News Staff

News Staff

 

garybio

Gary Daigneault News Director

Gary Daigneault (News/Program Director) lives three lives. He has been “The Voice of the Morongo Basin” since he showed up in Twentynine Palms in 1979 in a beat-up old Datsun and a new wife (has had different jobs, but still has the same wife, he likes her).

Gary hosts the Z107.7 morning show with the beer drinking, cheesy poof eating Pat Michaels weekday mornings. In his other lives he teaches ROP Broadcasting at Twentynine Palms High School and directs Major Musicals for Theatre 29.

As a Radio Personality and Broadcast Journalist he is one of the most highly decorated reporters in the state with numerous awards and citations from the Associated Press, National Association of Broadcasters, Radio-Television News Association, and Radio Inc. Magazine. In 2010 he was inducted into the Associated Press Hall of Fame. Click to view the Congressional Record commending this honor. In 2009 he accepted the prestigious Golden Mike trophy for Best Radio Newscast Writing for small market radio stations in 2008.

In his Theatrical life Daigneault has directed major musicals locally since 2000. Gary started his theatre career at the age of eight and he has been involved in over 100 productions working professionally as an Actor, Director, Dancer, Stage Manager, and Set & Lighting Designer for Repertory, Summer Stock, Community Theaters, College productions and school shows.

Active in Community service, Daigneault is a founding member and eight term Past President of the Theatre 29 Board, 4 term Past-President of Yucca Valley Rotary Clubs, a Past-President of the Twentynine Palms and Joshua Tree Chambers of Commerce, and vice-president of the Yucca Valley Chamber. He spent 8 years as the Chairman of the Joshua Tree National Park Commission, was instrumental in the creation of the annual Firefighter of the Year awards, organized a yearly Toys for Tots motorcycle run, Chaired the Yucca Valley Rotary’s Fireworks Committee for 8 years, and co-chairs the Grubstake Days Community Fair Committee.

  • Gary Daigneault named “Cultural Contributor” by the Basin Wide Foundation June 2012
  • Hi-Desert performers rack up trophies at theater awards (Hi-Desert Star)
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    tami

    Tami Roleff Managing News Editor

    Tami is also a transplanted Mid-Westerner who moved to California thanks to her husband Keith and the Marine Corps. They’ve lived and traveled all over the world. During Keith’s 20 years in the Marines they were stationed in Quantico, Virginia, North Carolina, Okinawa, Japan, and San Diego, finally settling in Yucca Valley. Although Tami sometimes misses the green trees and 10,000 lakes of Minnesota, she doesn’t miss the winters or the humidity, and has grown to enjoy living in the desert.

    Tami’s degree in English has helped her with her work in the fields of journalism and editing. During one of Keith’s deployments to Iraq, Tami took Gary’s ROP Broadcasting Occupations class and was hired as a reporter in 2007. She became managing editor in 2011. She also is an editor for Greenhaven Press, publisher of the Opposing Viewpoints series popular in schools.

    She spends her “free” time with her golden retrievers and enjoys taking photos of anything and everything. Thanks to her vocation and avocation she’s traveled to places she probably wouldn’t have, seen things she might not notice, and met people who enrich her life.

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    pat

    Dan Stork
    Assignment Reporter and Weekend News Anchor

    While housebound for a stretch during his kindergarten year in New Jersey, Dan Stork’s main companion was the radio, giving him a lifetime fondness for the medium. During the ensuing fifty-plus years, Dan married Sona (in 1965), and lived in Greenwich Village, Massachusetts and Orange County before moving to Joshua Tree in 2000. Along the way, he got a Ph.D. in mathematics, taught math and computer science in colleges including UC Irvine, and worked as a software engineer. In 2002, at Sona’s suggestion, he connected with radio from the other end of the transmission, by taking Gary Daigneault’s ROP Broadcasting course. He’s been a part-time reporter at Z107.7 since then. Dan enjoys watching the operations of local government up close, and is still trying to reach Gary’s goal of telling the complete story of a meeting in 43 seconds or less (never done it yet, probably never will). He’s been filling his golden years of retirement (aside from radio work) with bicycling and hiking in Joshua Tree National Park, writing a column and doing occasional cantoring at synagogues in the low desert, volunteer tutoring, and traveling with Sona in their RV. Last year they went to Maine and back — six weeks together in a 20-foot van, and still married!

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    mike

    Mike Lipsitz
    Assignment Reporter

    Mike relocated to the Morongo Basin quite by accident. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of Missouri, Columbia and has been writing copy for various genres most of his life – advertising, newsletters, newspaper reporting, and promotional materials.

    Back in 2004 Mike was living in Midtown Manhattan where he’d mostly lived since graduating college in the early 80’s (working with Theatre and on Broadway). He vividly remembers driving around and around looking for a parking spot, which is a major pastime for anyone dumb enough to have a car in Midtown Manhattan. Anyway, he kept expanding his search for a parking spot and when he ultimately arrived in Landers, he knew he’d found the Valhalla of parking and did the obvious thing … he parked and settled here. Soon after he was joined by his same-sex partner, and the two of them have been living Landers for almost ten years now.

    Mike became acquainted with Gary Daigneault while volunteering backstage at Theatre 29. At some point, Gary suggested that Mike take on some news stories on a per assignment basis. It was Mike’s first attempt at broadcast news, of course, you already knew that if you were among those who tuned in and heard some of those first stories. But Gary and the rest of the staff demonstrated extraordinary patience and fortitude as they coached Mike along.

    When he’s not at the KCDZ, Mike serves as the Honorary Mayor of Landers, and is active in a handful of local non-profits. He writes and edits several newsletters including one for the Morongo Basin Historical Society, the Landers Association, and periodically for the Hi-Desert’s LGBT communities.

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    taylor

    Taylor Thacker
    Assignment Reporter

    Taylor was born in North Carolina, but has lived all over. She is a military brat because of her dad, and enjoys seeing new places and meeting new people. Taylor started out in the broadcasting business at 16 years old when she took the ROP broadcasting class at the high school. She was then hired to Z107.7 as an assignment reporter. Taylor is on the cross country team and track team at Twentynine Palms High School. She is a runner because she likes to stay in shape and likes the people on her team. However, against most people’s assumptions, she does not like running. She does it for the love of competition. In Taylor’s spare time, besides running, she likes to read and is involved in acting at her school. Her favorite subject in school is math, and her love for learning is like dividing by 0… you cannot define it.

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