50 Stories for 50 years: A WKMS Love Story

Feb 14, 2020

Jen and Bryan Bartlett depicted on a poster within the WKMS Studios.
Credit Jenni Todd

It’s Valentine’s Day and we thought it’d be fun to give you an extra story this week. A WKMS love story. 

Bryan Bartlett worked at WKMS in the mid 1990’s then after a break, he returned in 2004. That’s when this love story begins. 

“I was training to host All Things Considered with Tracy Ross,” said Bryan. I was distracted by this willowy young lady in the next studio.” I finally stopped our conversation, I said Tracy, what’s her story.” “And as if he knew we were going to get married he said, ’that’s Jen Schatz I’m not sure why she’s not married.”


Then as if it were planned, then-Program Director Mark Welch asked Jen to help with Bryan’s training. Mind you, Bryan had previous broadcast experience.

“I introduced him to the board and to WKMS and then I didn’t think much about it,” said Jen. “Then I got this thank you email from Bryan.” Then I sent him back a little innocuous email thanking him, too.”

Bryan continued to respond to Jen’s emails with other emails until she caught on to his flirting. 

One thing led to another.

“We were quite giddy about plotting to let everyone know we were an item,” said Bryan. 

They planned to make the big reveal at a staff Christmas party. They wanted to enter the party together, arm in arm. 

But, another staff member’s ill-timed arrival meant that it simply looked like three WKMS team members arriving at the same time.

“Our big splash wasn’t the big splash we thought it would be,” said Bryan.

Bryan and Jen continued to date, and in 2006 Bryan proposed to Jen in the very spot they met, the WKMS 

Jen, Bryan and Abby Bartlett.
Credit Photo Provided

studio. They’ve been married now for nearly 14 years and have a beautiful daughter, Abby.

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