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Character

Cougar Query: "My go-to comfort food is the Monday Special at Café Rio"

Name: Michael A. Dunn
BYU employee since: 2017

My job at BYU is… Managing Director of BYU Broadcasting. This means I get to work alongside more than 500 amazingly talented staff and students responsible for creating the inspiring, vibrant and, yes, audacious content which airs nationwide on the BYUtv and BYUradio networks. Our television network reaches 52 million homes in the United States through cable and satellite systems, and radio is on more than 13 million devices through SiriusXM. We currently have 21 shows and series in active development or production, which includes scripted dramas, unscripted reality shows, game shows, made for television movies and even a cooking show. We also produce more than 600 hours of live BYU sports programming annually.

Currently I’m working on… previewing the hilarious new episodes of season 10 for Studio C. And, yes, they actually pay me to do this! The new cast is unbelievably talented and you will love them! On the radio side of the house, I’m also reviewing our new 10-epsiode, modern-day mashup of Robert Lewis Stevenson’s iconic pirate tale which we call, Treasure Island 2020. Look for it as a podcast this fall from BYUradio. But be forewarned: make sure your homework is done before you listen to the first episode, because it’s so good that it’s impossible to not binge listen to the whole thing.

I’m currently reading… Radical Candor by Kim Scott and Saints, Volume 2 (…the first three chapters, anyway. Can’t wait for the full book).

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I get most excited about my work when… we create world-class shows and then share them with an audience so hungry for the light-infused, family programs which stand in dramatic contrast to the content in the ever-darkening media landscape. But I get even more excited when I receive a letter from a viewer (especially from someone who is not a member of the Church) profusely thanking us for creating this oasis of family television.

When I have 30 minutes of free time, you can find me… on a bike. Road, mountain or fat bike. I love them all. I even convinced my grandson Zach to let me try out his balance bike a few weeks ago and had a blast!

My advice to incoming freshman is… take a broad, diverse, and liberal arts-style approach to your class schedule. Explore and probe until you find your passion. Then hone in and take every class you can in that area. No matter what your major is, be relentless about improving your writing skills. Foster a relationship with a professor who can mentor you. Get an internship and a real-world experience in your chosen field. Do all you can to finish in four (academic) years. And yes, set your sights on a post-graduate degree.

On Saturday mornings you’ll find me… on a bike ride with my wife of nearly 40 years, Linda.

My go-to comfort food is…The Monday special at Café Rio: Fire-roasted Anaheim chili peppers. ¡Es delicioso! A very close second (photo finish, in fact) are the short rib tacos from Kogi Korean BBQ in Los Angeles. 그것들은 맛있다!

My favorite quote is… “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky

My dream car is... a Tesla Model X.

The biggest challenge I’ve faced was... In the late summer of 1994, I was attacked and severely mauled by a Grizzly bear while on a backcountry run in Grand Teton National Park. Despite 16 major wound sites, more than 300 stitches and three major surgeries, I survived. What did I learn? How grateful I am for the mercies of our loving Heavenly Father, the reality of guardian angels and to never give up, no matter how dire your circumstance.

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