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Mike McKinney: 1965-2006
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  • I have worked at some Madison Radio Stations in a behind the scenes capacity for several years...the stations I produce and/or engineer for have always had a great relationship with all of the Madison TV stations and all of their staff members....I never got the chance to meet Mike in person and shake his hand but from what I've read and seen on TV he was a great broadcaster and an even better person. All of us media people are a close knit bunch and it always hurts to lose one of our own, especially one so young. - LOCK


  • I have no long involved stories..it is simply this. Mike took the time just to say hello to me, a complete stranger, at "concerts on the square" in 1999. I still remember it well. - Todd Strother


  • Hey all, I am new to the Madison area, coming from Detroit. I love the city, and tonight I caught a TV special about a man that clearly made this area so much better. I have never heard of Mike until about an hour ago when I caught the special, and I must say I am sad that I will never have a chance to see him do what he did best, or to meet him in person -- but I am happy knowing that the area I now call home will always be influenced by the Local (and in many ways, National) Hero. Thanks Mike! Matt - Matt


  • As a student of broadcasting, I studied the various packages that Mike had done for the news. He was a great person to learn from and I hope to be even a fraction of the anchor he was. - Jacob Hagman


  • "Perhaps he knew, as I did not, that the Earth was made round so that we would not see too far down the road." ..He was not Ours, He was not Mine.--- Karen Blixen. - "C-Mick"


  • Mike, my mind is filled with so many memories of working with you at NBC15 many years ago. I was glad to have that opportunity. The best part was the laughter that would fill the newsroom after something you said. You always had a fun time on television and were a professional when you needed to be one. When I read about all of the things you have done since I left in 1997, it is easy to see that Madison is a better place because of your heart and generosity. - Brian Podner – WMTV 1996-1997


  • I grew up watching Mike McKinney and he quickly became my favorite news anchor. I remember I was at a Badger football game when I was in middle school, and he walked by and sat a few rows behind us. I told my dad who it was, and I was more excited to have seen this local celebrity than to be at the game. My dad pased away in December after a nearly three year battle with cancer. I've watched both Mike and my father lose strength physically, but with more strength inside then anyone could ever imagine. - Kelsey M.


  • I'm living in Las Vegas now, but I always do my best to keep up on what's happening in my hometown of Madison. My mother recently told me of Mike's passing. I would like to share a fond memory of him. My younger brother graduated from high school in Madison in 1998 and Mike was the keynote speaker at the ceremony. Mike told a story of growing up in Missouri on the "wrong side of the tracks." He went on to tell how he was able to turn his life around and really give back to the community. That is such a true statement when looking back on Mike's contributions to the greater Dane County area. His speech was truly inspirational. His message to those graduates was of hope and success in the future. I hope that those in attendance remember his words and do their best to emulate his actions. Thanks for all the great years on channel 15 with Pam. As a senior at UNLV in broadcast journalism I only hope that I can be as successful as you were and I hope to be able to volunteer my time to others in the future to truly make a difference. Thanks for all the great memories. You are truly an icon of the "Mad City." - Kelly Storch


  • Due to deaf since birth, I couldn't hear his "voice", however; I could see his beautiful "smile" from ear to ear. I watched Mike/Pam daily with closed caption that shows caption below the TV screen. Thank you 15 News crew for your effort to put Memories of Mike each evening. To the family of Mike McKinney, God bless family/friends. I will never forget him. Rest in Peace Mike. - Dawn Polzin


  • Hi, I stumbled across this tribute to Mike McKinney quite by accident. It's 1.30 in the morning here in France and I'd never heard of Mike or any of his work, I was just looking for distractions to get me through another night of insomnia. I feel priviliged to have been able to see something of the life of an evidentally wonderful and courageous man and would like to pass on my respects to his family and many friends. God bless, Andrew - Andrew


  • Although I never watched a newscast with Mike McKinney, and live outside the WMTV-TV market (in Wausau), I have some familiarity with your station through the Internet. After hearing of Mike's death due to cancer at my current age of 41, I felt a response was most appropriate. I lost my father to lung cancer in 1996 (at age 67), and my mother to Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS) in 2002 at age 60. For this reason, Mike's death really touched me. Mike was a person who embodied our family's belief of celebrating life. I know that Mike truly celebrated life to the fullest. Madison, Wisconsin, and the world are clearly better places because of Mike McKinney's life. My thoughts and prayers go out tonight, not only to those in Mike's family who may still be mourning his loss, but also to the WMTV family. This must be a terribly difficult time for you. I wish all of you God's peace and love, that we may be inspired by Mike and his life. I wish you all the best. Alan Sexter Wausau - Alan Sexter


  • On the night of 9/11/01, Mike closed his news report with the greatest words ever. I would love to see that rebroadcast again. Thank you. - Joann Randall


  • Great man. Great role model. Great Heart. Always liked watching him, he will be missed. My prayers go out to his family and community that he contributed so much to. - JP


  • Even off the clock Mike always said hi. When kids recognized him from channel 15 news and he always gave that great smile even when he may not have been feeling great. We will all miss him and I am sad for you who really knew him. That is when you really become family and friends. One more thing I would like to add is that he has brought people together even (though it is sad he is gone) in his death. Thank you News Channel 15 for letting us grieve too with you. - Alita de la O


  • I am sorry that I never met Mike, becasue I know that I would have loved him for his compassion, smile and infectious laugh. It is hard losing someone so amazing. To his family, friends, and station family, my sincere sympathy on losing someone so special. - Amy


  • What a great loss for all who knew and watched Mike but what a great addition to heaven. My husband and I watched Mike and Pam daily. We always enjoyed how real and honest they were which you see rarely these days. They were more concerned with getting the story across and correct for the viewer instead of how they looked. We read all the comments on your web site. We would like to agree with the woman who suggested that that food drive be named in his honnor. What a smile that would put on Mike's face. A great man who made us all stop and take a step back and think about what WE could do to make this world a better place. Thoughts and prayers are with his family. Keep smiling down on us Mike. - The Hamilton Family


  • I wanted to just comment how Mike made the news so interesting, and showing us all that can be done with our lives, good or bad. With Pam and Mike, the news was also interesting and emotional. He was a wonderful person. The speech, (or segment), he gave after 9/11, I always wished I had a copy of that. He said what we all felt. THANKS MIKE, FOR ALL THE LOVELY MEMORIES THAT YOU GAVE US AND SHARED WITH US. - Joyce Fredenberg


  • I would like with you a new fond memory. Friday's services were just awesome. All I felt during the entire time was LOVE, you guys are the real family and I appreciate the generosity that was shown the Blood Family from what I observed. If I were looking for a new home, Madison Wisconsin would definitely be at the top of the list. Thank you all for making Micheal's (Scooter) stay a wonderful event that every person dreams of. Again thank you guys at News 15 for extending such an open arm and allowing a man to flourish and accomplish his DREAM. - Stan Brooks


  • Mike, what an amazing person! Someone who will be in our hearts and the communities hearts forever. How does "The Mike McKinney Holiday Food Drive" sound! It should be in his honor every year. - Mary


  • Michael was like a grandson to us. His leadership in the Young Peoples' Department during our pastorate at Wayman A.M.E.Church was outstanding. Michael was a born leader. He was dedicated to helping others. The legacy he left will long be remembered. He has touched a lot of lives in his short span of life on this earth. We count it a blessing to have been a part of his life. ACTS 13:36 for David, remember, "after he had served God's purpose in his own generation fell alseep and was laid with his ancestors." These words concerning David, that after he had served God's purpose in his own generation, he fell alseep can be applied to Michael McKinney. Micheal served his generation well. The work and leadership he gave in the Missouri Conference and Wayman are proof of that. Beverly and I can attest to that, because of his concerns and service to GOD'S CHURCH and the unchurched. Michael, we look forward to seeing you on the other side when GOD returns for those of us who have lived and died in the LORD. AFFECTIONATELY, Your California grandparents - Ezekiel & Beverly Habersham


  • I remember meating Mike and Pam Tauscher at the Dane County Fair doing a remote broadcast several years ago. He and Pam had such a rapport with each other and Mike's personality was infectious. I was very happy to meet him and gave him a big hug only to be outdone by Mike's hug in return. He was a wonderful man with a real zest for life, he will be greatly missed but never forgotten. - Becky Weatherwax


  • I lived in and near Madison for several years, and now have moved back to the Fox Valley. I still keep up with Madison news through NBC15's email. Out of all the anchors I saw in Madison everyday, Mike was the one I remembered. His rich voice and big smile stand out in my mind, and I am very sorry about his passing. He wasn't a "talking head"; He genuinely cared about what he was reporting and his impact on the area. Mike--you will be greatly missed! - Lynnette


