FEBRUARY 21, 2007


USAO alumnus earns Emmy for television campaign

Photo of Don Michael Jr. with his Emmy award.
Don Michael Jr., 1994 USAO alumnus, won an Emmy award last year for his image campaign entitled, “Watching Out for You.” Michael now lives in Las Vegas with his wife Laura and children Donald, Eric and Christina. Michael’s ties to Chickasha remain strong with family members and friends still living in the community.

Don Michael Jr. knows what it’s like to look out for his fellow man – and get rewarded for it. The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma alumnus and former Chickasha resident recently won an Emmy award for a campaign he helped create at a television station in Las Vegas.

Michael is the art director at KVBC, an NBC affiliate station, where he manages a staff of four designers who create graphics and animations for news, promotions and sales departments.

In 2006 he helped design an image campaign called “Watching Out for You.” The campaign was designed to illustrate how each of the station’s four main anchors look out for their viewers in different areas: crime, health, children and money. Michael was responsible for art direction, design and creation of animations, graphics and the overall look for the featured franchises.

“The campaign was so successful that within six months, research indicated our featured talent had risen significantly in local recognition and Las Vegas television viewers were identifying KVBC as the station ‘watching out’ for them,” Michael said. “We were then able to start phase two six months earlier than we had planned in our original timeline.”

The promotional spots found additional success when they earned Michael and two of his associates an Emmy last year for design.

Although Michael didn’t plan on being a designer, fate forced him into an interesting position that shaped the course of his life.

For 14 years, he worked at Pet, Inc. in Chickasha before the factory was closed in 1995. Michael had just graduated from USAO with a bachelor’s degree in art with an emphasis in printmaking the year before.

“While working at Pet, Inc., I got my degree at USAO with the intention of retiring early from factory work to focus on creating and showing fine art,” Michael said. “However, my plans were changed for me when Pillsbury bought out Pet, Inc. and closed the doors of the factory.”

The factory closing gave Michael a surprising push to change his professional direction.

Under the tutelage of Steve Brown, professor of art, Michael took additional tutorials focused on desktop publishing. He also took courses at Metro Tech in Oklahoma City for the same subject. After that, it was only a matter of time until he landed a new job.

“Within a year I had found a part-time job at KWTV in Oklahoma City as an early morning graphic artist,” Michael said. “And the rest is history!”

After three years at KWTV, Michael took a job as art director of a television station in Norfolk, Va. Three years later, a position opened in the west, and he became the art director at KVBC in Las Vegas. Over the past four years, Michael has won three Broadcaster Designers Association awards for his work with the station there, including a gold award for his redesign of the station’s logo.

In addition to KVBC, Michael’s graphics and animations have appeared in several other cities and states, including Wyoming and Idaho.

Contact: Randy Talley, USAO, (405) 574-1337