The Story of Max and Danae

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Max Filby and Danae King started dating while at the University, now they work at competing newspapers.

Holly Shively and Holly Shively

Max Filby and Danae King are just one of the many couples that got a start at the University, but their relationship continues to grow years later as they move through reporting jobs using the skills they learned at The BG News.

Filby and King met working at The BG News while attending the University during King’s freshmen year and Filby’s sophomore year.

“Her freshmen year I tried to bring her under the fold…but she was very shy,” Filby said.

While the two knew each other through The BG News, they didn’t become friends until the following year, after an “awkward icebreaker” in a BG News editor’s retreat, King said. The two began hanging out more frequently, especially with other members of the staff.

“A lot of our friends thought something was going on between us, but nothing really was at the time,” Filby said.

After a few months, the two began dating. They would work together in the newsroom sometimes until 2 a.m. putting the next day’s issue together. Eventually, they both served as editor-in-chief their respective senior years before Filby graduated in 2013 followed by King in 2014.

After graduation, Filby went to Memphis for an internship for about a month before returning to Northwest Ohio to begin work at a small paper in Bellevue. In December of 2013, he was offered a job at the Findlay Courier.

Graduating a year later, King traveled to The Baltimore Sun for a post-graduation internship.

“When it was time to kind of decide my next step…I really missed home and family in Ohio,” she said.

She accepted a job at the Lima News on the spot as she was offered it, only a half hour from Filby in Findlay, but he wasn’t the only reason. There was also a Chipotle right down the street, she said.

About a year later, the two moved in together, and by February King was working alongside Fibly at The Findlay Courier. While she enjoyed her job as a business reporter at the Lima News, she wanted a new challenge and opportunity to report on a public entity.

In their newest jobs, Filby and King have found themselves at somewhat competing newspapers. In September, Filby joined the staff of The Dayton Daily News—the fourth largest Ohio newspaper based on circulation size according the Agility PR Solutions—as an investigative higher education reporter.

He moved to Fairborn, roughly 20 minutes northeast of Dayton, with anticipation that King’s job prospects would work out.

They did.

In October, King joined the Columbus Dispatch—the second largest Ohio newspaper—in late October, meaning she also joined Filby in Fairborn.

King and Filby both covered the Ohio State University stabbing in November, and it got more competitive than most couples would expect to encounter.

“When I was in Findlay and she was in Lima, those papers kind of compete…but they didn’t seem to overlap on coverage,” Filby said.

Filby’s editors saw Ohio State University’s emergency services tweeting and quickly made the decision to send him to Columbus. On the way he called King to tell her, who was working on a story in a McDonalds in Newark, Ohio. She said she was very worried about Filby’s safety.

“Selfishly I hoped he wouldn’t get there in time to see any of the action,” King said.

When Filby got to the campus, he walked about a mile to the garage police surrounded. He was able to interview students and sheriffs while there, and later he met up with another reporter at a press conference at the hospital, coming out with a double by-line, next-day cover story on that Tuesday.

While Filby went to a vigil later that night, King went to a press conference for the Dispatch, which lead to a much larger day after story, also on the cover on that Wednesday.

Throughout the days following the attack, both Filby and King continued coverage, but according to one of Filby’s editor said King had a 2-1 lead after he saw on Twitter that King was in the university’s oval the day after.

“I was just focused on what I was doing, and we were told to go certain places,” King said of traveling to the oval with a photographer that day. “I didn’t think to say anything to Max. We weren’t really communicating a whole lot.”

Filby and King did end up in some of the same places, however, including one press conference with a professor attacked during the day’s events. King asked him a question that Filby said just about every news organization used quotes from the next day.

“It was probably the best question,” he said.

Filby said the competition was “interesting and fun.”

While King and Filby are used to talking about stories and bouncing ideas off each other at home, King said it was different to see Filby in action.

“When I saw him it was a little bit surreal,” she said. “You have to think we’ve been dating for five years, and I worked with him at the BG News and the Courier, but I also come home to Max every night…it made me kind of have a renewed respect for Max and what he does.”

The two have plans to just stay where they are for now, but that may not be the end of the story.

“We both definitely have high aspirations…but what we’re focused on now is doing the best journalism we can do,” Filby said. “That’s what’s most important to us.”