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Specs Howard Grads At CBS Radio Reflect On How The School Blazed Their Path

DETROIT (CBS Detroit) If working in a gray cube all day, counting widgets and adding columns to spreadsheets sounds great to you, stop reading.

For the rest of you, those who want a fast-paced, high-profile career where every day is different, consider a job in media.

CBS Detroit has an array of graduates from Specs Howard School of Media Arts, including 97.1 The Ticket reporter and host Jeff Riger, lead graphic designer Brian Renaud and webmaster Evan Jankens.

They all credit Specs with boosting them into a career they love.

Brian Renaud’s story

In 2012, I was working as a Production Supervisor for Ford Motor Company. At the time I felt that my career needed a change but I didn’t know which road to travel. While driving home from work one afternoon, over the radio I listened to the commercial for the graphic design program at Specs Howard. This day literally changed my life. I’ve always had an interest in becoming a professional designer, but I wasn’t interested in attending a four-year college. When I learned that Specs Howard offered a one-year program, I told myself to just go for it! Within a week, I was enrolled in their GFX 9-12 program.

This program motivated me to learn everything I could about design and ultimately made me a better overall designer. The program not only teaches you many aspects of design, but it prepares you for your future in the job market after you graduate. Each marking period was very useful in providing me the right tools to succeed in the career that I have today. Specs Howard Career Services helped me become an intern for a great company while I was still in the GFX program, in addition to helping me obtain the position I have currently with CBS Radio shortly after graduation.

I’ve been with CBS Radio for over 2 ½ years and I absolutely LOVE my job! Currently I am the Senior Designer for the amazing radio station here at CBS Radio in Southfield, MI (97.1 The Ticket, 104.3 WOMC, 98.7 AMP Radio, 99.5 WYCD, WWJ 950 and CBS Sports Radio 1270). My love for music and passion for art makes this position the closest I have ever come to my dream job!

A sincere thank you to all the wonderful instructors that I had during my time in the GFX Program and most of all to Specs Howard for changing my life.

Evan Jankens’ story

Ever wonder who finds and reports all those wacky stories that get posted on 97.1 The Ticket’s social media feed and website? Meet Evan Jankens.

Jankens runs the sports side of the CBS Detroit house, posting serious sports stories and developing fun topics that get the online audience talking.

He says:

When I first went to Specs Howard in 2004, I knew that I wanted to be in either radio or TV. After four months, when I had to make my choice I went the radio route.

I made the right choice. While I was going to school, I was interning at WXYT-AM. One thing I learned while at Specs was to show up on time and make sure you were available when no one else would be. That’s exactly what I did.

Now In my 12th year at WXYT, the better question is what I haven’t done while working here. I have run the Detroit Tigers Network and broadcasted the games across the state. I was a board operator, moved up and became the board op and producer for Scott Anderson and Dan Wetzle from Yahoo Sports. From there I became the full-time producer for the Valenti and Foster show. I have engineered multiple remotes across the country, as well.

My love for computers and the internet became a career as I transitioned from the No. 1 show in Detroit to being the webmaster for 971theticket.com.

While I have been adding content on a daily basis and running social media, I have had the pleasure to cover two Super Bowls, a Final Four, Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquio, and two World Series, among many other sporting event.

Jeff Riger’s story

If you’re a Detroit sports fan, odds are you’ve listened to Jeff Riger. Riger works tirelessly, traveling from press box to press box to cover games for the on-air audience. He also writes blogs for CBS Detroit.

Riger has access to the top players in baseball, football, hockey and basketball at the height of their careers — in one of the greatest sports towns in the country.

He not only knows the players’ names, they know his.

Watch his story in the video above.



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