  • I never met him in person, but corresponded with him a few times about his AIDS ride and shared that I did a charity ride in Rock Country to benefit American Cancer Society. How ironic. I also remember his newscast on the evening of September 11, 2001. He reminded us all to take care of ourselves and just made me feel a bit calmer and to cherish all that I had in my own life that day. Mike left us too soon, but left us with a great hero and inspiration to help others in this world. - Kim


  • As a new member (joined in April of 2004) of SS Morris AME Church, I met Mike as his health was getting the better of him. I introduced myself and told him I would be taking care of him as long as he needed. On July 17th, we would have celebrated our two year "anniversary" as best buddies, gardening partners and so much more. I did not know of Mike's work in the community, I only knew him as a TV anchor. Over the past two years, I learned of his fatih in God which was the cornerstone to his survival during endless health emergencies. I learned that as a person's body is being destroyed, that faith in God can make each day a gift worth cherishing. Mike loved the holidays. We would have parties to decorate the inside and outside of his home on the West side of Madison for Christmas. He took great pride in his extensive Black Santa collection, African motiff tree decorations, and dressing his dog, Simba in holiday clothing. Simba was a gift from God too. Simba knew when Mike was too weak or tired to get out of bed and would instinctively know that his place was in bed with Mike or on Mike's lap in the living room. One of my favorite recent memories is us Christmas shopping together. We would confer with each other as we purchased gifts for our respective families and friends. On December 23rd 2005, Mike and I spent the day shopping around town. We went home for a nap and started again around 9PM. We headed to Marshall Fields because the store was opened until midnight that day. Well, the store was almost empty! So, the store clerks had only us two to pay attention to. It was hilarious! We both felt as if we were movie stars who had asked a store to close it doors to the public so that we, the famous, could shop in peace. Mike was laughing his head off, as he tried on outrageous shirts and hats and as I did the same. When we left the store, both of us hugged and kissed and thanked God for giving us this night. Mike's partner, Christopher, stayed with Mike throughout all of his battles. Without Christopher, Mike would have been lost. Christopher would advocate for Mike with the doctors, nurses, home health care professionals, just about anyone who might upset Mike. Mother McKinney, came up from St. Louis to tend to her only child. Her faith in God, was a pivotal positive factor in Mike's physical and mental stability. All she had to do was cup Mike's face in her hands and the pain, the worry lines, the tight muslces of his entire body would relax. Without Mother Barbara McKinney, Mike would not have lasted as long as he did. Another source of support was 100 Black Men of Madison. Various members would call, stop by to visit and send e mails and cards. 100 Black Men also invited Mike to host various events, which gave Mike great joy. The brothers of 100 Black Men, always showed Mike the greatest respect and I thank them for their constant caring. Finally, the NBC15 team played a key role in Mike's life as his health declined. Station management gave Mike news assignments so he could be back in front of the camera and other responsibilities so that Mike could stay connected to the profession he so loved. My sincere thanks for the station's unwavering support of this Madison icon. Before I left (June 12, 2006) to teach for a month in Texas/Mexico, Mike, Chris and I went through my extensive garden to transplant some of Mike's favorites to his yard. Mike was getting weaker by the day in June but he still wanted to "play in the dirt." We created a new garden along the back of his house and gave many plants a new home. I cried with joy when I came home and saw that he had finished all the planting. For the past two years, every holiday, birthday, etc was celebrated together with Christopher, Mother McKinney, and me and my two daughters. My 17 year old graduated from West this June. Mike was so sad that he could not get a pass to get out of the hospital to attend her graduation ceremony. Two days after Mike's funeral service, she received a beautiful card and a gift from Mike. He never left a detail unattended. So, I say farewell to my best friend, my buddy, my inspirtation. Through Mike, our family has learned the value of a day, the beauty of faith in God, and the meaning of being value driven. Words can not describe the loss we feel. We are comforted by the fact that Mike was loved by so many. In tribute to Mike, my prayer is that the greater Madison community will continue to honor Mike by maintaining the many community projects Mike created. Thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts with the viewers. Sincerely, Andrea -Teresa "Tess" Arenas Phd Fitchburg, Wi - Andrea "Tess" Arenas


  • I haven't been able to keep up with the news this past week, and just read about Mike's passing. I can't believe he's gone. You'll be missed, Mike... Rest In Peace. - Cory


  • I never got the pleasure of meeting Mike. But, I feel through watching him on TV that I knew him. He was the best at what he did! He will be missed by all. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family at this time. - Jennifer Parisi


  • Me and my wife, Julia, are very saddened by the news of Mike's passing. Mike was a very intelligent and serious reporter as well as a co-worker with an awesome sense of humor. I remember my first few shoots with him and he was very stoic and no-nonsense, but he was always very complimentary and polite. Once he started to warm up he was the funniest and best reporter with which to work. I only wish I was able to shoot with him a few more times before I left. Our prayers are with his family. - Marty Nutley - former photographer


  • I never had the honor of meeting Mike, but I've admired his work behind the camera & his contribution to the community. There's a song called: "Borrowed Angels" by Kristin Chenoweth that seems to be have written with Mike in mind. - patricia darcey


  • Mike had a mission from God. He accomplished it and we are the testaments of his success. Thank you God, thank you Mike, and thank you NBC 15 for making the entire service available to the public. - Julia


  • Mike had such a soothing presence on the air. I missed him when he was gone and looked forward to those times when I could see him. In those last appearances, he was so inspiring: you could just tell how much he cared about the community. Let's all follow his example. - Elena


  • I believe that Mike was one of Madison's most valuable assets. I never met Mike, but I knew him well through his tireless generosity, compassion and love. He taught us all what it means to give when he started Share your Holidays. That is just one example of his spirit for giving of himself, so others may not be without. I cried and cried Sunday and I am still crying. What a wonderful human who should have lived 100 years. I hope a very special "Best of Madison" award is given tonight in honor of Mike. He was truly the best of all of Madison and I miss him so. - Betsy


  • I only knew Mike as a patron of mine at a restaurant on the west side of Madison. I also came to know him from watching him on the news, and seeing how he touched so many people. You couldn't help but listen when he spoke. He definitely was the true example of a unselfish human being. His smile was contagious and the sound of his voice made you feel comfortable. I know that he had many friends and I am glad to say I knew Mike. I am walking in the Sun Prairie Relay for Life on July 21st in the memory of my father who I lost 3 years ago to cancer and now I add Mike to my inspiration list. I am walking the entire 16 hour relay, and I know when I feel like I can't go another step that Mike and my father will push me along to the finish and they will both look down and say "We knew you could do it" Thank you Mike for visiting me on those Thursday Nights after your news cast. - Brandon "Tex"


  • So sad the passing of Mike. He and Pam T. made such a good team, won't find a better match. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. We all need to take cancer serious. - Teresa


  • Mike came to Waunakee Elementary School years ago to be a guest reader for "Read Across America"--we couldn't have provided our students with a better role model for promoting the importance of reading. As Mike read "Hooray for Diffendoofer Day", he had the fourth graders so totally engaged, it was heartwarming and memorable even to this day. Thank you Mike for making a difference in the lives of young readers. - Julie Helf


  • Mike was a great news reporter. Everyone will miss him. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time. May you rest in peace. - Carol


  • He was an easy guy to listen to and to watch, I thoroughly enjoyed him, and felt like he was a friend. The really good always go way too soon. - Colleen


  • I met Mike during the 2001 AIDSride from Minneapolis to Chicago, and subsequently spent all 3 ACT rides in his wonderful presence. I have never been as inspired by someone who uses their media power to help those less fortunate. I will continue to be inspired by Mike for the rest of my life. My thoughts and prayers go to his family. - Heather


  • I would like to share my sympathy to Mike's family and also to channel 15 family for the loss of Mike. He has touched a lot of people's hearts and helped a lot of people. We will miss him. Rest in peace and God bless. - Kathy Lawrence


  • When Mike revealed that he had colon cancer it really hit me... time to get checked. I got checked and am okay - I preach to others 'get checked' every chance I can. Thanks Mike... wonderful man, exemplary human being. - Jayne


  • I liked him very much. - Lisa Gross


  • Mike McKinney was by far the best speaker we ever had at a DARE graduation. He really made a difference that day at Albrecht Elementary in Brodhead. - Sherry Hlavachek


  • I always enjoyed Mike's personal touches in his news reports. He was honest and his smile was awesome! - Pat Wehrley


