Jay Kirschenmann

Sioux Falls, South Dakota, USA

E-mail: dakotawriter@gmail.com

October 2002 – Present: Reporter, Sioux Falls Argus Leader, Sioux Falls, S.D.

I write about music, entertainment and visual arts, but also the business of running groups including the Washington Pavilion of Arts and Science and the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra. Often am called on to write general assignment pieces, too, small for daily use and more in depth for Sunday feature section and the front page. Editors with Gannett News Service and the Associated Press have pulled my stories from the wire for use in papers across the country.

Also serve as a photographer when needed, shoot and edit video for larger pieces and host weekly live music show Link Live. As the newspaper empoyee numbers shrink I have run the technical side of the show alone while still booking the bands and interviewing the musicians between songs. Co-host the weekly “360” video show which rounds up entertainment happenings in the region.

Responsible for keeping track of all entertainment happenings in the region, getting the notice of ticket sales online and in the paper, and for assigning or securing photos for the cover and inside “Link” weekly entertainment section.

Interview dozens of celebrity entertainers who play the region, from Bill Cosby, Joan Rivers, Lewis Black and Wayne Newton to George Thorogood, Edgar Winter, ZZ Top and top country, jazz and Broadway stars.

Won awards including the 2009 “Feature” division of the S.D. Associated Press Managing Editors Contest (daily papers in North and South Dakota) for a story about a mentally disabled Montrose man who is cared for in his home by family and town volunteers following the death of his elderly mother.

Business reporter from 2003-2005 covering major corporations in the region including Raven Industries, Daktronics, Gateway and the ethanol industry. Agriculture was part of the beat - awarded “Ag Reporter of the Year” in 2004 from the South Dakota Corn Growers Association.

Use Faceebook and Twitter extensively for collecting sources and getting information out to the masses. Keep in touch with the arts commuinty, including national interviews with artists including world-class violinist Midori. Wrote about the Rodin and Andy Warhol exhibits.

Completed Gannett national video training to shoot and produce short documentary style videos for the newspaper's website.

June 2009 - Wrote a Black Hills guide book, "Black Hills: A Guide to South Dakota's Classic American Frontier." The book, published by Channel Lake Inc. of New York, N.Y. sold out the first edition in the summer of 2010, commissioned to write many additional entries and updated listings for the second edition released in April 2011, available in fine bookstores across the nation, and on many online sites including BarnesAndNoble.com and Amazon.com. Also commissioned to write a Deadwood guide book, also released in April 2011. See more about both books here.

July - October 2003: Owner, Kirsch Media, Aberdeen, S.D.

Registed the company name, was self employed writing copy and taking pictures for several businesses clients. Designed brochures, direct-mail materials, created logos, designed company websites and did constant web updates. Wrote a weekly story and took the pictures for Midland Press (local weekly newspaper) for more than a year, took pictures and wrote news releases for the Dacotah Prairie Museum, wrote movie reviews for the Aberdeen American News once every three weeks.

Feb. 2000 – July 2003: Director of Media Relations, Computer Doctor, Aberdeen, S.D.

Wrote press releases for the corporate headquarters and for each new franchisee as the international franchise grew from 13 to more than 100 locations during my time there. Assisted franchisees with marketing campaigns with their local media. Designed the company's logo (for name change to Expectec), designed the annual conference logo and materials each year and was responsible for booking several national speakers and events for each national conference. In charge of securing tickets, pit passes and accommodations for company guests to NASCAR events (the company co-sponsored a car). Designed materials for the race promotions. Co-administrator of the franchisees' web intranet, wrote and designed the monthly company newsletter, worked with advertising representatives from print media and Internet sites, maintained the company website. Received web training in San Diego, and completed additional online New Horizons courses in web design. Some of my corporate work is shown here.

July 1993 – Feb. 2000: Reporter/Photographer, Aberdeen (S.D.) American News.

Covered flooding in the region in 1997, wrote a weekly business feature, held the police beat for two years the court beat two years, and the Brown County Commission/Aberdeen City Council beat for more than two years, all between writing general assignments. Covered many WEB Water meetings for this Knight-Ridder paper.

July 1980 – July 1993: Reporter/Photographer, The Bradenton (Fla.) Herald.

Daily feature writer and editor of the weekly Neighbors section, wrote a weekly column. Covered the construction of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge over Tampa Bay for several years, from its start to opening day. A series on migrant living conditions changed the way the state permits and inspects migrant housing. From 1980-'84 was part of two-person staff at the paper's weekly Island Herald, Anna Maria Island. Responsible for two section covers and double-page centers each week; covered the three island city police department activities and three weekly city government meetings. Knight-Ridder paper. Wrote lots of entertainment pieces, including front-page daily stories after attending several Allman Brothers Band rehearsals.

Personal: Born and raised in Aberdeen, S.D., graduated from Central High School and attended Northern State University before joining the Clark County Courier as full-time reporter/photographer in 1979. Moved to Florida and joined Knight-Ridder Newspapers as reporter/photographer 1980-'93, returned to South Dakota for newspaper and PR jobs in 1993. Musician, freelance writer and photographer. Continue to paint, draw cartoons with a local 'tooning group and play in bands. Married to Jane Kirschenmann. Have four grown children.

See more at my main website.