Critic at Large, Digital Journalist
Hometown: West Allis, Wisconsin
Started at WFRV: June 3, 2013
Interests: Writing (fiction and non-fiction books; reviews/features for WFRV), wild up north Wisconsin, travel
Warren Gerds is critic at large for WFRV-TV and on WeAreGreenBay.com
A fellow used to call me Copy Desk for how I answered the telephone at work: “Copy desk, Warren Gerds.” Editing stories is how I started in the newspaper business, right from earning a journalism degree (with a unique combination of English and chemistry minors) from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Tuition was $112 a semester. What a bargain for setting me up for 45 years at the Green Bay Press-Gazette, including 35 years as critic at large.
I wrote my first review within a month of starting at the newspaper. It was for a blockbuster movie, “Hawaii.” Numerous reviews, feature stories and series followed as I continued on as a hybrid editor/writer. I met and/or talked to numerous celebrities and local folks with an amazing variety of talents. Something like this happened more than once: “I still have the clipping of the article you wrote about me.” “When was that?” “1977.”
Many guys know me from playing basketball. In Milwaukee, I was the scoring champion of a rec league. My wife, Kathleen, heard about my ball playing in Green Bay rec leagues and at the downtown YMCA many times at teacher conferences at Pulaski High School. Father: “I played basketball against your husband.” This became Kathleen’s standard question: “Did he hurt you?” This was the standard reply: “Yes.” Sorry, guys (and a few women), I only know how to play hard. Take comfort: I quit playing basketball after 50 years.
One of my brothers inspired me to write just from telling me a fantasy story when I was a boy. The writing kept growing. In my last years in newspapering, I wrote three books while still working full time at the paper. Since I left, I wrote four other books. In sequence, the books are “My Father Lives in the Drawer”(non-fiction stories) “Tales of a Newspaperman: Ice Bowl and Lombardi Through Time” (non-fiction stories), “The Legend of Taylor Rapids” (historical fiction in the 1914-1915 Wisconsin lumbering and railroad era ), “Real, Honest Sailing/With a Great Lakes Captain” (award-winning non-fiction by Captain Gary W. Schmidt with me as the interviewer, organizer, editor and writer), “Three Miles Past Lost and in the Pickers” (autobiographical fiction), “I Fell Out of a Tree in Fresno” (non-fiction) and “Nickolaus and Olive – a naïve opera (in words)” (fiction).
I have three older brothers. Kathleen and I between us have three grown children, each of whom does something amazing.
I tend to get out and about, from wild and remote northern Wisconsin to cosmopolitan Paris and London. Seeing plays and concerts is a habit. I have a chance to write about what happens on stages, encouraging readers to see live performances if they can and, if they can’t, allowing them to go to a lot of shows vicariously through me. Come along and enjoy.
Email Warren at: firstname.lastname@example.org