  • When I first noticed that Mike was looking thinner on TV, I told my husband I was concerned about him. So the next Sunday in church, my husband told him that I was concerned about his losing weight. And in his own charming way he replied, why didn't she worry about me when I was big and fat? He certainly was a person this city grew to love and waited for his voice on the news. There has to be a special place for him now. - Barb & Ed


  • I had seen Mike on TV news in St Louis when he was quite young and before he came to Madison, and I thought he had potential. I was delighted when I first saw him here. I didn't realize how much I trusted him until 9/11/01 when after a day of horror stories and false rumors I settled in to hear his reporting and the 15 news editing of the news of that day. - Sr. Mary Ellen Lewis FSM


  • Even though I did not know Mike personally, I liked watching what he offered the Madison community in all the events he helped Created and Sponsored. He was so giving in his Time and work at NBC 15. He will truly be missed by many. God Bless Mike. - Lynn Roth


  • I had met Mike on several occassions and he truly was as kind and warm in person as he was on T.V. He will be and is missed. - Paula


  • Mike, you were the Best newscaster there ever was. Rest in peace. - Kevin Hauser


  • What I will miss most about Mike is his humanity. He always had enough to go around at a time when the world needed it most. Whether pedaling away on his bicycle at a Crazy Legs Rally, or reporting on what mattered most to the community, Mike McKinney always managed to infuse his love for humankind. He will be sorely missed. God speed Mike. - Wayne Stewart


  • I watched Mike for the past 6 years. He was always fair, whatever story he was covering. I lost my life partner this past September at age 41 due to Colon Rectal Cancer. I watched her deteroiate over the past 3 years. She left 3 small children, the youngest being 3. My 7-year-old daughter saw the story earlier this week with me and commented that she wanted to help that man's family, because that is what mommy died from too. My thoughts and prayers go out to Mike's family along with his NBC 15 family. GOD bless us all. - Lewis Kortsch


  • At the end of the day on 9/11, I will always remember Mike's monolouge at the end of the newscast at 10. It started out with, "Folks, today has been one hell of a day..." That is one of the many things I will always remember about 9/11. - Chris Orange


  • I first met Mike a number of years ago at a food drive. I was inspired by his personal dedication to this worthy effort and his personal story. He was very willing to share his personal story so that others would benefit and not have to suffer as he did. I was truly inspired and will forever be. May peace be with you and your family (personal and your Channel 15 family). I was also truly touched by his female friend who presented his tribute, who had worked by him side by side and obviously shared his many trials. You are truly an inspiring person. I cried with you!! - Kenny


  • Mike was an inspiration, a hopeful, positive spirit. What a gift to our community. The scholarship fund in his name is such a fitting tribute to this giving and brave man. - Carol Lobes


  • I am Brazilian and have been in Madison for three years. I always love to hear Mike and his stories. I am so sad he passed away. One thing is true, he not only got Americans' hearts, but also Brazilians' hearts. - Lucieny Almohalha


  • Mike was a wonderful Newsman and had a HUGE Heart. I was saddened to hear that he had passed away after such a couragous battle with Colon Cancer. He will Truly be missed. - Paula Pavlovich


  • I was shopping at a local office supply store last week and saw Mike. I didn't want to bother him by introducing myself and saying hello... but now I wish I had. I hope that, wherever he is now, he knows how much we all respected and appreciated him. - Linda L.


  • I met Mike only once, he was covering a major fire in Sun Prairie about 10 yrs ago and during a break he asked me how i was doing. By the way it was extremely cold (I was a vol FF). I told him my wife was just home from the hospital after delivering our second son by c-section and he just started asking me how she was doing and how my son was and just kept talking and asking like we knew each other for years. I will always remember that he was just a regular guy doing one heck of a job. For only meeting him once I will remember him forever. GOD BLESS AND GOOD SPEED - kurt


  • I had the pleasure of meeting Mike McKinney through cancer. He was doing a colon caner series in June of 2004. I was his stage IV colon cancer candidate. Mike and I kept in touch by e-mail quite a bit and together we did another cancer series this year. As I go back to our e-mails throughout these past 2 years, Mike wrote to me, "We are connected souls". I had named my cancer "Gus"... In an e-mail written to me on 10/11/04, he decided to name his cancer "SCAR". This was after the lion in the Lion King who was, in Mike's words, "destroyed in the end". Since our prognosis was the same, we spoke of defeating the cancer. Even if we didn't make it, we would always win the war. For when our bodies died, the cancer would die, but our souls go on living with Jesus Christ. We were going to be the winners!!! I am extremely saddened by the physical death of Mike. But I see him now healthy, happy, and with our Lord, which whom he ut all trust. "Be blessed Mike and Be Well"......I will miss you..... - Mary Beth Arnold


  • He was tuff thru it all. - dizzy


  • I remember when I first saw Mr. McKinney in the news, I told myself what a handsome man and looked forward to hearing his lovely voice that he had. His charisma. He did a lot for the community and he enjoyed doing it too. I will miss him dearly. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and co-workers. When I heard the news about his passing I got very sad and cried. Although I know he is at his glory and peace he will be very deeply missed. I had wondered through the months how he was doing, but thought maybe I am missing the 5-6 news and that is why I didn't see him or hear about him. The last time I saw him was on Dec. for christmas food gathering I believe. God Bless you all. Mary. - Mary Maldonado


  • Mike was truly a very caring person. I also enjoyed his special news stories and also his regular reporting of the news. He was always cheerful. NBC 15 in Madison and the city of Madison and the surrounding area that recived the news from Channel 15 has lost a very good reporter. Just a week before his death was announced, I thought I haven't seen any special news stories that Mikke had done, and I wondered how he was doing. Thus, when his death was announced last Sunday night, I cried. He deeply touched me and I'm sure many other persons. I wish I could be there for his memorial service, but will not be able to do that. Thanks, NBC 15 for sharing some of Mike's special stories. He truly cared for those of us hearing the broadcasts. Also he and Pam Taucher were a wonderful pair -- they worked together so beautifully. I always listened for the end of the broadcasts he was doing for "God Bless, and Take Care of Yourselves". He truly cared for the ones he couldn't "see" while doing the broadcasts. To Mike and his family (I understand his mother came to Madison to help take care of Mike thru his illness) I say Mike's words from the end of his broadcasts "God Bless and Take Care of Yourself" Sincerely, Barb Pepper, Janesville WI - Barb Pepper


  • I saw Mike at the Bowling for Colons in early spring. It was on his mom's birthday and I wish I could've had the chance to meet him. I know that he had a great impact on the community and he will truly be missed. - Missy


  • Mike had done a news story on my son, Joe Pepper, several years ago when Joe was in High School and going through a very serious rehab from a spinal surgery he had done. The story was titled "No Ordinary Joe" and spoke on how Joe had wished to follow in my foot steps and become a law enforcement officer, but due to his prgnosis was told this couldn't be. Well, Joe worked very hard and was so determined, that he and Mike had a lasting friendship, and they kept in touch up until last year when Mike'e health was becoming more serious. Mike was truly an inspiration to Joe and our family. Mike was one of a kind, and his personality was "golden". In closing, I'm proud to state that Joe has been a full-time Police Officer for the past several years, and he was so proud to have told Mike this in one of their final conversations. Mike will surely missed by ALL. - Jon Pepper


  • There is nothing in particular that I recall about Mike, he was just an exceptional person and I'll always remember his gentle voice and beautiful smile. - Sue Parisi


  • Mike was a wonderful representative of Madison and WMTV. His care for the community and all of the charities that he took part in and thought up were an inspiration to us all. His faith and his character shown through when he became ill. He was a determined man and we will never forget his courage. Our condolences to his family and to WMTV. Ron and Kathy Alsum - Ron and Kathy Alsum


  • Mike was my favorite newscaster. I never missed his newscast. He was an inspiration to all who knew him and have come to love him as our own personal friend. We are saddened by the loss of such an exceptional individual. Take Care Mike and God Bless. - Lisa S


  • He had shopped at Cub Foods store on Verona Road and he was always a highlight for people to talk to...I have never seen anyone in Madison who could attract a crowd better than Mike, he was an honest, down to earth guy, that is what made Mike who he was. - Mark


  • he liked the hot dogs from our hometown: He was a great man and good friend to our son: - Jane Zwiefelhofer


  • I rode and chatted with Mike on a particularly hot and difficult day of Cycling on ACT I a few years back and I remember him saying how much he just didn't like riding this hard ... but he said that it didn't hurt because he knew that raising $ and awareness for AIDS was so much more important. I learned a great deal about him during the years I did those rides and I was always impressed with his grace and class... he was a gentleman and he lived his life with a sense of compassion for others and deep sense of responsibility toward his community and feel honored to have known him. Steve Crosby Colorado Springs, Colorado - Steve Crosby


  • I met mike several years ago when I worked for a local non profit and he called me to ask about one of my programs. We became friends very easily because he was so personalble and he genuinely cared about the community. We would assisit each other in various endeavors and they were all very memorable. I will deeply miss Mike and his sense of respect for others , his laughter and his "being." My thoughts and prayers are with his mom and all who will miss his presence. - Pamela P.


