DePauw's Owen to moderate final Indiana debate

Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Ken Owen

Ken Owen, executive director of media relations at DePauw University, will return to his television news roots this week to moderate the third and final debate between the three candidates for Indiana governor.

The debate will take place this Thursday evening at the studios of Fort Wayne PBS affiliate WFWA-TV, beginning at 7 p.m. It will air statewide.

The 2012 candidates for Indiana governor are Rupert Boneham, Libertarian; John Gregg, Democrat; and Mike Pence, Republican. The Indiana Debate Commission coordinates the debates.

Owen, a 1982 graduate of DePauw returned to university in 2001 after two decades in TV news.

Prior to returning to DePauw, Owen was a familiar face on Indianapolis airwaves, serving as a news anchor and reporter on WRTV/Channel 6. Before his two-year stint as secondary anchor on Channel 6, Owen served as second anchor for nine years on WISH-TV/Channel 8, where he co-anchored the 5:30 p.m. news segment.

He began his career in 1982 at WIRE Radio in Indianapolis. A year later, he was at WIBC, then made the switch to television in 1984 on WPDS (now WXIN), an upstart independent station.

Owen later anchored at WANE-TV in Fort Wayne and WLOS-TV, which serves the Asheville, N.C./Green-ville-Spartanburg, S.C., broadcast market.

During his career, he has interviewed a host of individuals, including presidents George H. Bush and Gerald Ford, and such national and international celebrities as Paul McCartney, Rev. Billy Graham, Tony Bennett and George Stephanopoulos.

Along with his responsibilities to raise DePauw's external visibility, he coordinates the Timothy and Sharon Ubben Lecture Series and the annual Monon Bell telecast.

Owen's efforts to make pieces of DePauw's past more relevant and accessible include the recent restoration of a 1941 admission film, and the creation of "Monon Memories" of every Monon Bell football game between DePauw and Wabash College since the rivalry began in 1890.

Those video vignettes were the subject of features in the Chronicle of Higher Education and during HDNet's telecast of the 115th Monon Bell Classic in 2008.

A communication major and Rector Scholar at DePauw, where he was station manager of WGRE, Owen has taught journalism at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis. He has served on the board of directors of the Indianapolis Public Relations Society and co-chaired the Annapolis Group communications committee.

Owen has also moderated panel discussions at the past two O'Bannon Institutes for Community Service.

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