Great Scott!

Name: Stuart Scott
Age: 36
Occupation: Television sports anchor
Location: Bristol, Connecticut
Duties: Hosting network television sports show, going on location to conduct interviews, and writing news copy.

Sports fans across the country have come to know Stuart Scott as the affable, catch-phrase-spewing host of ESPN’s nightly telecast, Sports Center. Seven nights a week, Scott comes into the homes of more than a million viewers with a unique brand of journalism that has prompted fans and colleagues alike to dub him the “Hip-Hop Howard Cosell.”

Interviewing everyone from high-profile athletes such as Michael Jordan to former President Bill Clinton, Scott’s acclaim in sports broadcast journalism has afforded him the opportunity to appear in a slew of music videos, movies, and commercials throughout the years. But the road to success for this University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill graduate wasn’t an easy one.

“After I graduated from college, I tried to play things by the book in terms of landing a job as a sports anchor. I interviewed with about four to five small markets, but I kept getting turned down with the usual ‘You don’t have enough experience for the position,'” Scott recalls. “Eventually, a television station in Florence, South Carolina, hired me as a news reporter/one-man band: carrying the camera, writing the scripts, and editing.” The hands-on experience and multitasking skills typical of smaller work environments proved to be a career advantage for Scott.

Duties: Scott performs standard broadcast journalism tasks such as researching subjects, going on location to conduct interviews, and writing news copy (he writes his own scripts)4only he delivers his material on-screen with an energy and passion that escapes many sports anchors.

Training: A bachelor’s degree in communications and an internship will help you learn the ins and outs of hosting a show. It will also help you get your foot in the door. You should also learn as much as you can to make yourself more marketable in procuring a job as an anchor. Start at the bottom and be willing to do a lot of grunt work. It will get you where you want to be.

Salary: “Depending on what type of market you’re in, you can make anywhere from $40,000 to six figures being an anchor,” says Scott, who has also guest starred on ABC’s The Hughley’s and HBO’s Arliss.

As for future career plans, Scott is cautious not to reveal too much too soon: “The most concrete thing I can say is that I want to diversify my [career] down the line. I would love to do more acting and possibly a late-night sports show.”

So you want to be a broadcast sports journalist? Then check out these books:

  • The Art of Sportscasting: How to Build a Successful Career by Tom Hedrick, Mike McKenzie, and Joe Castiglione (Diamond Communications, $24.95)
  • The Mulligan Guide to Sports Journalism Careers by Joseph F. Mulligan, Kevin T. Mulligan, and Kate Mulligan-Strickland (Vgm Career Horizons, $15.95)
  • Sports Style Guide & Reference Manual: The Complete Reference for Sports Editors, Writers, and Broadcasters
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