  • I have known Mike since he was a very young man. I went to his graduation with his aunt and my friend Wanda Askew. We both sat there very proud of him. When he moved to Wisconsin he would come home to St. Louis from time to time. Wanda would call to let me know he was in town. I would join them at Wanda's home for a very funny and happy evening of taking, laughing and story telling. He will be missed by me very deeply. I will miss his handsome smile. May God hold him close. - June Bryant


  • Big Mike! That is what I called Mike. I was Mike's barber, I enjoyed cutting Mike's hair. Each time I would cut his hair, I would tune into the 10 o'clock news to see how he looked on TV. Mike was a big part of my success at JP Hair Design. I have been cutting Mike's hair since 1997. He gave me encouragement with my business ventures. He surely brought me alot of business from anchoring the news. Mike I love you! Thanks Big Mike. JP - JP From JP Hair Design


  • I met Mike McKinney when he came to my third grade classroom to do a story about science education in the state of Wisconsin, and what was happening locally in various school districts. Because I had recently returned to Wisconsin, and did not know Mike, I was fearful that he would pop in for a few minutes and not get a solid understanding of what Wisconsin teachers were doing to promote science in the classroom. Needless to say, that was far from the truth!!! Mike spent a great deal of time in three different classrooms that day. I was so impressed by his interaction with the children, He had a natural, easy way with them and seemed to genuinely enjoy conversing with the children. He put all of us at ease with his easy-going manner. His questions were thoughtful and probing. I truly believe the final product shown over several broadcasts was a true representation of what was happening. Mike had a style that made me trust any broadcast that he anchored or reported. - Ruth


  • I was proud to call Mike not only my friend, but also my brother. Mike I both attended Bradley university and were also members of PI Kappa Phi fraternity. I Graduated and Mike went on to southern. I briefly talked with Mike about 2 months ago and wish I hadn't assumed that we had time for him to call me back. I didn't know how ill he really was and time wasn't on our side. I'll miss you my friend. YBA. - Jon Lyon


  • I never met Mike but, he made you feel like an old friend! His easy going style and professionalism just made you want to listen. I admire him for his work, as well as his courage! He brought a smile to my face many nights! We all will miss him. He was a class act! - Brian Gilmore


  • I never knew him personally, but I enjoyed watching him and Pam on the news every night, we moved to the Denver area almost 5 years ago, and watching the news isn't the same as in Madison, WI. His passing is a great loss to the Madison area. He will be missed. - Debbie


  • Mike was a true fighter. I really admired his strength. Even at his weakest moments, he never had a complaint. I saw Mike to estimate I believe about a month or so at some community event, I believe at Mt. Zion church. When I looked at him, I had to ask "Are you Mike Mckinney?" Mike said "yes". I said you look good! Mike looked like he had started to gain weight, his hair was full and vibrant with a redish tent, it appeared. When I told Mike how good he looked, he looked at me and smiled to say "Thank you." I can truly say, that Mike never really had a complaint. Also, I can also remember Mike leading us in an annual AID walk one year. He out walked us all. We loved Mike and will miss him dearly. - Lysundra Alawiye


  • Mike McKinney was the very reason I rode my bicycle in the AIDS ride for 5 years. I saw Mike do in 1998 and wrote to him for advice. He encouraged me to ride and he got me hooked. In the mean time, we became friends. I will miss Mike terribly and will always look for him to be at the top of that steep hill encouraging each and everyone of us to push harder. Thank You Mike for being there and for being my friend. - Burdette Richter


  • Mike shared the fight that many of us have fought to bring awareness to the AIDS epidemic both in the US and in the world. Through the years I have often shared a stage with Mike and I want to say thank you to Mike and his family who allowed such a man to grow and bloom to fruition in a much too short life. - Ken Forney


  • Mike's ability to tell the news was so human, you could feel the story with his words. He also had a wonderful sense of humor. He felt like a part of our family. I believe every viewer felt this way. Mike will be truly missed here, but God received a great man. - Robin


  • "It's not what you take when you leave this world behind you, it's what you leave behind you when you go." And, Mike left inspiration, hope, and compassion. What a truly wonderful human being he was. God bless Mike and his family and many friends. - Becky


  • I remember seeing Mike in person for the first time at one of the Ride your bike for Aids benefits held downtown. I was singing in the choir with the Mount Zion Inspirational choir that day~ and I remember seeing him standing in front of the audience just smiling at us with pride. He will truly be missed. - Jaemie Harley


  • As we mourn Mike's passing, it is wonderfuld to see how many people are celebrating his life. I met and rode with Mike on the Heartland AIDSRide and worked with him on ACTI. He was truly an inspiration. His spirit and sense of community will be missed in the city he adopted as his home. - Vicki Mayr


  • Mike will truly be missed...while he was so ill he took the time to answer my e-mail wishing him well. I found that extremely moving but not surprising as that was the type of man he was. My sympathies to his family, co-workers and friends. - Sharon K. Nelson


  • Mike was my roommate for about 3 years here in Chattanooga, TN. He was very devoted to his Church, family and friends and his Job. He loved what he did where ever he was... He had the best speaking voice of anyone I ever knew. Mike hit some hard times back around 1994 when he was let go from his TV 3 anchor job here in Chattanooga. He had no income for almost a year and I took care of him financially and helped him spiritually and mentally deal with that devastation. I knew that he would do the same for me if I ever needed him. He was always there for anyone that needed him. I had not heard from him in about 15 years since he left Chattanooga. I received a letter from him about 2 months ago and he wanted me to call him. It is then that I found out that he had colon cancer along with his other life threatening medical condition. He told me he about died a couple times, but God had spared him. I knew God had a purpose for him as He does all of us. Mike full filled his purpose here on earth a little earlier than we all had hoped. I look forward to the day that I can see him again face to face and thank him for all he did for myself and everyone else. He will be greatly missed... - John Haynes


  • I was acquainted with Mike because my husband was his barber. Although I only met Mike a handful of times, I could tell he was a kind, sincere, genuine person. He always gave a friendly hello and a big smile. My last memory of Mike is from a few months ago when he was leaving the barber shop. He gave my 2-year-old son a high five and, of course, a big smile. My son loves high fives, so he was smiling, too. We feel deeply saddened by Mike's passing. - Dawn Patterson


  • I want to say what a great person he was. The world was indeed blessed. He had a big heart. My thoughts are with all that were close to Mike. - Teresa


  • Mike and I want to High School together in St. Louis. He was a great guy when we were kids and look at him now. His love for the poor and underserved can be contributed to the Christian Brothers. All of the Brothers Boys are very proud of Mike. He has much work left to do from his new home. - Robert Puricelli


  • I first met Mike in the late 1990's. I was working for an area builder and Mike rented one of our townhouses. I remember I call them the "pink Palaces" but Mike preferred to call them the "Mauve Mansions". He and I struck an immediate friendship. Whenever we would see each other at social functions, he always had a kind word and never failed to say "Hello". Mike was one of the kindest people I ever met. - Lorraine Corapi


  • I was an intern at NBC15 years ago, and I remember looking forward to the time of day when Mike would come into work, because he'd usually greet us with a hilarious "How are my little crackers today?" straight out of South Park. He was a class act and a brilliant anchor. - Bruno


  • I will always remember Mike as the man who helped me cross a busy intersection when I was scared to death of riding my bike on city roads while training for the 2000 Heartland Aids Ride. He also acknowledged my partner and I by interviewing us for a TV spot to promote the ride-asking us why we were doing it. During the ride he kept our nervous daughter updated on how we were doing by e-mail all during the 7-day trek. He always had time for others. I hope I gave back just alittle to him when we road slowly and quietly together during the ACT I Wisconsin Aids ride. I stayed by his side because I knew he was hurting and was determined to keep going. His strength kept me on my bike. I am a stronger more compassionate person for having him in my life. - Crystal Hyslop


