Woman with local ties earns Emmy
Sarah Ebeling | Managing Editor
For most, 2020 has not been “their” year. Between a nationwide pandemic that has infected millions, caused job losses, medical bills and even death, many feel 2021 can’t come soon enough.
Then there is Miranda Sundermann. The 23-year-old has reason to celebrate 2020.
The small town girl with small town connections recently earned an Emmy award.
Grandparents Mike and Joyce Luke of Marion and cousins Bob and Linda Fansin of Parker now all are able to say they know an Emmy winner.
Sundermann, a Hartford native and West Central graduate moved to California after graduation and started film school. After moving home for a semester, Sundermann was accepted into the Disney College Program in Orlando, Fla. where she spent eight months working a paid internship with Disney before returning to California to earn her degree in film and television production.
Sundermann then moved back home to South Dakota and started applying for jobs. She quickly reached out to her news director and landed a job, producing the morning news Monday through Friday for KSFY as of August 2019.
And in September 2019, during her second week alone on the job, Sioux Falls was hit by multiple tornadoes, devastating part of the town.
Sundermann recalled that she was at work, alone the night the storms hit. She said people kept calling the television station with information about damage and so, she quickly started calling her help. Within 30 minutes, the entire team showed up to begin coverage.
“This newscast was 100 percent a team effort,” said Sundermann.
She said the control room was crazy due to all the live shots and she had to pick through them all. She noted that a lot of the show wasn’t written and anchors were ad-libbing.
“It was the craziest day I have had on the job to date, but it was also awesome to see everybody helping everybody,” she said smiling.
The storms and the chaos of reporting the tornadoes passed and things at the station went back to normal. Sundermann said she was so new to the job that she didn’t know that Dakota News Now was submitting anything for the Upper Midwest Emmys, but this past July, Sundermann’s news director submitted the tornado aftermath newscast in which Sundermann was the producer.
In October, nominations were announced and Sundermann was among the contestants. And last month, surrounded by finance Adam Eschen and her grandma, Joyce, the trio live streamed the ceremony and waited to hear the results.
“I did a double take when they announced my name,” said Sundermann laughing.
Two other stations, who had major story coverage including KELO News and WDAY TV in Fargo were among the nominees.
Eschen said that Sundermann quickly woke up her grandpa, Mike Luke, originally of Marion, and was yelling, “Grandpa, I won an Emmy.”
Sundermann quickly picked up the phone and started making calls. Even though it was late she was excited to tell her family and friends the news.
“It’s crazy to think I can put that on a resume. I though Emmy nominee was cool, but Emmy winner sounds even better,” she said.
And as cool as it was, when a package arrived just a few weeks ago on Sundermann’s doorstep, things got even better for the young woman.
She explained the Emmy is a team award but, the statuette goes to the producer of the show. However, she didn’t realize that until she received a tracking email at work and asked her boss if she was supposed to be expecting anything.
“He informed me it was my Emmy,” Sundermann recalled.
She noted she quickly asked about bringing it to the station but was told it was hers to keep.
“What? I am getting an Emmy statuette sent to my door,” she asked in disbelief.
Sundermann said she then decided she wasn’t going to tell anyone about it and surprise Eschen when it arrived. She did tell her grandma Joyce though as she couldn’t contain her excitement.
“I was so excited. Then we had to call everyone again,” said Sundermann.
Eschen explained that once the award arrived, they FaceTimed friends and family so they were able to see the Emmy.
Sundermann said this award is by far the coolest thing that has happened to her.
“I never thought it was even a thing I could win in general,” she said.
And although she is now an Emmy winner, Sundermann is quick to talk about the favorite part of her job.
“I love the people I work with and the work environment and informing the public,” she said.