MADISON, Wis., — Neil Heinen will retire in September after 28 years of community service through television and print editorials.
Heinen delivered his first editorial April 3, 1992, and has offered more than 7,400 TV editorials and hosted 1,500 episodes of the Sunday morning public affairs show “For the Record” in his time as editorial director. He joined the Madison Magazine staff in 2000.
He has been organizer and facilitator of WISC-TV’s community leader meetings.
“It’s been an honor and a privilege for more than three decades to represent owner Elizabeth Murphy Burns and the Murphy Burns family’s commitment to journalism, to South Central Wisconsin and especially to Madison,” said Heinen, currently the editorial director for WISC-TV and Madison Magazine.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to give voice to Liz’s belief in the responsibility of family-owned, local media to contribute, to partner and to lead. My career at WISC and Madison Magazine has been challenging, satisfying and rewarding beyond my wildest dreams.”
Heinen has been instrumental in support of major community building projects Monona Terrace, Kohl Center and Overture Center. He was part of a group to spearhead “Schools of Hope,” an initiative to help close the achievement gap in Madison schools. He helped launch “We the People/Wisconsin,” one of the first and most successful civic journalism projects in the country in the 1990s.
“To declare Neil Heinen a Madison institution is an understatement, and his impact and legacy will last forever,” said WISC-TV vice president and general manager Tom Keeler. “He’s one of the most recognized, revered and respected individuals in Madison today.”
He has been part of the National Broadcast Editorial Association and the National Conference of Editorial Writers since the 1990s.
He has been part of the clinical faculty at the Kettering Foundation for 20 years and a community scholar at Edgewood College for 15 years.
Heinen’s last day will be Sept. 15.