Dave Busiek

Dave Busiek

Dave Busiek spent 43 years working in Iowa radio and television newsrooms as a reporter, anchor and the last 30 years as news director of KCCI-TV, the CBS affiliate in Des Moines. In that role, he planned coverage of the Iowa caucuses, the floods of 1993 during which 250,000 central Iowans lost drinking water for 12 days, and organized the first national debate between Democratic candidates for president in 2015. He served as national board chair of the Radio-Television News Directors Association. In 2014, he was Broadcasting and Cable Magazine’s News Director of the Year. He was inducted into the Iowa Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2018 and is a recipient of the Iowa Broadcast News Association’s Jack Shelley award. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism. He retired at the end of 2018. He is a member of the Iowa Writers' Collaborative and his blog, "Dave Busiek on Media" appears on Substack.


The reason Iowa Regents caved on diversity, equity and inclusion

By: - November 30, 2023

The Iowa Board of Regents is rightly taking a lot of criticism over last week’s decision to largely gut university Diversity, Equity and Inclusion programs. The board instructed the three state universities to retain only those DEI efforts necessary to maintain federal funding. Everything else must go. The Des Moines Register’s editorial board took the […]


It’s time to end these pointless presidential debates

By: - September 29, 2023

I tried. I really tried to watch the GOP presidential candidate debate this week, but I couldn’t do it. After 15 minutes, I turned it off. I felt a need to protect my sanity. Watching adults talk over each other, yell to get attention, call each other schoolyard insulting names, and, oh yeah, stretch the […]


‘Never back down’ is a lousy way to lead

By: - August 11, 2023

The CEO of a big Iowa company taught me a valuable lesson, one I’ve been thinking about as one of the presidential candidates campaigns across Iowa vowing to “never back down.” It happened a few years ago. While I was running the station’s TV newsroom, a new part-time reporter ran a story on our 6 […]


Blackouts hit TV viewers as stations battle over bucks

By: - July 7, 2023

Another television station blackout battle is happening in Iowa, and across the country, and this is a big one. It involves stations owned by Nexstar, a Texas company that owns 159 TV stations – the most of any U.S. company. It includes WHO-TV, the NBC affiliate in Des Moines; KCAU, the ABC affiliate in Sioux […]


Why should media give equal time to hate and discrimination?

By: - June 23, 2023

A television station in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is under fire because a news manager emailed news staff, telling them to dial back their coverage of Pride Month. It did not go over well with news staff, the community or station owners. According to CNN, the assistant news director at NBC affiliate WOOD-TV sent an email […]


Iowa media – and Democrats – need to fix unbalanced reporting of opinions

By: - June 17, 2023

With all the important national news stories in recent weeks – the debt ceiling showdown, the Trump indictments – an unhealthy trend has developed in local media. Iowa Democrats, as well as local news outlets, need to address it. The problem is the nearly complete lock that Iowa Republicans have on reacting to these news […]


Fox News settlement is great for Dominion – not so great for the rest of us

By: - April 19, 2023

“Damn!”  That’s the instant reaction I had when I saw the breaking news alert that Dominion Voting Systems had settled its lawsuit with Fox “News.” Like many of you, I was hoping to see the network’s managers and top anchors have to answer in person, under oath, and on the record, about the many lies […]


Why we need cameras in federal courts

By: - March 19, 2023

It is high time the federal judiciary got over itself and joined the 20th century, much less the 21st. Here we are some 70 years after the invention of television, and our federal court system still operates behind a black curtain that keeps all of us from better understanding the critical decisions being made that affect […]


Lawsuit claims Fox News knew — and now its viewers do, too

By: - February 20, 2023

Loyal viewers of Fox News should be asking themselves a critical question. Are they getting facts, or are they getting lies told to them because Fox thinks that’s what they want? The answer should be obvious following the bombshell revelations in a court filing Thursday. Dominion Voting Systems is suing Fox News for $1.6 billion, […]


Iowa GOP blacklists TV station from election night event

By: - November 16, 2022

In what’s become a trend of Republicans stiff-arming mainstream media outlets, the Iowa Republican Party last week denied a Cedar Rapids TV station entrance into the GOP’s election night party in downtown Des Moines. KCRG-TV is the ABC affiliate in Cedar Rapids.  It’s a fine news operation that provides quality coverage in eastern Iowa.  On […]


Behind the scenes at a local TV station on election night

By: - November 8, 2022

Most journalists love election night. It’s fast-paced, exciting, late-breaking, unpredictable. You know in your heart that viewers and readers really want to know what happened, so it takes all your skills to deliver a ton of information in an understandable way. In TV news, the key to a successful election night is preparation weeks in advance. […]


Do TV stations make a killing on political ads?

By: - October 29, 2022

Cindy Axne went to France! Zach Nunn still has his hand in the air! IRS agents are hiding in Iowa cornfields (wearing dark business suits for some reason) ready to pounce on us! Somebody’s giving “the bird” to who, exactly? On many election days at KCCI, before the polls closed, anchor Kevin Cooney would announce […]