Ben Hutchison gets to experience southeastern Wisconsin most mornings as a live reporter for WISN-TV Ch. 12’s morning newscasts.
But before taking the gig at the ABC affiliate, his experience with Milwaukee was directly related to his love of baseball.
"I’d come to the Cubs and Brewers games at Miller Park," Hutchison said. "It was a great atmosphere with the new stadium, and the tailgating."
Hutchison also took in the home run derby that was part of the Major League Baseball activities with the All-Star Game in 2002.
The lover of sports, and fan of Chicago teams, Hutchison held an internship at WIFR-TV in Rockford, Ill. He also was in intern at WGN in Chicago and covered the White Sox, which was admittedly difficult for the Cubs fan.
Later in his career, Hutchison had an opportunity that I liken to the popular sketch and films created by "Saturday Night Live" actors Mike Meyers and Dana Carvey in "Wayne’s World."
"I had a cable show on community TV in Naperville, my hometown," he said. "I was able to write, shoot and edit recaps for six local high schools. The high school sports show was a solid experience and was a great opportunity to hone my skills and learn the value of working with a great team of people."
In 2011, Hutchison landed a weekend post, anchoring sports at WTVO-TV in Rockford, Ill.. Within 6 months, he was moved by the station staff to an anchor/reporter on weekday mornings, which allowed the chance to still cover sports.
As someone that started a journalism career in sports, I understood the transition to news that Hutchison made, and how the lessons learned can be applied to covering events and producing feature stories and news packages.
"Sports was the reason for my TV focus … I understand the emotion behind being a fan," Hutchison said. "I wanted to go to games and enjoy them. In news there were more opportunities and more experiences. I could round out my skills as a journalist."
One of the easily transferable skills between sports and news is versatility.
"Broadcasting news is enjoyable. You get to be part of something and report on what affects others," he said. "I may have information someone else doesn’t have and I can help other people."
As Hutchison continues to report and gets used to his new surroundings, we can expect great story telling – tapping skills gained from following a love of sports.
GOLDEN TWEETS: Late last week Twitter released the top re-tweeted tweets, which I think offers a great look at exactly who the audience is that uses the micro blogging social media site.
According to All Twitter, the biggest tweet in 2013 was "Glee" actress Lea Michele’s acknowledgement of boyfriend Cory Monteith’s death.
"Thank you all for helping me through this time with your enormous love & support. Cory will forever be in my heart," the tweet sent on July 29 said.
According to Twitter, it was retweeted more than 408,000 times in 133 countries.
The second most re-tweeted message came from the social media staff that handles actor Paul Walker’s accounts.
"It's with a heavy heart that we must confirm Paul Walker passed away today in a tragic car accident...MORE: http://on.fb.me/1bzn8gD - #TeamPW," the post said, offering a link to a longer statement offered on Facebook.
That message posted on the evening of Nov. 30 was retweeted 400,367 times.
Media is bombarding us everywhere.
Instead of sheltering his brain from the onslaught, Steve embraces the news stories, entertainment, billboards, blogs, talk shows and everything in between.
The former writer, editor and producer in TV, radio, Web and newspapers, will be talking about what media does in our community and how it shapes who we are and what we do.