Host Jennifer Mergen's hometown newspaper, Albany Enterprise wrote an article about Mergen and The Minnesota Traveler. We hope you enjoy the shared article below!
A chance in the spotlight
Farming woman hosts new Minnesota-based TV show
By: Jenn Janak
As a young girl, Jennifer Mergen always dreamed about becoming a TV show host. She spent the better half of her life receiving an education, taking classes and auditioning for positions that would lead her one step closer to that dream becoming reality. She even directed the Albany High School play for the three years.
Now, the Farming native is living out her fantasy.
Mergen, daughter of Dan and Mary Mergen, was selected to be the host of a new TV series, “The Minnesota Traveler,” which will premiere on June 28 at 8:30 a.m. on FOX Sports North and FOX Sports Wisconsin.
“Oh my goodness, it’s amazing,” Mergen said. “I’ve wanted this my entire life and now it’s happening.”
Co-executive producer and creator of “The Minnesota Traveler,” John McCally of McCally-Lee Entertainment, thinks Mergen is the perfect fit for this adventurous and educational Minnesota-based TV series.
“With Jennifer’s travelling experience, and her professional and personal qualities, she’s the perfect fit,” McCally said. “She’s a native Minnesotan. She likes to travel, do things and loves history. She’s a fantastic and great reason to watch the show.”
The show was looking for an authentic representation of Minnesota; someone genuinely excited about the production and would love to be a part of it.
Mergen – who competed against 40 other women for the role – grew up in a small, rural community and spent many family vacations in the outdoors, but also has experience in the hustle and bustle of the Twin Cities.
“I’m proud of my small, wonderful town,” Mergen said about the Avon, Farming communities.
The new series will not only showcase tourist destinations, but also explore every corner of Minnesota over the course of 26 weeks in a 13-episode season.
“Every episode is different, exploring the diversity of people, places and things across Minnesota,” said Mergen. “The cool thing about Minnesota is that it’s a big state, from well-known attractions to little sites hardly heard of; there is something for every adventurer.”
Although there are similar travel television programs currently available to viewers, none of them offer a unique subject matter in an educational and informative, yet fun and entertaining way specifically about the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
To McCally, there are a few aspects of the show that make it different compared to other travel series.
“’The Minnesota Traveler’ is the only TV program specifically about travelling and tourism in Minnesota,” he said. Mergen agreed.
“We really want to get into the story – get to know the people and understand the history,” she said. “People can have fun learning about different places to visit when planning their next family vacation.”
The premiere episode will entail Mergen and “The Minnesota Traveler” crew exploring Minnesota’s newest mall, the Twin Cities Premium Outlets in Eagan, as well as a visit to the Minnesota Zoo, the Cascade Bay Waterpark and eateries in Eagan.
The crew has spent many hours travelling across the great state of Minnesota, shooting footage for upcoming episodes – from the Arctic Cat manufacturer in Thief River Falls to the Pine Grove Zoo in Little Falls to kayaking down the Mississippi River.
“I’ve gotten to experience things I couldn’t imagine in my wildest dreams,” Mergen said, “and now viewers can too.”
McCally believes the crew has really emphasized the show’s tagline – “Explore Beyond Expectations” – with every place they visit and in the production quality of the series.
“There’s amazing diversity and we’re highlighting communities from all across Minnesota,” he said. “We tell stories and get our host involved. Jennifer’s not just telling the viewer about the location, she’s experiencing it.”
While the episodes are sure to be entertaining, more information and behind-the-scenes photographs of each visit can be viewed on “The Minnesota Traveler” website (www.theminnesotatraveler.com) and other social media outlets.
With each excursion to another destination in Minnesota, and as “The Minnesota Traveler” series premiere quickly approaches, Mergen, the small-town girl, is eagerly looking forward to having the people of Minnesota play a part in her dream come true.
“You have to stay true to your heart” she said, “and believe in you.”