Meet the Staff Mondays – Dan Runyan

IdahoPTV’s Carol Beres recently sat down with Dan. “I install and maintain equipment and fix things as necessary in order to ensure we stay on the air and can produce shows,” he says. The engineers do a lot behind the scenes here at Idaho Public Television so everything on-air runs smoothly.

While Dan wasn’t born in Idaho, he grew up in the Gem State for the most part. And he did move out of the state a bit, due to his father’s military career. “My father was in the Air Force. When he retired in 1990, we were living in Wyoming. And then we moved up here because both of my parents are from Idaho, and we had family here.” Dan lived in the Caldwell area. “I’m actually the only person in my immediate family not born in the state of Idaho,” Dan laughs.

Besides enjoying his job, Dan is a fan of the mission here at Idaho Public Television. “It’s more fulfilling than working at a commercial TV station…where, if it bleeds it leads,” he says. “It’s always seeing the terrible things and not a lot of the good stuff.”

Dan likes to tinker with electronics in his down time and builds a lot of gadgets for his kids. “I built a Nerf gun target for my kids. That’s my most recent project,” he says. “And my daughter and I put together a little robot kit that is collision avoidance. It drives around and if it gets too close to a wall or something, it turns around and drives off in another path.”

When he feels the need to snack, he reaches for a classic. “My wife would say peanut butter. We go through a lot of peanut butter,” Dan laughs. And in his downtime, he likes to head out into the great outdoors and pitch a tent. “My wife and I have been able to do more camping in the last couple years. It’s fun to get the kids out to go camping or to go outdoors and hike. A couple of years ago we went up to Custer to see the ghost towns and spent a week camping there. This year, we went to Page Springs over in Oregon. It’s just outside the Malheur Bird Refuge. And we just got back from a camping trip at the Bruneau Sand Dunes.”

Dan’s kids (ages 10, 8 and 6) watch a lot of PBS and two of them have their favorite shows. “My son likes ‘Molly of Denali’ and ‘Odd Squad’. And my daughter will watch just whatever is on,” he laughs.

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