ed kilgore

“Telling The Story” podcast guests on: advice for young journalists

I am on vacation — and out of commission — for the next two weeks, so I figured I would use my usual Wednesday space to put together some of the stronger exchanges and sound bites from the first six episodes of the “Telling The Story” podcast.

Last week, I posted the highlights on the topic of the changing landscape of journalism. This week, I present three segments in which some of the finest storytellers around offer their advice for up-and-comers:

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“Don’t write to be published”: Andrew Carroll is a great writer, which is somewhat amusing, in that he never really intended to be one. But maybe that’s part of what makes him so good; he writes with a unique style (witness his book, Here Is Where), and he talks with that style as well. He uses lively language and crackling words, and here he offers his keys to becoming a stronger writer — namely, to follow your passion and be a great reader.

CLICK HERE for the full podcast.

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“Find that mentor that scares you”: Anne Herbst can do it all — she has worked as a photographer and a one-woman band for TV stations and the major newspaper in Denver. As such, she gets asked for advice — a lot. Naturally, she was prepared when I posited the question to her here. She talks in this exchange, among other things, about finding a mentor who doesn’t pat you on the back.

CLICK HERE for the full podcast.

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Jason Collins, and why storytellers succeed by breaking routine

He has been analyzed and over-analyzed.

In the past two weeks, a wide swath of writers, bloggers, broadcasters, and pundits have dissected the words of Jason Collins, who became the first American active male pro athlete to come out as gay.

But very few of them have addressed the paragraph that stood out most to me.

It is perhaps an afterthought in light of Collins’ many revelations in his Sports Illustrated article, but early on the NBA center talks about what made him decide to come out now.

Why am I coming out now? Well, I started thinking about this in 2011 during the NBA player lockout. I’m a creature of routine. When the regular season ends I immediately dedicate myself to getting game ready for the opener of the next campaign in the fall. But the lockout wreaked havoc on my habits and forced me to confront who I really am and what I really want. With the season delayed, I trained and worked out. But I lacked the distraction that basketball had always provided.

Think about that for a second. Collins essentially put off making a major life decision because he became stuck in a routine.

He is, of course, not the only one. How many times in our lives do we put off potentially troubling decisions because we do not want to break our everyday patterns? After all, thinking critically about oneself is a difficult task; it takes effort, humility, and the ability to admit that our current routines may not always be the correct ones.

We all fall prey to this line of thinking.

And that is why we all should take a cue from Collins.

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PODCAST EPISODE #2: Ed Kilgore, Buffalo Broadcasting Hall of Famer

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At the end of my latest podcast interview, with my former co-worker and dean of Buffalo sportscasters Ed Kilgore, the former WGRZ-TV sports anchor reminded me of a conversation we once had during a slow moment at work.

Apparently (and I vaguely remember this), I asked Kilgore — in all sincerity — if he felt Tommy Lee Jones had underachieved.

And then, he recalls, we seriously discussed this topic for several minutes.

Such is the spirit of Ed Kilgore. He is a man who enjoys discussion, no matter what the topic. I shared a cubicle with Kilgore during my time at WGRZ-TV, the NBC affiliate in Buffalo, and I always knew I could rope him into a deep conversation if I so desired. Kilgore, like myself, enjoys thinking about and dissecting topics — even a topic as seemingly silly as Tommy Lee Jones’ movie career.

Kilgore joined me for Episode #2 of the Telling the Story podcast. A quick bio: he worked at WGRZ-TV for 40 years before retiring last month. He covered four Super Bowls, the Miracle on Ice, and pretty much every big recent sporting event involving the city of Buffalo. He was inducted in 2010 to the Buffalo Broadcasting Hall of Fame, and he is by far the most famous sports anchor to have graced Western New York.

In the podcast, we touched on very little of this, because the last decade of Kilgore’s broadcasting career was arguably the most interesting in the context of storytelling. He saw his role change, learning how to edit highlights and becoming a force on social media, and experienced a much darker period in Buffalo sports (the NFL’s Bills have not made the playoffs in more than a decade, and the NHL’s Sabres have not played in a Stanley Cup since 1999).

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PODCAST PREVIEW: Ed Kilgore on young sportscasters “doing ESPN job interviews”

I worked with Ed Kilgore at WGRZ-TV in Buffalo for four years.

Ed Kilgore worked at WGRZ-TV for four decades.

The man is a legend — the once and future dean of Buffalo sportscasters. He has covered everything from the Super Bowl to the Miracle on Ice, and he even once ran with the Olympic torch.

This week, he becomes the second esteemed storyteller to visit the Telling The Story podcast.

Come back to tellingthestoryblog.com Wednesday at 8 AM to hear the full podcast with myself and Mr. Kilgore. We discuss the changing face of local TV news and sports, the uniqueness of Buffalo as a sports town, and the lessons an old-timer like Kilgore can teach the young’uns coming up today.

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