Mike Keckler, a former award-winning Boise TV reporter and most recently chief of the Bureau of Communications for the Idaho Department of Fish & Game, has joined the state Board of Education as their chief communications and legislative affairs officer, replacing Blake Youde, who quit Nov. 28 to work in private-sector public affairs and government relations. Youde had been with the state board since January of 2015.
Keckler, who started his new job this morning, had headed communications for Idaho Fish & Game for 12 years, joining the department in 2006. He previously was public information officer for the Idaho Department of Water Resources from 2004 to 2006; reported for KBCI TV, now KBOI2, from 1998 to 2004; was a senior reporter for KXLY TV in Spokane from 1994 to 1998; and was a reporter and managing editor at KBCI TV in Boise from 1988 to 1994. Keckler, who holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Idaho State University, co-led the KBCI investigation that triggered the 2002 shake-up at Boise City Hall, resulting in the resignation of the mayor, his chief of staff and others.
Asked why he decided to make the move, Keckler said, “I guess because I feel like this position offers me a chance to expand a little bit, in the sense I’ll get to work directly with the Legislature. The Fish & Game position was a wonderful job, I worked with great people, and I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything, but I just felt like this was an opportunity to expand a little bit, see how I do with this opportunity to work with the Legislature specifically.”