Last night I clicked the ‘Accept Offer’ button of an online contract with a new station in Las Vegas. It was one of the most bittersweet moments of my entire life.
When I started at KTVN in Reno just over a year and a half ago, I didn’t even know what a sound bite was. I remember calling my mom after that first day on the job in tears, questioning how I’d ever be able to produce an entire newscast by myself. “You’ll be the best one there in six months,” she said. She was wrong. I was promoted and given my own show in five. Four months after that I was promoted again.
The only reason I even got a chance in this industry is because a single, solitary man – who happened to be a higher up at Channel 2 News – saw in me a drive even I didn’t know I had. With a degree in print journalism and mostly a bunch of bartending experience under my belt, he agreed to give me a crack at an entry level position assisting the morning show producer with the potential of advancing into a higher role later down the road.
As I grew into my job and strived to be better, I often went to him with questions. Though he had far more important things to deal with as news director, he never once made me feel as though I was inconveniencing him with inquiries I now know were trivial to say the least. He saw in me a will to succeed and made it a priority to ensure I did just that. If that’s not the definition of a leader, then I don’t know what is.
Meanwhile I created relationships with coworkers I value as much, if not more than, those I’ve had with close friends and family members. I’ve never been surrounded by a group of such passionate, dedicated, and hard-working people, who can make me laugh even during my most stressful moments. These are people I look up to and have learned from, with whom I’ve spent hours of after-hours drinking beer after beer, discussing how we can make the show better, despite starting the night with a promise not to talk shop.
For that reason, leaving KTVN – market 106 – to work for KLAS – market 40 – feels more like a painful breakup than the advancement it truly is. That’s not to say I’m not 100 percent grateful for the opportunity I’ve been granted. God knows I couldn’t be more thankful that a station I’ve trusted for so long chose me to be the next creator of newscasts that inform others. It’s just hard to leave behind people who I’ve truly grown to love.
More on this incredibly wonderful adventure to follow!