The KGCS television station at Missouri Southern is under new leadership, but the new station manager and creative services director are by no means strangers to the university.
Bobbie Pottorff joined the station on Feb. 1 as the new station manager, while Maddy West took over as creative director last October. Both are graduates of MSSU who got their start at the station, which has served the Joplin area for more than 35 years.
Pottorff graduated in 1991 with a degree in communication-broadcast emphasis. Judy Stiles, the longtime KGCS manager who recently retired after more than three decades with the station, was one of her instructors.
“Those are giant shoes to fill,” said Pottorff. “I only hope I can continue her legacy of professionalism and community involvement.”
After graduating high school, she began volunteering at Joplin’s KSN television station while honing her skills at KGCS. She later worked for a Wichita television station before coming back to the area to serve as assistant news director and assignment editor for KOAM for more than a decade.
In recent years, she has also taught the intro to broadcasting course at Crowder College and worked as a freelance writer for the Joplin Globe’s Joplin Metro Magazine.
“I’ve wanted to come back and work at Southern ever since I graduated,” said Pottorff. “It’s a really great environment. We have a great feeder market for television students, where they can learn and go work for our local TV stations. It’s a lifelong dream to work for the school that helped make me who I am.”
Maddy West graduated from Missouri Southern in 2019 with degrees in mass communication and public relations, and was heavily involved with operations at KGCS as a student.
“After I graduated, I came back here when we build the video board in the football stadium to direct shots and graphics that were featured during games,” she said.
“After that, I did concert photography for the Connect2Culture series of invited artists, and on the side I have a have a videography business with my sister and our friends.”
West said she worked closely with former creative services director Bill Hunt, who retired last year after nearly 20 years in the role. It’s a position that involves working closely with local stations, businesses and organizations to create PSAs, scheduling, and working with students on creating their own programming.
“This job is probably what I had in my head that I wanted to do, but never thought I’d get here to soon,” said West. “At this point, this is probably my dream job.