Mike Tighe

Mike Tighe

Mike Tighe, a former reporter for the local daily newspaper, is jazzed about reinventing himself as a multi-media journalist at WKBT-TV. Mike has extensive experience, ranging from being a reporter/editor for United Press International in Minneapolis while in college to a reporter/columnist at the La Crosse Tribune most recently. Sprinkled along his career path are reporting and editing at a weekly newspaper in Le Sueur, Minn.; the daily newspaper in Dubuque, Iowa; the Catholic Spirit weekly in the Twin Cities; the Palm Beach Post in West Palm Beach, Fla., and Newsmax magazine and website in West Palm Beach.

Mike and wife Kate have been married for eight years and moved from West Palm to La Crosse a few months after their wedding in a picturesque winery near Dubuque. Before you ask, “WhyinHELL would anybody move from Florida to Wisconsin?”, here’s the answer: Mike grew up in Nebraska and Kate, in southwest Wisconsin, so the cold doesn’t scare them as much as the heat, traffic and rude Northerners who populate much of South Florida. Now living in Onalaska, they’ve got two dogs: an aging, sometimes crabby, cockapoo named Jazzy, and an entertaining, frisky poodle named Nico. Mike also has three adult children and three grandkids in the Twin Cities. And he has a ventriloquist dummy named Lester, but Mike’s lips move when he “performs.”

Favorite band?
Abba, although I reserve my highest regard for ’60s singer/songwriter Gene Pitney for his contributions to music with his groundbreaking recording techniques. Best song EVER is Pitney’s “It Hurts to Be in Love.”

Favorite movie?
“Once Upon a Time in the West,” which is incredibly long (2 hours, 45 minutes), all the better to see old Western stars: Henry Fonda, in one of his few purely evil character roles that also enhances his mesmerizing blue eyes; Jason Robards, as one tough hombre; Charles Bronson as harmonica-playing gunslinger, and Claudia Cardinale, as feisty widow.

Do you have a personal motto or quote that inspires you?
Don’t let the bastards get you down.

Favorite way to spend a day off?
Usually puttering with an odd job or doing yard work, which I absolutely HATE. Also known for planting a few tomatoes, which do OK, and potatoes, which turn out to be miserable fails.

What are you bad at and wish you could do better?
Golf. I grew up playing on a little nine-hole course in Nebraska that had a puddle for a water hazard and something that amounted to a kiddie-size sandbox as a bunker. I considered myself relatively competent — until I moved to Florida and had to play on real courses with oceans for water hazards and deserts for bunkers. The only way I’ll be able to hit my age — a goal of many golfers — is to live to 95, my lowest score so far.

Favorite food?
Peanut butter and pickle sandwich — well, maybe not my favorite, but that’s my favorite go-to in a pinch.

Pizza?
Meat lovers — definitely not my kids’ preference of sauerkraut and Canadian bacon. (Who DOES that to a pizza?)

Noted trait: Warped sense of humor.

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