JOHN SUMMERJohn Summer
describes himself as an Air Force brat living all over the world before his
family settled down in Minnesota.His
desire to enter television news was eventually shaped by all the political intrigue and world events offered by Washington, D.C., where he
spent much of his
time designing restaurants after having graduated with a film and photography background in the 70's."My first wife worked at the White House under Carter," he says.
"I was intrigued by figures in power." John Summer
...At 30, Summer got the urge and headed off to familiar territory in Minneapolis, where interned at KSTP then took a position at WDIO in nearby Duluth as local host and producer of the syndicated "PM Magazine" program.
The demise of the show after a year proved to be a blessing in disguise.Summer
worked his way up the ladder from reporter to weekend anchor to main co-anchor of the evening news with his future second wife Liz Wagner.
From 1985, Summer
spent the next ten tears anchoring and reporting news for KSTP, an independent powerhouse soon taken over by Fox."The tone of the news changed quickly.It was real â€˜if it bleeds it leads,' in-your-face kind of stuff.It was new, and it was fun," he
remembers.But covering people doing the worst things to people, as he
puts it, got old just as quickly.
knew where he
wanted to be.Having been familiar with the Central Coast since his
father retired to Santa Barbara in 1980, and having connections with Fox-owned Murdoch, which purchased KSBY
in 1995, Summer
landed an anchor position at the local NBC affiliate, where he
remained for three years until new owners took over, and failed to renew his
contract (read again: didn't see eye to eye).Not a bad place to be, on the beach, but out of a job nonetheless."If I were to stay in broadcasting I would have had to go to a bigger market to make money, then retire," he
explains, "But I didn't want that so I decided to change professions so we could stay here.This was our home."Summer
had just turned 50 when he
was offered an opportunity as a financial advisor for Merrill-Lynch
."It was another interest of mine but I had to go to school for the credentialsâ€¦it was intense."Again he
was working alongside his
wife Liz, who joined him as advisor as well.But the news never left his
blood.In 2003, Summer
helped start Central Coast Magazine, a glossy publication that reflects SLO's lifestyle."I do miss the news but now our magazine satisfies most of my needs that were fulfilled in broadcasting," he
says."I wanted to be able to tell people what was happening in a way they felt comfortable with.Plus I don't have to answer to anybody else."As editor-in-chief, Summer does call his own shots.He
loves the community, and loves to write.