  • I met Mike on the first group training ride I took to prepare for the 2001 Heartland AIDS Ride. Within minutes of meeting Mike, I learned what a caring person he was when he helped my partner Crystal navigate traffic on Fish Hatchery Road. After that Mike always acknowledged us by name. He had a wonderful way of making people feel special. Even when he was battling cancer Mike wanted to know how we were and what we were doing. And he always wanted to know if we would be doing the next ride to raise money to help people battling AIDS. I hope Mike realized what a huge role he played in raising awareness of the devastating AIDS pandemic. I'll keep memories of the times I shared with Mike on 3 AIDS Rides close to my heart. - Janice Czyscon


  • We were saddened to hear of the passing of Mike. Although we never met Mike through channel 15 news we felt like he was a close friend. With MIke and Pam bringing us the evening news for years we felt like they was close friends whom we could count on. Mike will be missed by both his personal friends and his following he had through channel 15. - Curt and Jill


  • I was very saddened to hear that Mike died. When he returned to NBC 15 recently, I thought he was recovered. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. He did a lot to make this a better community for everyone. We all have heard of Mike's volunteer work for the well-known causes like Second Harvest and AIDS, but I'll also remember his dedication to the small, less-known groups. Several years ago he helped us with a fund-raising event for a nonprofit group working to educate arts and recreation organizations about accessibility issues and to provide partial reimbursement to low-income people with disabilities who participate in community sports, arts, and recreational activities. Mike certainly would not have had to, but he spent an entire Saturday with us at the event, riding a tandem bike with one of the disabled participants, chatting with everyone, and helping with whatever was needed. Although he was a gifted, professional celebrity, he also (in the best sense of the word) was a regular guy in his interactions with ordinary people. I became a channel 15 viewer because I thought Mike was the best in Madison. He's missed. - Judith


  • I did not personally know Mike, but he was a true hero and special in my heart. - Annie Griffith


  • I grew up in the Madison area seeing Mike on television, but never met him until he came to the UW, and there I had the pleasure to take care of him. I had the opportunity to get to know Barbara and Chris and see how much of a fighter Mike was. He said one time how nice it was to be on our unit and see my friendly face upon another return to the hospital. I always tried to have the cot ready for his room! He was a wonderful man and I feel privilaged to have known him for the short time I did. May he rest in peace. - Erin, RN


  • Mike was the definition of community. Not only did he make me smile just watching his stories and newscasts on NBC15, but he used to live a few blocks from my brother. I once drove past him and he gave me a big smile and waved to me.. All-in-all he was genuine on TV and genuine in person. He will be missed greatly. I am glad the support NBC 15 gave to him throughout this whole ordeal. I have even more respect for the management and the people who work at NBC 15. I especially liked Becky's story she did on Mike, it made me cry at the end. Kudos to her for a job well done! - Tim Walters


  • When we heard the news that Mike had passed, we were very sad. I always loved watching him on TV. He was a real fighter. - melissa


  • I never got to meet Mike face to face yet I felt as though I knew both him and Pam. I watched them from the day they started together and thought they were the best anchors in town. I had a chance to talk to him when I called for the "Share your Holiday" drive and he was so nice over the phone and expressed how thankful he was to me for giving. I can't express enough how thankful I am for everything he has done for Madison and all the causes he supported. I really missed seeing him on TV when he was ill. My thoughts and prayers are with all of his family at this time of sorrow. I will always remember that HUGE Smile of his and the positive attitude he always had. Gods blessing to you all. - Cathi


  • Mike was an excellent motivational speaker whom I had the fortune to hear on two different occasions. As a teacher with Head Start I was inspired by Mikes' discussion on how "we" can make a difference in the lives of the children we serve. He was not afraid to discuss his childhood and the teacher who made a difference in his life. A few years later Mike once again was a guest speaker for the Head Start staff, this time we were all in shock at how much weight he had lost. He joked about being half the man he used to be (and he certainly was), but he was still a joy to listen to. Before "meeting" Mike, I watched another news station, but not since that time. I was so happy to see him once in a while, never letting his illness get him down, still advocating for others, putting his own illness behind him. God Bless and keep you Mike. Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, he is free at last! - Sue Busby


  • We had the pleasure of getting to know Mike as a fellow church member and dear friend in Chattanooga, TN before his move to Madison. Mike's charisma and strong faith were evident as he helped us through a difficult personal period. Mike's personal example of faith and fortitude in the face of adversity is truly inspirational. It was a privilege to have Mike as a friend. He will be greatly missed ! Godspeed to you ! - Mark and Ursula Carter


  • I met Mike on the 2001 Heartland AIDS Ride. When we were riding into Chicago on our last day, Mike road up next to me and said - "The two of us shouldn't be riding together, Mo - there's just TOO MUCH good energy and VOLUME in one place with the two of us together!" He asked me to do an interview after Closing Ceremonies, and I knew we would be connected forver because of that awesome ride. Whether bumping into him at a United Way event or at one of the ACT rides for the Madison AIDS Network, I always got a big smile and a "how you doin' Mo?" It was a gift to have met such a wonderful human being. - Monica Martin


  • From the first day Mike was on the job we liked him and one of the reasons we continued to watch Channel 15 was because of Mike. We send our sympathies to the family and to everyone at Channel 15 who was a friend of his. - Ruth Steinhorst


  • I think the best way we could honor Mike's memory is to have the mayor declare a "Be More Like Mike" Day in Madison. On this special day everyone would be encouraged to rise up and give support to a cause that they feel passionate about... think about it, wouldn't that keep Mike smiling upon us forever? Isn't that what life on earth should be about? - Laurie Angell


  • My first memories of Mike were watching him on tv. I loved the energy he displayed and by far he will remain one of my favorite news anchors. He inspired me with his many charitable efforts and eventually motivated me to participate in the Heartland AIDS Ride in 2001. I felt honored to have met and rode with him. Years passed and I moved out of WI but I got updates from local friends on how he was doing. I can't tell you how sad and heart breaking it was when I found out that he lost his battle to cancer. However, I do strongly believe that our angel has now officially gotten his wings. Mike, I will truly miss you! - Tanya Lopez


  • It's a shame that such a wonderful dedicated man has been taken before his time. However, the time he did spend here he touched a lot of lives. I will always remember his strength and determination on the aids ride, and issues - Debbie Nelson


  • I really enjoyed watching Mike reporting the news.... Although I didn't personally know him, I felt as though I had for many years. His warmth and compassion on air came through so naturally for him.. My thoughts and prayers go out to Mike's family at this difficult time....God bless - Patty


  • We were great fans of Mike's and had e-mailed him when he became ill. He was a great favorite of ours when he was on the air. - Ray and Ethel Lamboley


  • I met Mike a few yrs ago when he spoke to the xyz program at Bethel lutheran. A very neat person.Thanks for his memory - MaryL Savall


  • In 1999 or thereabouts, I was the President of Prairie Homes Assoc. (Sun Prairie) & we needed to have a special session & to get enough members to turn out to vote, we wanted a special event & invited Mike to come & address our gathering. We had originally planned a 10-15 minute talk by Mike, then having the meeting turned into a 30" talk, and a 1+ hour Q&A session & I determined, after that night, that NBC15 would be the ONLY station I would watch & have no doubt that many others felt the same because of his warmth, charm & sincerity. Later, he came back & did a special "neighborhoods" segment on us, too. He was a very special man and words will not be able to adequately describe the void that now exists. Mike Braun former President Prairie HOmes Association, Sun Prairie, Wisc. - Mike Braun


  • I went to a volunteer recognition thing in 2004 shortly after he returned to the United States from Africa and he looked like half of him was gone. I always loved hearing him doing the newscasts. He was a great guy and he is going to be sorely missed. - Amanda Hill


  • As a participant of ACT I and ride organizer for ACT II, I witnessed Mike's devotion to the fight against HIV/AIDS. When Mike would speak to the riders, he would often say, "You know, I hate biking, but I hate AIDS even more". That is the kind of guy Mike was. He always put others first, no matter how bad he was feeling. Don't worry, Mike, I won't say anything more about the ACT rides. Afterall "what goes on during the ride, stays on the ride!". You are missed and will not be forgotten. - Jacqueline Walisser


  • As a member of S.S.Morris AME church, Michael has been an inspiration to our entire congregation. He will be greatly missed, but always remembered. He now rest in the arms of God. - Marjorie Nicholson


  • I never personally got the chance to meet Mike but I am truly heart broken to hear that he has passed. I will always remember when Mike and Pam came to my high school for our homecoming and we cheered so much for the both of them. Back when that semi hit the Seminole Hwy I saw Mike reporting I was so glad to see that he was back to the news. He has made a great impact on the Madison community with Share your Holidays and with the AIDS ride. My prayers are with you all. Thanks Mike! - Katie V


