Ken Siemek

2013 Inductee

Nebraska is a state whose residents depend on the weather for their livelihood, and Ken is the guy who, for over 30 years, has been there for them at all hours of the day and night. He’s the guy who never tires of shaking hands with countless viewers and perfect strangers, who mentors the new kids in the newsroom, and who can talk about meteorology to a class of elementary school children. Ken can’t get out in the community without being mobbed, yet he uses his celebrity status on behalf of charitable events and causes to the extent that legends grow up around him: how they had to conclude a holiday coat drive a week early because they’d already doubled the goal; how Ken grabbed the mic at a charity auction to make it their most successful in over 100 years; how he started a tradition with an ad-libbed Husker poem full of funny and cheesy one-liners. His blend of humility, friendliness, wit and hard-work has earned a level of trust most can only imagine. From the Governor’s office to the most remote town in the state, Nebraskans describe Ken: He’s one of us!

Ken Siemek began his illustrious career as a college intern at KOLN/KGIN in Lincoln, known as 10/11, back in 1980; he describes his duties then as taking out the trash and sweeping the studio after the 10PM newscast. A year later he was hired on as a videographer and jack-of-all-trades, then moved into the weekend weather announcer position. Although his hopes of becoming a Sports Guy were dashed, Ken had found his calling. In 1986 he was named Chief Meteorologist, and has since earned his seal from the American Meteorological Society. What may be most remarkable about his career is that he has never gone looking for greener pastures, instead dedicating himself to making his station, his community and his state better places to work and live. During a surprise 30th anniversary newscast, Ken had this to say, “A day never goes by that I don’t think about how lucky I am to be able to do what I’ve done for 30 years. It has been an honor, a pleasure and a privilege.”

A member of the Lancaster County Emergency Planning Commission, Ken has also served on numerous community-based boards, volunteered at Nebraska schools and as an athletics coach, and volunteered countless hours at charity events and fundraisers, including People’s City Mission, Can-Care-a-Van, Regional Food Banks, Salvation Army, Nebraska Sports Council, Juvenile Diabetes Association, Goodwill, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, Lincoln Children’s Zoo, Lincoln Children’s Museum and, ….. the list goes on and on!

In 1992 Ken married Deb Collins, the station’s first female evening news anchor; they have a son, Parker.