Career Change: Leaving TV News

by - June 10, 2018

I began my journey in professional journalism nearly nine years ago. At the time, the job was temporary. I was asked to fill in for a couple of months while the station's morning show producer was on maternity leave. When she came back, they found other ways for me to fill in through the end of the year. Then in January, I signed my first contract, and the rest is history.

It's a story most everyone has heard about me by now: a print journalism major who'd been graduated for almost two months with no job prospects gets a call from a news director in need of someone who can write. I had no idea what to expect when I went to that interview, and I certainly wasn't expecting a call two days later asking if I could start that night. Soon, a couple months had turned into a couple years.

What was meant to be temporary had turned into a permanent job, one that I have enjoyed immensely over the years. Not that there haven't been bad days (or months) or times when I unsuccessfully sought out other opportunities, but from the start I knew that if I ever chose to leave the station it wouldn't be for another job in TV. As much as I like TV news, I love print media, and I have missed it more than I've let on, but for the past nine years I've wrongly believed that world was closed to me.

Then, a couple months ago I got an idea to launch an online resource for Wiregrass parents that could eventually earn me some money and maybe turn into a printed magazine. So I started talking to my friends who also have kids, asking if they would take advantage of such a resource. That's when one of them sent me a link to Mobile Parents magazine. It was exactly what I was envisioning and it was obviously thriving. There was an email listed for the publisher, so I took a chance. All I wanted was to talk to her about how she had gotten started and learn about her day-to-day operations.

That simple email launched a new adventure. I had stumbled into a job opening I had no idea existed. That one email was forwarded to the owner of a group of parenting magazines looking to expand to the Wiregrass. That email led to many more, a phone interview, an in-person interview, and finally an offer.

Things became official this past week, and I told my coworkers and everyone else on Friday. The reaction was overwhelmingly shock. Like me, none of them though I would ever leave. But the world of television news is hard, especially on families. So the prospect of going back to my roots and a dream I thought had died, coupled with flexible hours that will give me more time to spend with my husband and daughter wasn't something I could ignore.

I will miss the newsroom, especially the people I've been working with for nearly a decade. I've taken countless shows on the road, been through hurricanes and tornadoes, won some awards along the way, and met a lot of cool people. Over the past nearly nine years I've made lifelong friends and learned so much about journalism and life in general. I will be forever grateful for the opportunity, but it's time to move forward. My last day as a producer is June 29. After that, I'll be the regional publisher and event coordinator for Wiregrass Parents magazine.

Keep scrolling to see pictures from throughout my years at WTVY.

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