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My journey through journalism

Goodbye News, Hello Marketing

Most people who know me are probably sick of hearing me talk about it at this point. But I’m finally getting a chance to sit down and write a blog. It’s been a long time coming. I just wanted to take a few minutes to reflect on the last 21+ years.

I’ll start from the beginning. In 1995 as I was preparing to graduate from Southeast Missouri State University I thought it would be cool to go into broadcast journalism. Keep in mind there were no options for this at the time at SEMO and I was about as introverted as they come.

My first night anchoring at WOWL

However, I persisted and landed a behind the scenes job at KMOV in 1996. A year later I landed my first on-air job at WOWL in Florence, Alabama. I remember in those early days thinking by the age of 30 I was going to be back in my hometown of St. Louis and an Emmy Award winner. Neither happened. But none the less, I had a load of fun along the way.

We ended up in West Lafayette, Indiana for more than four years before settling in southern Illinois in 2004. WSIL and the management here gave me opportunities I never thought I’d achieve. I was named co-anchor of News 3 This Morning in August 2004. I held onto that position for almost 15 years before deciding it was time for something new.

My last day

I know (and believe me I’ve been told repeatedly) that I should have never been in the position I was. It is the perfect example of hard work prevailing over talent. I am not saying this to be self-deprecating, this is the reality of my situation and one of the factors that lead to my decision to leave.

There were other things too. While many people view being on TV as something glamorous, that’s really not the case. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t trade the past 21 years for anything. But young journalists and those who want to get into the business need to know the pay isn’t great; especially starting off. You’ll work holidays, weekends, nights, during snow storms, tornadoes, earthquakes. You have to be there. Again, I’m not complaining, but this year will mark the first Thanksgiving I’ve had off since 2002.

I’m still wrapping my brain around my new reality and getting acclimated accordingly. I’ve been working for Idea Creative Marketing on a freelance and part-time basis since 2015. In August of 2018, I went into the office for a reality check/pep talk on getting into marketing (I had several interviews but either I wasn’t right for the position or the salary wasn’t enough).

The mug says it all

My new boss, Whitney, laid it out and presented a plan that piqued my curiosity. As I dove into the profession, I started to love it and my passion for the news waned. I knew I could not keep doing both jobs, working many days up to 16 hours.

My wife, who has been so incredibly supportive since before I even got a job in TV, encouraged me to make the move. I don’t know that I would have ever gotten that first job in TV news had she not pushed me so hard. Now I’m on to a new adventure with her by my side cheering me along.

So there you have it, a quickish overview of why my journey and why I decided to change paths at age 46. Thank you all for the support as well. I appreciate it.

 

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kevinhunsblogger View All

I am a journalist with more than 20 years of experience and a professional blogger. I have been writing for most of my adult life. I have clients in several states and look forward to writing something for you soon.

4 thoughts on “My journey through journalism Leave a comment

  1. Great story, Kev. I wish you the best in the next chapter.
    I wanted a career in broadcasting for years and even got a two-year degree with a focus on radio. I graduated with my associate’s degree in September of 1996, the same month Pres. Clinton signed the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which essentially ended the career path for me since I didn’t want to work for Clear Channel or Infinity Broadcasting. I did a little radio work here and there, but never made the field a career. I decided in my mid thirties that I wanted a change. I entered grad school at 40 (!) and haven’t looked back. I’m hoping this career is my last and every time I step into the classroom, I am grateful I had the courage to make a change instead of sitting in a position that was adequate, but didn’t challenge my intellect.
    We spend so much of our lives working that it is essential for us to love what we do. Again, best wishes and good luck!

    Like

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