Letters Home: Michael Spencer

Michael Spencer is a sports director at KAMR-TV in
Amarillo, Texas. He graduated from the Missouri School
of Journalism in 2010 with a degree in broadcast journalism.
What I've learned since I've been gone:

Honestly, the list is too long to start so I'll touch briefly on a few things.

1. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Some people have a tendency to try and do everything themselves, and that only makes it worse on everyone. In my first week as sports director, I received phone calls from viewers and my news director because I pronounced the names in the area wrong. Names that look normal may be pronounced differently. Had I asked, I wouldn't have looked like an idiot on the air.

2. You may not be better than the people around you, but you can work harder than they do. It's amazing to me how many people in the "real world" don't work hard. Some individuals take for granted their position, or the fact that people tell them they're good -- that's when you're most vulnerable. Always do your best to work harder than the people around.

3. Be yourself. In the TV business it's easy to model yourself after people on certain networks, or people you look up to. But they aren't you. Take from them, but don't become them. Bob Costas didn't get to be Bob Costas by emulating someone else, he got to be Bob Costas by being himself. People don't want to watch someone who is trying to be someone else.

4. Always strive to get better. If you want a job, you have to earn it. Nothing is given. And don't think that just because you get a job you're done working hard. You got the job because you worked hard, now you have to work harder. Whether it's re-writing your stories after the newscast, watching the other stations to make sure you had the best coverage, or practicing highlights again to make sure you’re comfortable with them before you go on air, never assume you've made it. If you assume you've made it, you'll never make it.

Michael Spencer
BJ ‘10 Broadcast
Sports director at KAMR/KCIT-TV in Amarillo, Texas


Check out the rest of the Letters Home series

Editor's note: If you're a Mizzou journalism alum who would like to contribute to the Letters Home series, send us an email at onamizzou@gmail.com with your letter, your name, your sequence and graduation year, your current job and contact information.

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