(July 15, 2017) Professionally, Collin Kushner has been ready to take the next step in his TV sportscasting career for at least a year. Personally, he wasn’t ready until now. An STAA member, Kushner has accepted a sports anchor/reporter position at KADN/KLAF Fox/NBC in Lafayette, LA.
“I’ve been working towards this moment for a long, long time,” says Kushner. “It’s really great to see how hard work pays off. That’s been my motto, since I was a little kid and hard work will continue to be my foundation for success. I owe both of my parents, Ronda and Jerry for that.”
Kushner’s parents are the reason that he wasn’t ready to make a major life change until now. Jerry Kushner passed away from ALS in 2013. This spring, Ronda Kushner passed away following her inspiring nine year battle with cancer.
“About six months ago, I really wanted to take the next step in my career,” Kushner says. “Unfortunately, my mom’s battle with cancer began to worsen. I knew I couldn’t leave her side. She gave the world to me, and even against her wishes, I knew it was my turn to give her the world. She was prepared for me to take THAT next step.”
When Kushner started attracting attention in the sportscasting job market last year, he knew he couldn’t leave his family in Southern California. “I knew in my heart that I needed to be by my Mom’s side. I was able to continue as a part-time sports anchor/reporter at Torrance CitiCABLE-TV and be right be her side. It was a no brainer — a decision I will never regret for a second.”
The wheels behind Kushner’s move to Louisiana started two years ago when he met KADN/KLAF News Director Doug Barden. At the time, Barden was news director at KSBY in San Luis Obispo, CA. ” We exchanged contact info and kept in touch,” says Kushner.
After driving with his mom to visit Barden in San Luis Obispo, Kushner knew he wanted to work for him. Fast forward to last month. “I reached out to tell [Barden] about the passing of my mother, and that I was ready to make a move,” says Kushner. “He always wanted to help and I just so happened to reach out at the right time. Everything went from there.”
“It just goes to show how important networking is in this business,” Kushner continues. “Not for something today, but a year or two down the line. Make connections and most of all, ask what you can do for them.”
Kusher is forever grateful for everything his parents did for him.
“The impact my parents had on my life is something that is so hard to describe. It’s a connection so deep, that my eyes well up just thinking about it. The two of them are the reason why I am, who I am today. My dad’s battle with ALS and my mom’s 9 year battle with cancer taught me a lot as a young man. I realized that life is short, and if you truly want something, go out and get it.”
“I know the two of them are smiling down on me somewhere. I’m just excited to live out the rest of my life for not only myself, but for the two of them. My brother and I are the living heartbeats for Ronda and Jerry now. And we are very grateful to have that chance.”
Kushner, who joined STAA in 2014, calls the service “truly one of a kind.”
“I’ll never forget the day I signed up with STAA,” Kushner recalls. “[CEO] Jon Chelesnik called me up and pointed me in the right direction. I always wanted to be a sports anchor/reporter, I just didn’t know how to get there. Without STAA’s help, I never would have landed in Torrance as a reporter, I never would have been promoted to Sports Director, and I never would have been in a position to get an offer from a local affiliate.”
“STAA will guide you in the right direction, but it’s up to you to take care of the rest. Joining STAA was one of the best decision’s of my life…. a decision that put me on the path to doing what I love.”
“I’m super excited to take the next step,” Kushner says.
(Visit Collin’s website).