(August 2, 2018) Tyler Feldman received just two replies from 40 job applications over two months. One of the two ended up being his next employer. An STAA member, Feldman is joining WITN in Greenville, NC as a sport anchor/reporter.
Feldman leaves a similar position at WBNG in Binghamton, NY. “I started researching and applying to job openings with about three months left on my contract,” he says. “I was sending out cover letters, applications and demo reels to every station I felt could provide me with more opportunities and greater challenges.”
Ultimately, it was a friendship that helped Feldman land in Eastern North Carolina. “I’m replacing Alex Walker, and he’s actually a great friend and mentor of mine,” says Feldman. “We attended Penn State together and when he told me that he had landed another gig, I jumped at the possibility of taking over for him. Alex is well aware of my work ethic, passion and ability, so he had no problem putting in a good word for me.”
Though Feldman’s new position is more than seven hours from State College, PA where he graduated from Penn State University, he has no reservations about the location. “I am a firm believer in the idea that you can’t be picky when it comes to location. This industry is far too competitive to not apply to a position because you think it’s too far away from home.”
Feldman says knowing when you are ready to leave your first job varies from person to person. “The challenge, of course, is getting out of your comfort zone and putting yourself in the right position to start making the climb,” he advises. “I’ve known for quite some time that I was ready for the next challenge. I say that because I knew I had accomplished all that I could here in Binghamton. About 18 months into my first job, I quickly realized that growth opportunities were no longer readily available. I was ready to handle more responsibilities, cover bigger teams and improve my living situation.”
When ask what he learned in Binghamton that will benefit him the rest of his career, Feldman first jokes, “Becoming an all-star at laundry with impressive ironing skills!” In seriousness he adds, “If you can figure out how to focus on the present and enjoy the moment, the future you’ve always envisioned will arrive when you least expect it.”
Enjoying the moment wasn’t always easy for Feldman in Binghamton.
“I’ll be honest, I wanted to leave Binghamton before I even arrived. I struggled during my first year because I was constantly thinking about where I wanted to be rather than where I was currently. After about a year though, something just clicked.”
Feldman says that living and working on his own prompted necessary growth. “When I learned to enjoy the moment, my on-air performance improved, my relationships with coaches, players and co-workers improved and, to my surprise, I fell in love with Binghamton and its inspiring people. Look, small market television is no easy gig, but a positive attitude with the right mindset can go a long way.”
Persistence and preparation are two keys Feldman cites in landing the WITN position. Confidence and relationships also helped.
“[With] confidence, I’m talking about believing in yourself and your abilities,” he says. “Knowing your self-worth and being able to sell yourself in order to get that job you’ve always wanted. Are you capable of being charismatic without coming across as cocky? I was hungry and ready for the challenges WITN presented, and I made that very clear when I interviewed for the job.
“[Regarding] relationships, you have to learn how to build two-sided relationships in this industry. When you connect with an established person in this business, understand that both you and that other person need to get something out of the relationship. The established person can clearly help you, but the hard part is figuring out how you can help the established person.”
Eventually, it was Feldman’s friendship with Alex Walker that made the biggest difference in his pursuit of the WITN opportunity. “Alex and I have constantly relied on one another over the past six years. It’s not like I just contacted him out of the blue. We talk on a regular basis and I used Alex’s experience as a resource when searching for a new job. I’m thrilled Alex is moving on to a bigger market and I’m extremely grateful for his friendship and mentorship.”
(Visit Tyler’s website).