This week, I am being featured at eagleeyetv.com as "Alumni of the Week". I worked with Eagle Eye when I was in school at Auburn as the sports director.
Eagle Eye is a great program for Auburn students interested in the world of broadcasting. It is completely student run and offers a lot of hands on experience.
Following is the text of my interview for the alumni of the week feature:
Alumni of the Week:
Years you were at Auburn/ Eagle Eye? Any positions you held? I graduated from Auburn in 2006. I was the first Eagle Eye Sports Director. I held that position from 2003-2005.
Favorite Eagle Eye memory? I have to lump in the entire 2004 football season as my favorite memory. As the sports director, I got to be on the field for that undefeated season. I got to interview several of the players and even got a one on one with Aubie on the sidelines of Sanford Stadium at UGA. We had a lot of fun that season.
Where are you now? I am in Huntsville, Alabama where I work as the producer/anchor for the FOX54 Nine O'Clock News. After I graduated from Auburn, I went out to small town Texas (Victoria, market 204) as the weekend Sports Anchor/Reporter. I got a lot of experience during that stop of my career. While I was in South Texas, the 6/10 anchor position became available at that same station, KAVU. About a year and a half after I started in sports, I applied to anchor the prime time news and they gave me a shot. From my research, when I took over the job, I was the youngest prime time male news anchor in the U.S. After a couple of years behind the desk, I got the opportunity to come back to my hometown of Huntsville. I still dabble in sports from time to time on Friday nights for high school football and I produced and anchored the sports reports while we were between sports anchors at FOX54.
One piece of advice for students currently pursuing a degree in broadcast? Run away! I am only halfway kidding. Unless you have a passion for news, this is not the industry for you. It is hard. News people are underpaid and overworked. If you do have that passion and you did not run away, take every opportunity you have to get experience. Whether it is during an internship or working with the Eagle Eye team, the more experience you have, the more opportunities you have to fill up your resume. The more you know, the more likely you are to find a job in this tough field.
I think succeeding in this business takes the right combination of confidence and humility. You have to be confident that you can and will be successful at what you do. But, you can't get too full of yourself. KAVU was the only station in Victoria, TX. So, if you watched the news while I was there, you had to watch me. As a result, I would often get recognized when I was out in the public. About six months after I moved back to Alabama, I took a visit back to Victoria. While I was there, I made a stop at Target because I had to pick up a pair of socks or something. As I was walking through the store, I heard someone call my name. I turned around and I did not recognize the young lady. She smiled as she looked at me, and I thought I was a pretty big deal to be gone for several months and people still knew who I was. Then, she said, "I used to sell you your makeup." And my pride came crashing down. At the same time, it was also a good learning experience. It takes a certain amount of humility to perform all of the hard work it takes to succeed in the broadcast industry. In local TV, you aren't really a big deal. But, you do have to wear makeup.
Here is the link to the interview on the front page of the website: http://eagleeyetv.com/