  • We have started our own "Share Your Holidays" food drive at NBC 15's sister station in Wausau; WSAW NewsChannel 7. It's just a few years old and nowhere near what Mr. McKinney and everyone involved in the drive in the Madison area have accomplished over the years. But, watching the tribute story online and reading these heartwarming comments, I feel inspired to keep making our "Share Your Holidays" better and better. To the McKinney family and his family at the TV station, my deepest sympathies. - Jeff Thelen, Anchor, WSAW TV


  • I never met Mike but always enjoyed watching and listening to the 10:00PM news with Mike and Pam. I would stay up just to watch the news because of Mike. What a great team! Whenever I heard Mike's voice on TV I would stop and listen - he was just that type of person that made you stop what you were doing and listen to what he had to say. What a great loss to the community, to the people he touched, and to the people still needing to be touched. I will remember how he touched so many lives and will remember his wonderful smile. What a smile he had! His legacy will live on forever and he will be forever missed and never forgotten. He now lives on in our hearts. My heartfelt thoughts and prayers and condolences to Mike's family. - Mary Kay


  • I met Mike Dec. of 2001 at a food drive in Baraboo, WI. I had gotten there late and they were packing up their equipment. I told Mike that my children and I had a donation in honor of My husband Tom who had been killed just 6 months before. Even though it was very cold and snowy Mike took the time to ask about my husband's accident and how the kids and I were doing. He comforted us and said he could tell my husband must have been a kind man to have always thought about feeding the poor and to have passed that legacy on to his children. I will never forget how kind and caring Mike was to our family. God Keep you near Mike! - Pauline Pemberton


  • Mike came into my life through my daughter who was the producer for the ten o'clock news, before her. Mike took her under his wing serving as her mentor and dear friend. By doing that he gained the a spot in our family. There are so many warm memories, but two stand out for me. The first was his yearly trek to my fourth grade classroom. He was so incredible with people of all ages! He had so much patience, wisdom, and warmth! No matter that it was early in the morning or he had a busy day; he was so genuine and so funny. The second memory that I will hold close was the last time I saw Mike. I had gone down to the end of the AIDS ride with Tara to welcome back her friend and Mike was emceeing the closing. We spent some time chatting and talking with he and his mom and when his duties called him back to the podium he embraced me and whispered in my ear some special words that echoed his strong faith. That was Mike..his faith was ever present and he never put himself first. He brought so much to so many. - Candy


  • I would like to pass along my sympathy to the entire NBC15 Cast, Crew and Family members for the Large loss that NBC had this past weekend. Mike was such a great guy, loving and caring about everything and one. I know that I will miss him dearly. The Share your Holiday Food drive will not be the same without him, but we will always remember the great work that he had done. I will never forget the first time that I met Mike, I was working for an optical company in Madison and he came into purchase new glasses. I was kind of Star Struck, but he said that I am an ordinary Guy with a great job and that he was just like every other person that was out there. That made me feel very comfortable with Mike and at ease working with him and his glasses. I hope that everyone will remember Mike for that Great work that he did for Dane County and Wisconsin and he will never be forgotten by myself and that is for sure. Mike was a great person and now he will be an even better guardian Angel to all of us. - Anna Graham


  • I'll never forget when Mike and Pam did the news and how much fun it was to watch them. They were a great team and did great news and had fun doing it. They were by far my favorite news team. I along with many, will miss him very much! He touched a lot of people and that is truly a special person! - Sue Korth


  • Like many others, I had the opportunity to work with Mike at NBC15. Although I didn't know him as personally and professionally as some of my colleagues, he will be greatly missed not only at the station, but in the hearts and minds of everyone who was ever graced with his loving carisma and personality. Only having the chance to meet and know him since this past fall, I was privileged enough to work with and know a person so giving, accepting, and always willing to help wherever he could. Of all the things that I will remember about Mike, the one thing that will stick out in my mind above all other things, would be the quote from M.L.K. that laced the end of all Mike's e-mails: "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." Up until the day he passed away, in good health and bad, I think it would be safe to say that this is how Mike was determined to live his life. Although Mike is now with God, our memories will forever share his story, his life, and his purpose. - Wendy Patterson


  • You will always be in my heart. Our friendship I will always treasure.We grew up togather in the AME faith, growing, glowing and going for Christ. So I'll shared my tears and say goodbye for now but I know someday we'll meet again on the other side of the Jordan river. Rest in peace my friend. Well done!!!! Love, Greta (Wash,DC) - Greta Kendrick


  • My wife Jen and I returned home from our Holiday vacation the other night to a somber phone message from my folks: that our longtime friend and supporter Mike McKinney had just passed away. While the message (and news) was terrible, it conjured up great memories of Mike and I found myself dissapointed and smiling, all at the same time. My favorite memory of Mike (and I'm a little bit biased) was the afternoon he came to Verona High School to emcee my return from the 2002 Olympic Games. Verona made a day of it with a parade thru town followed by a rally at the high school and a line of people waiting for autographs and to say hi. Mike didn't have to be there that day. He wasn't there for work, he was there to support me. I had so many supporters throughout my skating career, and Mike was one of my biggest fans. The feeling was mutual. He carried his enthusiasm with him on and off the air, and it was contagious. I had a highlight video made after the Salt Lake City Olympics that I share when I speak to groups and Mike narrated the video. The time has yet to come that it doesn't bring tears to my eyes....he did an awesome job. Now it will also remind me of how somebody can make a difference that lasts, even after they're gone. - Casey FitzRandolph


  • I emailed him and wished him well when he was sick with his cancer and told him how my little grand-daughter prayed for him each night. He wrote back and thanked me for emailing and thanked my grand-daughter for praying for him. He said the power of prayer was something he believed in strongly and so do I. He was an inspiration to all who met or knew him even if it was through the t.v. He was such a part of so many lives through Channel 15 as he was in your living room nightly through the news. He will be greatly missed but we are all so very, very lucky to have known him and been touched by his kindness and his loving nature of all life in all forms. May the Good Lord bless and keep him forever. - Linda Ferguson


  • I first met Mike when I was 16 working at a steakhouse. The only seat available on a busy Saturday night was the worst seat in the house in my opinion! I sat Mike and his friend and they didn't complain at all. I thought he was so nice for that. Everyone complains about that table all the time. Mike was a down to earth friendly person. He never acted above himself as some people in the media sometimes do. My thoughts and prayers are with his fmaily & friends! - Dawn


  • I was shocked and saddened by Mike's passing. My condolences to his family and friend. - Alice


  • I didn't have the pleasure of knowing him personally, but felt like he was a part of our family every day on the news. He gave the news PERSONALITY +. My deepest sympathies to his family and friends who will miss him so much. - Jayne


  • I was born and raised in Madison, yet I still am totally confused when navigating downtown. I was in a parking ramp elevator with Mike. Right when we got off I asked, "Do you know where State Street is??" He replied with a smile "You're on it!" LOL, and he's from St. Louis! I felt embarrassed! - Dawn Squires


  • I was shocked when I heard of Mike's passing like us all. I will miss his smile, the engery he gave while reporting the news. We will miss you Mike. - Jodi


  • I remember when Mike first moved to Madison, he had a remarkable way of communicating to all people in the community regardless of their race, social status, etc. He was inspiring in his commitment to make Madison a better place and to be a part of it all. His work with the Share Your Holiday Food Drive, the AIDS Network and most recently the Gilda House should inspire us all to do a little more for others. Wouldn't the world be a better place if we had more Mike McKinney's among us? My thoughts and prayers go out to his family at this difficult time, and in my volunteer efforts with the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life this weekend in Verona I will light more than 1 candle in his name. - Cheryl


  • As everyone has stated, Mike will be missed by everyone he met. Mike's smile could light up a room and the minute you met him and he looked you in the eye you knew of his heart. The legecy of his life will be that of a caring, loving, loyal human being. We were all blessed by his talents and his courage. Mike inspired me to train for the AIDS ride, thank you for that Mike!!! Your family and friends will miss you, but you will live forever in our hearts. To Mike's mom, I'm so sorry for your loss. The inspiration that Mike had for life is a gift that he gave to many. I have no doubt that he saved many lives of strangers and yet they were the reason he rode the miles on his bike, he spent the hours in the cold and he educated people on the disease he fought so hard to beat. My thoughts and prayers are will you. - Hal


  • No human being has this much impact on a community and "disappears" when he no longer walks the earth. His legacy will live on in Madison. I enjoyed meeting him at HIV/AIDS fundraisers over the years, and was impressed with his genuine and sincere commitment to the city of Madison, and to everyone who needed help, whether it was moral support, food to eat, or a word of encouragement. What a man of character. What an enormous loss. - Ann


