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Wildcat Tracks: Matt Sheehan ’14

For someone with a love of performing, you might think a career on television would be at the top of their career list. But sometimes, it takes a nudge from other people to set you on the right path. This was the case for Matt Sheehan, who spent lots of time on the stage in high school. “I always loved writing; I always loved performing. At Westminster, I was a member of the Advanced Improv team for two years after I took two years of drama classes. I also was a tenor in choir and chamber choir,” Matt said. “During many of our improv shows, we played a game called  ‘Anchorman.’ I was always the main anchor during those performances. After each show, I had people come up to me and say, ‘Hey, you did really well as the anchorman. You could do that in real life!’ This helped me piece the puzzle together, and I began to look into becoming a journalist.”

It wasn’t just improv that shaped Matt’s time at Westminster. “I was very involved in fine arts at WCA. I went on the fine arts trip the summer before senior year, where we traveled to Chicago and NYC. It was an amazing experience.

“I had a lot of incredible teachers who got me through my highschool years. A few that come to mind are Dan Burke, Luke Davis, Dave Schall, and Allen Schwamb. I enjoyed my Worldviews class at WCA. It helped me learn about other religions and solidified my Christian faith.”

While attending Missouri State University, Matt began doing on-camera work in his journalism classes. “I had a college internship at WMBD-TV in Peoria, Illinois, where I was able to report on-air,” he said. “Straight out of college, WMBD then offered me a job where I began on-camera work immediately. That was four and a half years ago. I was the Courts & Crime reporter for a few years, covering major murder cases throughout the state. I was also the fill-in sports anchor.”

Currently, Matt puts in long days behind the desk as the anchor/TV host for This Morning and Good Day Central Illinois. “I get into work at 3:30 a.m. each daythen anchor four hours straight from 5:00-9:00 a.m. I am also the noon show anchor/producer. I put the entire show together by writing stories, finding pieces from around the country, and “stacking” the show. This means putting all the stories in the order they end up in. On top of these shows, I am the political lead. I host a weekly show called On the Record, where I sit down one-on-one with politicians and political candidates. I also have started a segment called Truth Tests, where I put political campaign ads to the test if they are true or false.”

Working in the television industry has allowed Matt to sit down with famous people and those who have a real impact on our world. “Some of my favorite interviews have been in the entertainment and political realm. On the political side, I sat down one-on-one with Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg to discuss the future of electric vehicles in the U.S. I also did cast interviews with the actors from DC Titans on HBO Max. I really enjoyed speaking with them as I led the coverage of Season 3 of that show,” Matt said. “Another big name I interviewed was Jimmy Garoppolostarting QB for the San Francisco 49ers. A few others that come to mind are Dr. Anthony Fauci, Joe Gatto, Lee Brice, and Carole Baskin.”

Despite the hard work, Matt says at the end of the day, the best part of the job for him is connecting to members of his community. Matt and his wife Rachel live with their new baby Bennett in Peoria, Illinois. “I have been blessed to meet so many incredible people while in the field, and the viewers who interact with me over social media have been extremely encouraging.”

For more on Matt Sheehan: IG @themattsheehan or www.mattsheehanofficial.com

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