Like Father, Like Son
Both Don ’66 and Jon ’01 Alhart got their journalism training at IC. Don is the main news anchor and associate news director for WHAM in Rochester, New York. His son, Jon, was a sports anchor and reporter for WSYR in Syracuse until leaving to enter advertising in 2008.
The senior Alhart began his professional television career at WOKR (the predecessor of WHAM) right after graduating from Ithaca College. He has reported the evening news every night at 6 and 11 p.m. for 48 years.
“People keep asking me when I’m going to retire,” he says. “I should at least go for 50 and see what happens.”
When Jon was growing up, his dad worked long hours and nights, but he still made time to get to concerts and sporting events, even if it was just for a few innings of a Little League game.
“He always found a way, but it’s tough,” Jon said. “He knew how to handle that TV lifestyle better than anyone. The schedule tests how passionate you are about it. You have to love it 110 percent.”
After working in broadcast for four or five years, Jon realized it wasn’t his passion, so he went to work for Dixon Schwabl Advertising, first in public relations and then as director of social and digital media.
“I’m asking a lot of the same questions,” he said. “Why does the audience care? Is this valuable content? How do I write it so that it’s compelling and engaging?”