  • I consider myself one of the lucky ones, because I had the opportunity to work with Mike at NBC 15 for some time. I always appreciated his laughter, his sense of humor, and his ability to tell a great story. I have a number of lasting memories about him...telling jokes, getting breaking news on the air, and of course his dedication to the job. Mike was a guy you could always trust no matter the situation. I'm deeply grateful to have known him and worked with him. Mike made a difference every day of his life and from the comments I'm reading now, he'll continue to do so now that he's gone. Thank you Mike. - Michael


  • I saw Mike in person just once at Panera on the west side. I just said "Hi Mike" and he turned around and acknowledged with a smile and a wave. Sure did miss him as anchor. Seems like he was a wonderful man. - Joan Beckius


  • I was shocked and saddened to hear of Mike's passing. Having watched him for years, I admired his enthusiasm, energy, and spirit. Even though I never met Mike personally, I feel a great sense of loss and extend my heartfelt sympathy to those who knew him, worked with him, and loved him. - Kathy


  • My husband and I were so shocked to hear that Mike had passed away. We will miss you Mike. You were a very beautiful person. - Mary Jo Aldrich


  • I would e-mail Mike and ask how he was. I caught my colon disease early although you never know when it can reappear. He always had an uplifting outlook on life. He will be sadly missed. - Carol


  • Mike was truly an inspiration for many many people. I have kidney cancer and was very moved and inspired by Mike's perseverance and positive attitude. He truly was very brave and courageous and this world is short one very needed person now. May God have mercy on his soul and God bless Mike's family and friends. Thank you for letting me share my thoughts. - Mary


  • Mike was my one of my first real-life television heroes. A person who I could see up-close, talk with face-to-face and relate to as an African-American newscaster. He helped me realize my dream. In 1992, I was a student majoring in broadcast journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and Mike worked at the local ABC affiliate. During my fall internship KMIZ-TV, I shadowed Mike on stories. He encouraged me to do my first stand-up. Mike patiently waited as I tried repeatedly to perfect the standup. I will always remember him for his encouragement and "Job-like" patience. We hadn't always stayed in touch over the years but that never stopped me from keeping the pact we made with each other after my internship. He said if he helped me then I had a responsibility to pass it on. Mike, I have followed through on my end of the deal. It was my blessing to meet you. Thank you for your help and presence. - Calvin Hughes


  • I was very saddened to hear of Mike's passing, but unfortunately, given his disease, not surprised to hear that it did finally happen. Nonetheless, it is still a shock to hear that Mike is no longer with us. As a former competitor, Mike could not have been more gracious and friendly whenever we met. He was truly a class act: when Channel 27 did not renew my contract, Mike was one of the first people to take me out for a drink, offer his wisdom, insight and support. He did so much for the community, but let's not overlook the fact that he was also very good at what he did: news anchors come in all shapes, sizes and styles, but as a competitor I always respected his talent behind the anchor desk, and the wonderful chemistry he had with Pam Tauscher. You don't get that very often in TV news, and 15 had a really good thing going when those two were a team. His legacy will live on because I am sure the organizations he helped will carry on his good work. That would be a most fitting tribute to a good man, a dedicated journalist, and a true Madisonian. To all his friends at 15 and in Madison, please accept my deepest condolences. When I go on the air here tonight, I will think of Mike. Respectfully, Jeff Gillan KLAS-TV Las Vegas - Jeff Gillan


  • I don't have a particular story... I just loved Mike McKinney & Pam Tauscher together on the news... no better duo on air in all the time I've been in Madison (since 1985). People complain that news can be so tragic or sad, but this team infused a general sense of joy into what they did. I knew Mike was sick, but I was saddened to hear that he passed away. I will miss that big ol' smile that lit up whenever we in the public saw him. Truly a loss for the whole community. - Gail


  • I really enjoyed watching him on TV. You could tell he was serious about his work. I especially was inspired by his Share Your Holiday Food drive....He was a great person - Lisa McClyman


  • I had the opportunity to work with Mike and Pam on "sharing your holiday spirit" in 2001. He was a kind man who always wanted to help the disavantage people. We will all miss his wonderful smile - Abdi Ogle


  • Mike's legacy of community involvement and impact on Madison and the surrounding communities renews my hope and strengthens my faith that one individual really CAN make a difference. - Victoria Huss


  • A man of great service and compassion. - Rev David Smith


  • I remember Mike going to the Deforst High School in 1998, and doing a live broadcast with some of the junior girls, celebrating the upcoming Homecoming. The story he covered was awesome, he looked so happy and I recalled my daughter and her friends all "abuzz", because they got to interview with Mike. He showed such love at what he did, and he seem to thoroughly enjoy being amongst the students.Later, that evening the girls all rushed home to my house to watch it on the 10 o'clock news.I also recall a story Mike did, when he rented a limosine and when the back door opened out came this eloquent woman, whom he introduced as his "Mom". He looked so proud. Thank you Mrs McKinney for letting us share so many good moments with your son Mike. I prayed for him, throughout his battle. He is at peace now, but how wonderful that we have such an Angel looking over so many people he touched with his love. Take Care. - Toni


  • I will miss Mike very much. My thoughts & prayers are with his family. He was a great man. No one will ever replace Mike. Mike was one of a kind. Good bye Mike, you will be missed a lot. - Sandra


  • I only knew Mike briefly, having met him as Pam's co-anchor after I left Channel 15. I liked him a lot, both as a reporter and anchor and as a person who appeared to be very down-to-earth and friendly. I'm sure all who knew him better will miss him. - Andrea Ernst


  • A wonderful man so caring and giving. I always looked forward to hear the news when he was on. He gave so much to so many. He will be truly missed by many. Till we meet again. - Connie


  • I just can't believe he is gone. I thought he beat the cancer. I will miss him. He was an inspiration to me. - Larry J Walters


  • What a wonderful legacy Mike McKinney leaves behind, not only in Madison, but on this planet. He is proof positive in the power of the individual, and what one person can do to make a difference in this world. We can all learn a lesson from Mike and the life he lead. There is surely a place in heaven for him, and I have no doubt that he will be looking down on Madison to ensure that the work he started, continues on for many years to come. My heartfelt condolences to his family. Thank you for letting us borrow your son, even if only for a little while. He was a true gentleman, an advocate for his many worthwhile causes, and the kind of human being we should all strive to be. - Beth


  • We always enjoyed watching Mike and Pam's work together when they were teamed up on NBC 15. From the food drives to just the way he brought the news to Madison, gave us a really good feeling about our community. Although we have moved out of the area, we can still pick up the station on a clear night and were sad to hear about Mike's passing. Whenever we tune in, we will always remember Mike and the good feeling that he gave us about our town...Madison. - Terry & Lana Harstford


  • there will be a special place in heaven for this wonderful and giving man. he will be terribly missed by this community. - mike schwartz


  • The members of Voices Beyond Bars would like to give thanks and celebrate the life of this great man who sacrificed so much of his time and energy to improve the conditions in our communities. We miss you Mike... - Jonard "Akhi" Williams


  • I was thrilled when Mike was hired and became probably one of the first African American to anchor on a news station. I thought wow finally a minority made it. Boy did he make it. Was a classic. He was an inspiration to me always had a positive attitude and a very sincere smile on his face. You could never tell he had problems he always had that peaceful look I am sure it was due to his faith in God. Even when we noticed he was losing weight. However because he was active riding bike and so on we thought it was due to that never realizing he was sick. He even didn't let that stand in his way helping people. We really enjoyed watching NBC15 and still do. We know this is a great loss to your station and his family and our prayers are with you. May we live each day as he did and have the same attitude he did and give as much as he did if we only have a smile or an email to send someone who is down and out. A lot of it these days, with gas prices, ecomony, poverty in our own communities. May his legacy live on. I know I will do my best to help others like he did not matter how bad off he was. I myself am disabled and find myself feeling sorry for myself, I think how selfish of me, here is a man that was fighting for is life so that he could help mankind. My attitude has definitely changed. He has and will always have an impact on my life. Thank you for the opportunity for letting me email my thoughts. I could go on but know you have millions of emails to read. Does his mom have an email address, if not please tell her she had a wonderful son. God rest his soul and may God be with her and we are praying for her and family. Again thank you - Juanita Rodriguea


  • I met him once in Baraboo, Wisconsin during the Share your Holidays Food Drive. He was the nicest person to talk to. I and my family want to give his family our sympathy for him. - Ed Kinney


