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Holladay Journal

Holladay resident and journalist Jane Wynn Allen loves the creative process

Aug 03, 2022 03:19PM ● By Sona Schmidt-Harris

Jane Wynn Allen is not from these parts. This much is clear. But she has managed to merge the sophistication of the East Coast, where she was raised, with the friendly, open nature of the West, a feat not easily accomplished.

Allen was born in Charlotte, North Carolina and raised in Cleveland, Boston, New York and Washington, D.C. Her father worked for the FBI, and her family moved for his work. Career and education were important in her household, and with her father’s encouragement, Allen attended the University of Montana where she earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in radio and television. The university was one of the highest rated colleges for journalism in the country.

 Though high achieving, it’s family that matters most to Allen. “I keep immaculate track of my wonderful children and grandchildren,” she said. Allen has two children and 16 grandchildren.

Blending family and career was not always easy, but Allen managed to do so during her 38 years at KSL TV. It was there that she received three Emmys and 11 Telly Awards for her efforts. She received Emmys for a spot she did on the Olympics, a compilation of all her work titled, “An Old Bag of Tricks,” and numerous image spots for the on-air anchors and personalities.

However, accolades and awards are not her main objectives. “I love to write. I love the creative process,” she said. “I always think that if everything were taken away from me, if I had a yellow legal pad, pen, and an idea, I would be happy.” In addition to her journalistic contributions, Allen enjoys writing poetry as well. An unusual characteristic she possesses is that she misses the on-air editing process when she was a journalist. For many writers, it can be quite painful.  

During her career, Allen interviewed some big names including Telly Savalas who spent a Saturday at KSL cutting promos for the old TV series, “Kojak.” 

“Raquel Welch gave an impromptu interview in the makeup room, and Bob Costas was very amiable and a perfectionist in delivery and accuracy.” Other interviews included some time with Larry King, Patricia Neal, Maya Angelou, Loretta Swit, David Hasselhoff and many more.

“One of the more enjoyable shoots was with Frank Layden when we did spots spoofing well-known movies, with Frank playing leading role,” Allen said. “It was for Multiple Sclerosis Dinner of Champions.” During that time, Allen was the MS State chair. “Frank and Barbara Layden were wonderful members of my Board.”

After her retirement in 2005, Allen has kept in touch with old journalistic friends from KSL including Edna Anderson-Taylor, Carole Mikita and Dick Nourse. Though life for her is quieter now, she enjoys her “little house in Holladay in the shadow of the beautiful mountains.” She also enjoys visiting her brother on the East Coast and gardening.

With a career that spanned from 1967-2005 and continuing poetic efforts, Allen has truly given herself to the word. λ