After working in a variety of broadcasting roles in San Antonio over the past three years, Jill Jelnick is ready to again focus on sports. An STAA member, Jelnick is moving to Nashville, TN to take over the sports department at FOX17 WZTV.
“I have always had a passion for local sports and knew I wanted to get back to being on TV daily in a great sports market,” she smiles.
Growing in San Antonio
Jelnick moved to San Antonio in 2018 to co-host and report for a daily sports show called Sports2Nite. “Our show grew in two years and went from one 30 minute show a day to three 30 minute shows a day,” she recalls.
Sports2Nite was canceled around the time the pandemic hit. “I began doing daily digital sports reports for Sports2Nite.com and did a weekly sports talk TV show, ‘Sports Weekly,'” Jelnick says. She also started hosting a travel/lifestyle show last summer.
Returning to Tennessee
Jelnick was ready to focus on sports after balancing such a varied and challenging schedule. The Nashville opening was emailed to STAA members in early May.
“Applying was a no brainer,” Jelnick grins.
Two years that Jelnick spent as a weekend sports anchor at WRCB Channel 3 in Chattanooga from 2016 and 2018 made returning to Tennessee even more attractive. “I knew I loved the state and also the sports market.”
Wearing many hats
Jelnick has strategically made herself more marketable by wearing as many hats as possible. “I made sure over the last five years that not only was I consistently sharpening my anchoring and reporting skills. But I was also sharpening my producing, writing, editing, shooting, and social media skills. Being able to add all these tools to my toolbox I believe helped me market myself as the ‘full package.'”
Developing a broad skill set has also meant tackling a variety of freelance experiences for the former college softball player. “I was the color analyst for the 2021 American Conference Softball Championship Tournament on ESPN+ and most recently started the Texas Collegiate League [baseball] season as the solo play-by-play for TCL TV. Baseball has always been my bread and butter. It was exciting to test and challenge my knowledge in a completely different medium than reporting and anchoring. Because there are not as many female baseball play-by-play broadcasters as there are male, I took pride in being given the special opportunity.”
Jelnick is ready to lead the FOX17 sports department. “It is a one-person sports department so I will be calling the shots and taking on a much larger role than I have in the past. It will be extremely challenging running the department by myself, but I am looking forward to that challenge.”