at WKMS in Murray. This musical man plays the saxophone and piano - his partner is a skilled accordion player. He has a twin brother and has visited 24 state parks…and counting! iMeet this jogging bookworm who loves to tell a good story!
Welcome to iMeet and WKMS, Liam. Tell us about yourself...
I’m originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, but I grew up in a small, suburban Ohio town. It was mostly pretty quiet, and while I loved sports like baseball and soccer, my hand-eye coordination suggested that I try out something else. That something else was lots of music, theater and writing. I played saxophone and piano in band class back in high school, and I still play both today.
I actually have a twin brother, but we’re fraternal twins - which means we don’t look alike. (It would be weird to have another copy of me walking around somewhere.) I also have a lovely partner who I met in college, who is very, very skilled at playing the accordion - I kid you not, she’s the best accordion player I know. I have extended family both in Ohio and Louisiana.
Congrats on being named the Ohio Valley Resource Reporter and WKMS Assistant News Director! Tell us about what your duties and responsibilities are for these positions...
As a reporter for the Ohio Valley Resource, I cover agriculture and infrastructure in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia. My stories are usually in the form of three-minute-long radio features that air on public radio stations across the tri-state area.
As Assistant News Director at WKMS Public Radio, I help direct the news coverage each day with help from student reporters and others at the station.
What's a typical day in your life?
Usually filled with work, running and reading, mostly. I’m a bit of a bookworm, so I have a large bookshelf back at my apartment in Murray. I also play saxophone a bit, and I’m still trying to find a band to have a jam session with (any takers?).
What did you do before joining WKMS?
I’ve worked at public radio stations in Alaska, Wyoming and Appalachia. I find that the remote regions are often the places where unique stories come out of the woodworks, simply because no one else is telling them. And they’re often the stories that matter a lot to the people that live there, because no one else is really telling them.
What's the most rewarding part of your job? What's the most difficult?
The most rewarding part is being able to tell stories that matter to the people I serve in the community. If I can help someone understand a new perspective, topic or story, then I feel like I succeeded. As often with being a journalist, a difficult aspect is the grueling hours at times. But I still find the job very much worth the work.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I go for runs, I read a lot and I like to go hiking and backpacking. Saxophone and piano takes up a lot of time in my life, also. Music is what keeps me sane after all of my work, mostly.
Are you a fan of cooler winter days or are you ready for spring?
Ready. For. Spring. I absolutely despise the cold, which is kind of ironic, considering I willingly spent some time in Alaska.
Tell me three unique things about yourself that most people wouldn't know...
I’ve never had a cavity (even though I have a major sweet-tooth).
I’ve been to 24 National Parks (and counting).
I was the leader of my very nerdy, very mediocre 5th Geography Bee team. My favorite obscure country is still, and will always be, Andorra. If you don’t know where that is, look it up on a map sometime.
Cheering on any sports' teams currently?
I grew up cheering Cincinnati sports teams because that’s who my dad cheered for, and I’m still a pretty loyal fan of the Bengals and Reds. I’m also a fan of the New Orleans Saints, but more of a fair-weather fan.
If you weren't in the broadcasting industry, what would you be doing?
A musician or music teacher. I would have majored in music if I didn’t pursue a degree in journalism back in college, and I still love to listen and play, especially jazz.
Favorite album of all time?
It’s a bit sappy and cliche, but Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue. It’s such a fantastic, mellow album I listen to whenever I need to relax after a stressful day. Not only that, but it’s one of the greatest albums ever to be recorded in jazz or any other genre.
It was great to meet you, Liam. Good luck with the new job at WKMS - we’re looking forward to hearing your reporting and coverage of news stories around the area. Hopefully, some of our iList subscribers will help you find a new band to play with!