It was three years ago when a
then-16-year-old Jeffrey Wisenbaugh sat in front of his family computer
and discovered the do-it-yourself broadcasting site YouTube. Now, he’s
the winner of a Michigan Emmy, presented by the Michigan chapter of the
National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
Wisenbaugh’s charismatic, informative
narrative style won him his first Michigan Emmy in the category of
On–Camera Talent: Performer/Narrator for a compilation of segments
titled “He Thinks He’s Funny.”
The video was put together after Wisenbaugh sorted through a year’s worth of work to compose a 6-minute compilation reel.
Wisenbaugh’s progression from YouTube
video blogger to MSUToday segment correspondent can clearly be seen,
said co-worker and mentor Jim Peck, host of MSUToday and a Big Ten
Network executive producer and director of university photography and
“I think that the same things we enjoy
about his work, the judges saw that,” Peck said. “It’s fresher than a
lot of the stuff that’s out there.”
Wisenbaugh, who is preparing for his
junior year at Michigan State University as a psychology major, began
his television career known as “Kool Jeffrey” on the YouTube circuit.
“I was trying to be funny, but watching
(my first videos) back, it’s just an awkward 8-minute mess of me just
talking and being awkward with braces,” he said. “After awhile, Kool
Jeffrey came out of it.”
As a freshman, Wisenbaugh was hired by
MSUToday to produce segments based around the student lifestyle and
experience on MSU’s campus.
With his segments airing online, as well
as the on the Big Ten Network, Wisenbaugh began to make his own mark on
MSU with his interesting style of storytelling — a combination of loose
reporting and lots of personality.
Wisenbaugh credits his on-camera style to
such YouTube sensations as Michael Buckley. He says everything just
somewhat developed and fell into place over time.
wasn’t planned,” Wisenbaugh said. “’So in three years, I’m going to try
to get on TV and win a Michigan Emmy’ — but it kind of happened.”
The win might not have been planned, but Peck saw potential in Wisenbaugh from the beginning, he said.
“I thought it was terrific,” Peck said. “Being a student and winning in a professional category against people that have spent their careers doing this is awesome.”
Wisenbaugh plans to finish his degree in
psychology and pursue his love of the entertainment industry by becoming
a television show host, he said.
“I would love Ryan Seacrest’s job,” Wisenbaugh said. “My passion is in the entertainment industry, and I hope to create a career out of it.”
To see his Emmy-winning video, visit