Goals – Own your story

Kym McNicholas – Goals – Own your story.

My career really began with a goal of becoming…getting my doctorate in sports medicine I wanted so badly to become the trainer for the San Francisco 49ers, I wanted to be that girl that got those players back out onto the field, and then I was dating the captain of a local football team, a junior college football team, and one of the radio announcers actually got sick and they said hey, you know the team really, really well why don’t you just jump on the microphone and just start talking about the players and I fell in love with the microphone and at that point I decided I wanted to be a sports anchor but when I jumped into my career, I realized I didn’t want to do what it truly took to be a sports anchor at that point, there was the casting couch, the women were really not treated that well in the business at the time, there were very few women, this was back in 1997, and so I decided just to see, is there any other aspect of television that I love,

I love telling stories and that’s truly what I realized about myself through the whole process, it wasn’t that I liked sports, or I liked energy news, or I like business news I’m a really great story teller, I love people and I have a talent for capturing the essence of who people are.

When people watch the stories I did on them they always say wow, I didn’t even know that about myself but that’s truly what I feel and that’s the most rewarding part and that’s how I know I’ve done my job and that’s what I’m meant to do but my first job in television was at Central Florida News 13, it was a startup station and it was a CNN affiliate except on the local level and we had twenty four hour news, and through that process I realized I really wanted to be maybe  a regular anchor or a regular reporter and then I moved back to the Bay area and I became a producer for a local station with the hopes of actually coming on air and I worked my way into a breaking news/update sort of position along with being the producer, and then I discovered online news and I realize I could progress towards my goal a lot faster of getting a full time job on air if I jumped to online.

So in 1998 I became one of the first web centric video reporters in business news, and I worked, it was called On 24, and from there I jumped into online energy news and I became the Maria Botarmae in a sense of energy, so I was on the trading floor running from power to natural gas liquids to oil to whatever else in the energy world I could cover, and I really enjoyed that and that point I realized I really didn’t need to know a lot about a particular topic, it was really about being a great story teller, and that’s when I decided you know what, this job is coming to an end, the contract for the whole show was coming to an end, I feel like doing sports, I just feel like doing sports and so I said to my agent, I want to be a sports anchor and he said you don’t have a tape, where’s your tape, I have girls, I have Miss USA who wants to be a sports anchor and she’s one of my clients, I can’t sit there and pitch you as a sports anchor, what am I going to show people, you’ve never done sports on camera before, I said I’ve been watching sports since I was a kid, four years old watching the Steelers, watching the 49ers, I was a trainer and stats girl for every single sport from high school straight through college, I don’t miss a game whether it’s basketball, football or baseball and by the way, I’m a professional water skier and I understand lacrosse and rugby so who wouldn’t want me to do sports for their station?

And as the contract was ending I was like, if these guys say there is no way I can do it I’m going to figure out how to do this so I went online and started searching for any kind of sports job, and it was still the real beginning of the internet days where people were trying new things and the podcast was starting to come about, and there was a network that wanted to help people become online talent and give people podcasts so I said I would love to start my own little extreme sports show for women on a podcast, so they gave me a microphone and gave me a little recording device and the software to upload my own little sports show on there and even before I launched my first one, I had an interview over at the local ABC affiliate in Sacramento because I thought I need an actual paid gig right away so I’m going to go and there and see if I can become a business news morning show anchor contributor, there wasn’t a position available but what the heck, maybe I could sell him on it.

In the back of my mind I’m thinking, I know this news director loves sports, I wonder if I can throw in there that I’m really passionate about sports and just consider that fact that even though I’m going in there to talk about business news maybe I could get a sports gig out of it and so I said, I deliberately waited outside in the parking lot the day I was going into my little interview with him and made it so I was right on time so the moment he got the call it was almost going to be 11:31, still on time but almost on the verge of being late because most of the time you’re early for an interview, and when he came up to approach me I apologized, I said I’m so sorry, I’m late, I had a meeting this morning with my executive producer about this sports show I’m doing, blah, blah, blah, and you know we kept walking and talking as we went down to his office and I was just babbling away, as I’m doing right now, and we get to his office and I’m still talking about the sports show and I’m like wait, hold on, I’m so sorry Ron, you know I’m so passionate about what I’m doing here and so excited about this opportunity that I forgot why I’m here, you’re just so easy to talk to, it’s like I’ve known you forever but business news, I just got done with energy news live and I was think that business is news up and coming and blah, blah, blah, and then halfway through my sentence he said stop, wait a minute, I could really care less about business news, I could care less about energy news, I could care less our audience does not care, but let’s talk about sports.

My number four sports girl just ended up going to ESPN, and I’ve just been looking for a backup to the backup to the backup, would you mind coming in for an audition? Unheard of, who in the top twenty market, who auditions for a job in sports without even having a tape? So I went back, created my own little sportscast, went in and this is the other funny thing so this story is going to go on forever, I just kept using these opportunities to leverage, and I realized that’s a backup to a backup to a backup job, well I still need a regular job even if I get this I still need a regular job, so I had not read a teleprompter in years so I called my other station where I had worked at as a producer in the Bay area way back when I did the breaking news updates, and I called there and said do you mind if I go to your station and borrow the teleprompter and get a little training on a teleprompter before I do this audition? He was so thrilled that I wanted to go to the station and practice, he took the tap I taped, my practice session, and showed it to his general manager. He was like you need her to do sports because we hate our sports person that we have right now and so after I did the audition for the other place I get that gig before I even get the second run of the audition.

I read it once through in practice and they hired my before I even did the real thing, and then I get a call that night from the general manager of the other station saying hey, Ed brought in your tape and I’m very excited about it you know, we do have this morning show position and I was going to consider you for that, I know you didn’t apply, but would you be interested maybe in sports? Well, I just got this sports gig at ABC and I ‘m not sure, he said just listen, this is a full time gig, you’re going to be doing three sportscasts a night and you’re going to have your own racing show, but I have to fire this guy tonight if I’m going to do this. Can you tell me right now that you’ll take the job? And so it was great, I called up my agent and said I don’t think I really need you anymore, I can do sports… Miss USA what?