Erik Runge is a solid storyteller that loves the chase of a great lead. That love of a great story started with his father. Some of his earliest memories include sitting on the sofa with his father having him manually turn the TV channel to 8, the CBS affiliate in Des Moines, Iowa. We’d watch the evening news with Dan Rather, then keep the station locked-in for the local news. On Sundays it was Meet The Press in the morning and 60 Minutes before bed. It didn’t take long for him to realize it wasn’t just being with his father that he loved it was also the people that shared these stories with him and his father.
At the University of Iowa, his fascination with news and how to deliver it in a compelling way continued to grow. The immediacy and writing style of television is what he loved and became the most passionate about. Out of school he was accepted as an intern at CNN. He was lucky in the internship to get to work under Candy Crowley. He saw how compelling and meaningful stories can be when a great reporter crafts precise and graceful sentences while being carful not to overshadow great video and natural sound. He says that he’ll never forget the day he saw her weave what could have been a boring story about a disaster relief bill into a piece that not only broke down the politics but did so in a way that was filled with the emotions of the people the bill impacted.
After graduating, he was thrilled to land his first job in one of the smallest measured markets. At KSTF in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, he had the opportunity to do it all. He anchored, reported, produced, and shot and edited almost all of his work
During his tenure in this business he’s covered hurricanes and blizzards, wild fires and tornados. In Texas he led the station’s coverage during the bizarre murder trial of Robert Durst. In Kansas he was part of a team of reporters covering the chase, capture and trial of a serial killer named BTK (Bind Torture Kill). But, it was at KMSP that he sharpened his story telling skills by working with some of the best photojournalists in the business. He reported for all Fox affiliates during the historic budget battle of 2010 in Madison, Wisconsin.
His journey has put him in the center of national news on many occasions. He’s reported live on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News Channel, and The Weather Channel. One of his hurricane stories was featured on the NBC Nightly News. And, he can be seen covering the Durst trial the critically acclaimed HBO series, “The Jinx." Regardless of where those stories air the goal has always been the same: bring the most meaningful account of an event into living rooms across America – a story reported in a way that helps viewers make sense of what they are hearing and seeing, but, more importantly, how those events help shape their lives and communities.
His work in Minneapolis garnered Emmy nominations and wins. Being recognized for his work is always rewarding but he gets so much more from the people he interviews and the stories he tells every day. Just this past spring, while covering a Chicago area tornado, he interviewed a woman whose home was blown off its foundation. She and her family lost everything. When they met however her only concern was finding her young daughter’s softball uniform so she could play the next day. It always amazes him how people can function after such a devastating loss. It’s that resilience and the enduring hope that keeps him walking the streets to tell these stories.