Dann Shively '68 (Speech Communication)
Shively's on top of the news
Hurry up and wait. Dann Shively did a lot of that in the Marine Corps, and since breaking news doesn’t happen every minute of the day, that motto sometimes rang true when he was a helicopter reporter for KCRA 3.
“The life of a helicopter reporter is not as glamorous as it might seem. Some days are very slow,” says Shively, who retired in 2011. “Sometimes there’s a lot of waiting around in the hangar.”
Shively has had a fixed-wing pilot’s license since 1971 and a helicopter license since 1976, but his true passion is broadcasting.
“My first job was at a radio station in Vallejo when I was 12,” he says. “I swept the floors, took out the trash, mowed the lawn and did all the odd jobs just so I could be around radio.”
Shively was a Sac State student in the late 60s.
“Back in those days there was no communication studies major. You had speech with five areas of concentration: teaching, therapy, public address, theater and broadcasting.”
He was a few credits short of graduating when he was drafted into the Marine Corps at the height of the Vietnam War.
“I was enlisted for two years, but it was a good experience,” he says.
It probably helped that he was assigned to the public affairs office in Okinawa, Japan and that on weekends, he was allowed to deejay on the American Forces Radio and Television Service network at Kadena Air Base, Japan—a 20-minute motorcycle ride away.
During his overseas tour, he continued working on his degree through correspondence and graduated from Sac State in 1970.
“I really liked being at Sac State. Of course, the student radio station was nothing like it is today. It was a little 10-watt station that could only transmit about a mile from campus. But, we got to do everything from production to performance and it really prepared me for the real world.”
This article was originally published in the Spring 2008 edition of Sac State Magazine.