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Home | 40 Under Forty

Trent Spiner is a storyteller who wants to know everything

By MARK HAYWARD
New Hampshire Union Leader

January 26. 2014 8:32AM

Trent Spiner 
Trent E. Spiner, 28
Home: Concord


Birthplace: New York City


Family: Sue Spiner and Andy Robson; Dan and Sharon Spiner; siblings: Wade, Cory, Ava Spiner; Angela and Seamus McNally, Myles and TT Robson, Cija and Christian Vigurs. 


High school: Brooklyn Technical High School, Brooklyn, N.Y. 


College/post grad degrees: B.A., mass communications, political science minor, Franklin Pierce University, Rindge


Current job: Assignment editor/web producer, WMUR-TV


Key past positions held: Reporter, Concord Monitor; correspondent, New Hampshire Union Leader


Volunteer activities: Current: advisory board member, New Hampshire Food Bank. Past: board member, New Hampshire Press Association; Big Brother, Big Brothers/Big Sisters.


Most admired person (outside your family): Franklin Pierce University professors Dr. Kristen Nevious and Dr. Phyllis Zrzavy, who prove that caring, inspiring teachers can make anything happen. 


Key current professional challenge: Staying ahead of new technology to continue providing insightful, relevant, and accurate local news coverage in all the ways our readers and viewers want to consume it. Last major achievement: Receiving an Emmy nomination for accurately and responsibly reporting the unfolding tragedy that led to the death of Greenland Police Chief Michael Maloney and serious injury of four other officers. As reports from some Boston media outlets included facts that later proved to be untrue, we refused to report unconfirmed information simply to "keep up" with other organizations - integrity later recognized in the nomination. 


Two peers who know you well: Neil Levesque, director, N.H. Institute of Politics; Josh McElveen, political director, WMUR-TV. 


Favorite place in New Hampshire: The Merrimack River.


What book are you reading now? "Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage" by Alfred Lansing, which certainly helps put this winter in perspective.


How do you relax? Kayaking the Merrimack River, hiking in the White Mountains, skiing Cannon and Waterville Valley, biking in the Upper Valley and relaxing on the beach on the Seacoast. 


What websites do you visit most often? My daily online reading roundup: A dozen websites from New Hampshire daily newspapers, including UnionLeader.com, several times a day; another three or four local weekly paper websites, depending on the day they publish; 25 hyperlocal sites and blogs from New Hampshire; websites for our sister stations in Maine, Vermont and Massachusetts, and all their competitors' sites; a few papers from Northern Massachusetts and Boston; CNN.com; and, my favorite part of every day, the New York Times delivered to my Kindle first thing in the morning. 


Favorite TV show, radio station or musical artist: "House Hunters International" on HGTV.

MANCHESTER — Another night, and you've just wasted an hour watching "Nashville" or some far-fetched reality TV show. Drowsy, you decide to catch the news before going to bed and switch to WMUR-TV.


Once you've pushed that remote button, you have put your trust in Trent Spiner, the assignment editor and Web producer for New Hampshire's largest television news operation. Spiner, who is 28, is responsbile for orchestrating the late-night news broadcasts and updating the station website.


He is an incurable news addict, reading newspapers, and visiting and revisiting websites that range from the New York Times to New Hampshire-oriented blogs. A news story breaks, and he calls everyone he knows — and strangers he doesn't know — to get the inside information.


"I go after every single story. I just want to know everything," said Spiner, who worked as a New Hampshire Union Leader news correspondent and Concord Monitor reporter before moving to broadcast journalism. 


Spiner grew up in New York City and moved to New Hampshire to attend Franklin Pierce University. There, he worked on the student newspaper, championed free speech, and helped to found PoliticsFitzU, which throws students into the New Hampshire presidential election cycle.


"He was then, and always will be, a leader," said Kristen Nevious, director of the university's Fitzwater Center for Communications.


As a newspaper reporter, Spiner covered the capital murder trial of John Brooks, interviewed presidential candidates in 2008, and labored through the journalistic bread and butter of local arrests and town budgets.


He went to television in 2010. Spiner said he had to learn a different technology and concepts such as voiceovers. But the basics are the same.


"We do storytelling here," he said, "just in a different format."


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