DITV Alumni See Success in Sports Broadcasting
Most sportscasters wait years to cover state championship games, but for Charlie Bartlett (B.A. 2007) his chance came his second week on the job.
"My most memorable TV moment was definitely when I got to cover a state championship high school football game," Bartlett said. "Texas high schools live and breathe football, so covering a football championship game is every broadcaster's dream."
Bartlett, who now works as a weekend sports anchor and reporter for NewsChannel 6 Sports at KAUZ in Wichita Falls, Texas, said it was at Daily Iowan TV where he gained the most valuable experience to prepare him for the real world.
"If I didn't work at DITV I probably wouldn't be working in television right now," Bartlett said. "It helped prepare me for the professional level by giving me clips, which played a big part in getting a job after graduation."
Unlike most graduates pursuing a career in sports, Bartlett landed a job right after graduation at KTLC in Lake Charles, La. as a sports and news reporter before working at KAUZ.
"Since I was little I always had a passion for news and sports. I always told my parents, 'I'm going to be the sports guy on TV,'" Bartlett said. "Once I got to college and started working for DITV, I realized there's a lot more to being on TV than what it seems. You really have to work for the job."
Beyond the glamour of being a face on TV, Barlett says that being a sports reporter is kind of a "one man job." His responsibilities at KAUZ not only include finding and covering stories, but also filming games, editing and producing.
For students who want to pursue careers in the sports industry, Bartlett recommends getting involved in student organizations such as the DI and DITV to get clips.
"You need experience, not just good grades and a degree," Bartlett said. "I had people tell me I couldn’t do it, but I made it. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't.”
With the help of Daily Iowan TV (DITV), A.J. Ellingson (B.A. 2008) landed a career in the competitive sports industry as weekend sports anchor and reporter at KIMT in Mason City. But getting a job as a sportscaster was no walk in the park for Ellingson.
"There's no doubt it's tough pursuing a career in sports," Ellingson said. "I sent out tape after tape and heard nothing back for a while. You almost have to accept failure at first."
Ellingson eventually landed his job at KIMT through DITV director Charles Munro and his internship at WHLTV in Des Moines.
"I didn't realize how big of a help DITV was for me until I began working at KIMT," Ellingson said. "Students at the university are lucky to have it."
Ellingson said DITV is smaller scale in comparison to a professional news station, but DITV's equipment and software is top of the line. He said it is as good or even better than the equipment used at the stations he previously worked for.
While Ellingson enjoys his work at KIMT, he explains that being in front of the camera isn't as glamorous as it may seem.
"My contract is almost up so I'm trying to figure out what I'm going to do or whether to even stay in the sports business," Ellingson said. "With sports everything goes on at night, so although it adds a lot to my life, it can take a lot away from my personal life."
But the one thing Ellingson does enjoy is the variety of tasks and the responsibility that comes along with it.
"It's a little bit of everything, that's the best part about it--I write, produce, edit and anchor. It's about having duties of your own and taking responsibility of all of it," Ellingson said. "It's a lot of work, but I like it."
If he sticks with sports, eventually Ellingson would like to be a play-by-play sportscaster for the St. Louis Cardinals TV station.