(April 8, 2016) John Johnson wanted to be a TV sports anchor/reporter but lacked on-air experience. After developing a game plan and dedicating himself to the smallest details on the job market, Johnson has achieved his goal. An STAA member, Johnson has joined WBKB-TV in Alpena, MI as a weekend sports anchor/reporter.
Johnson learned of the job through STAA. “It was actually a strategy for a follow up phone call that STAA suggested that helped me get an interview for the position. The sports director had lost my materials so the follow up phone call put me back on the radar,” says Johnson
Academics, and playing varsity football and baseball at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut left Johnson without time for on-air pursuits during college. “When applying for opportunities, I was behind a host of other candidates,” he says.
Like a coach would do, Johnson developed a game plan, but his was for landing a career on-air. He took a job as a researcher for the Major League Baseball Network so he that could learn the industry. On his free time, Johnson would go to his former high school to work on creating a demo reel.
“I faced rejection after rejection and it was a challenge to continue to pursue this opportunity,” Johnson admits. “I made a point to heed STAA’s tips and advice, as well as remind myself that it just takes ONE person to give you that shot.”
Johnson made it a point to be especially conscientious in two areas of the job market. “I made sure my cover letters and emails were original, and I prepared for each interview as if I was studying for an exam. This is even true for my follow up phone calls.”
Building relationships was another of Johnson’s priorities.
“Under some of STAA’s suggestions, I made a point to build and establish [new] relationships as actual relationships. Many of the people I connected with were more than willing to give me advice, leads, on-air tips, or just act as a sounding board because I was investing time in them. I wasn’t looking for a job hand out. I wanted to get to know them, their story and how I could find success.”
Now, Johnson is excited for the variety of opportunities he has at WBKB. “Being a small station, WBKB gives me experience performing multiple jobs. I am gaining experience in writing my own show, cutting and producing my own scripts and highlights, in the field reporting as well as behind the desk anchoring. It’s been a great opportunity to learn every bit of the television broadcast industry while still focusing on my main goal as an on-air personality.
“STAA’s constant emails about broadcasting, interview, and demo reel advice, in addition to job leads, have benefited me tremendously. The ability to connect with other members as well as people who know of this service was also hugely beneficial. I signed up less than six months ago and was able to land a job at WBKB. I had previously worked with another job lead resource and found little success. My only regret was not signing up for STAA sooner. “
(Visit John’s STAA Talent Page).