  • My thoughts are with the McKinney family, and to Mike’s family at NBC 15. Mike was an extraordinary person. I had the honor of working with him on different charity events throughout the years. I will always remember his compassion, strength, humor, love, and pure joy in helping another. He set an example for an entire community on how to be completely selfless. As his mother said, the best way we can honor his legacy is to continue his work. While no one will ever replace our dear Mike McKinney, we CAN honor the work he did by continuing to advocate for those without voices, volunteer our time to help someone in need, and be kind to one another. I know he’ll be watching over us, and smiling at our successes. - Trista


  • While channel 15 has always been my "go to" station for news and weather, it was Mike who always added the warmth and compassion to his reports. His dedication to the many causes he believed in and supported will truly be missed. In his short life, he truly made a difference and is leaving a legacy truly hard to follow. - Candy Wood


  • MIKE WAS A CARING, TRUE JOURNALIST. HIS DEDICATION TO THE INDUSTRY WAS A+. MY HUSBAND & I REALLY MISS HIM. DEEPEST SYMPATHY TO HIS FAMILY. - DIANNA


  • Mike's life is an example for all of us - to see what ONE person can do to make a difference in our world. What a blessing to witness that kind of selfless caring. - Sally Cupery


  • Watching Mike speak at a Volunteer Banquet for the second year in a row, I saw the love he had for those that give back to the community as he always has. I remarked to someone that it's as if he didn't want to say good-bye to those in attendance and wanted to just keep sharing his thoughts of those that offer their assistance to others and his appreciation for those individuals and life in general. Mike was an inspiration to us all as he continued to fight his own illness and fight for all those that couldn't fight for themselves. Mike reminded me of my father-in-law who fought Colon Cancer for 10 years and he continued to volunteer, do for others and always find time for golf. What an inspiration to others. My heartfelt prayers go out to Mike's immediate family, his newsroom family, his volunteer family and the community of Madison and all those whose lives he touched. Rest in peace and watch how your legacy will surely live on. - Marjie


  • Although I did not have any personal meetings with Mike, I have watched NBC 15 news for years and enjoyed Mike's style of reporting and his concern for his community. He will be missed and may God bless the Channel 15 news family and Mike's family and friends. - Tracy


  • He did a lot of wonderful things for those who were or are lot less fortunate for everyone. - Henry


  • My thoughts with the McKinney family, as well as the family that is known as the NBC15 newsroom. I had the distinct pleasure of interning there, about ten years ago, on the weekends with Mike McKinney. What an absolute gentleman. The path that he laid out, professionally, is a credit to our industry, both on-air and off. He was a man devoid of ego and concerned about the next generation of youth in Madison, especially in pockets and neighborhoods often not in the public focus. Bravo to Mike on his courageous fight against this awful disease and his success in local community service. God Bless Mike. - Chris Earl


  • It is rare in this life that you come across somebody that you've never even met who leaves footprints on your heart. Mike McKinney was one of those extraordinary people in my life. When I think of Mike... who he was, the kind of life he lived and the legacy he left... I think of an angel. My thoughts and prayers go out to Mike's family and friends. Although he is no longer here in form, his memory and the example of goodwill toward others he set will live on in our hearts and in our community. Rest in Peace, Mike. You have touched and will be missed by so many. - Christine


  • I worked with Mike McKinney when I was a nightside assignment editor at NCB15 in 1999. Although we didn't get along at first, even then I had to admit he was an excellent anchor. He could easily have gotten a job in a much bigger market than Madison. No question. We got along better as time went on, and my respect for him grew. He was not only first rate at telling the story on the air, he was a good interviewer and reporter as well. He was a leader. I think most viewers who watched him realized we were lucky to have a newsman of his caliber on Madison TV. May God Bless you, Mike. - Chris Lee


  • I remember the first time I cut a news package for Mike at NBC 15. Man, I was so nervous while he was over my shoulder reviewing the cut. Afterwards he nodded and said "well done." In retrospect, cutting his packages became routine on Sunday's, but that first one meant more to me than he'll ever know. My thoughts and prayers are with Mike's family and everyone and NBC 15. - Aaron Druckenbrod


  • I am a member of the national Stuttering Association. a number of years ago Mike did a story on stuttering. I was told this by a couple of members seeing I have not been here long enough to know about it. But as the Madison Chapter NSA leader I want to thank Mike for educating the public about stuttering. A couple of months ago he email me and ask about doing a story on our youth group. I sure wish I could of met Mike. I here he was a great guy. Gloria - Gloria Klumb


  • My heart goes out to the family. I enjoyed watching Mike on the news and have always been gracious for all the events and things he beleived in. He will be missed. - Beth


  • The Memory that comes to mind, is getting a nice thank you letter for donation for Holiday share food program, that meant a lot to me, He was Humble, compassionate , and very caring towards the Madison Community, He will forever be remembered for Making a difference, Rest in Peace Mike, and know that your work will continue ! Myrna in Cross Plains Wisconsin - Myrna


  • Memories? Although I had at least a dozen memories of Mike just during my drive along the beltine tonight, I am not going to share any of those here specifically, but I am going to say that every meeting with Mike was special. I either laughed a lot, cried a little, had my curiosity heightened or my way of thinking broadened and/or challenged. Mike's friendship was a gift I'll always cherish. - Mark Spink


  • Mike was not only the ultimate professional, but a decent human being who cared more about others than himself. I saw Mike in April at UW Hospital, and he expressed best wishes for my dad's speedy recovery from a serious car accident. He said he'd pray for him. The compassion he showed for my dad in light of Mike's own battle is something that will stay with me for a long time. He will surely be missed, but his legacy lives on for many in the city of Madison and beyond. - Margie Schels


  • What a smile!! We will miss Mike. - Tom


  • It was a pleasure to hear Mike speak at a volunteer banquet. He was so full of enthusiasm and full of spark. He was truly an energetic person. He was truly an inspiration to everyone in the City of Madison. God Bless His family and my dear sympathy to you. Mike was a very loving person and His faith in God was fully seen in His life. - Jan Hanson


  • I loved watching Mike on Ch. 15 and when he became so sick, I prayed for him and kept him in my thoughts. Then I saw him come back to work recently and was overjoyed. This is such a shock. My deepest heartfelt condolonces to his family and his NBC 15 family. He was a wonderful, selfless man who will be deeply missed by all. - Geri Conway


  • Mike was such a wonderful person. He will be missed lots! My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. - Alita A.


  • Mike was a good guy, he enjoyed his job. - kristinedreger


  • Mike, we'll all miss you, my friend. Barbara and Chris, you are heroes in every sense of the word, for your love and caring support of this heroic man. All our thoughts and blessings are with you. - Joey, RN and ACT Crew


  • I would like to take a few moments to wish my heart felt sorrows to the family of Mike. I enjoyed watching him for years on the NBC 15 News broadcast. He will be missed by all. - Jesse and Balinda


  • I am so sad to hear of the loss of Mike. He was such a wonderful person. He touched my life when he came in to UW hospital. He always had a smile and always seemed to have so much stregnth. Our last conversation was how I loved seeing him but would rather see him out at the farmers' market or out enjoying Madison. To which he said, he wished that too and mentioned how he had not been to the farmers' market this year yet. I will miss his smile. I don't think I have ever met someone with such courage and determination. I am a better person after having him touch my life. - Dawn


  • I lived in Madison, WI for about 3yrs. I enjoyed tuning in to see my favorite reporter- Mike McKinney. It's amazing all that he continued to do despite his illness. What an inspiration for many! I will truly miss him. Now with his wings ....he can truly fly higher! - Rita I


  • Before moving to Janesville last August, I had spent many years traveling from Eau Claire, WI to Madison and I always watched NBC 15. While it may not be anything "big," I do remember watching live coverage of the food drive on the television in my hotel room. I remember the strong conviction and dedication in Mike's voice... so much so that upon returning to my hometown, I contributed even more to our food drive at school. NBC 15, you have my deepest condolences. - Carrie Schroedel


  • Mike started work at WMTV one week after I left to forecast the weather in Washington, DC. Although I only met him once when he came in for an interview, he left a lasting impression of a man who loved journalism and helping others. - Steve Rudin


  • There are so many things to say about the wonderful man that Mr. McKinney was. Among my favorite memories was his thoughtfulness on Valentine's Day when he co-anchored with Pam Tauscher. His on-air gift of purple roses brought tears to my eyes, especially after he explained that they were her favorite. It was easy to see how genuine and caring he was. God Speed, Mike. You'll be sadly missed. - Emily