Dispatches: Eric Blumberg

The Digital Journalist: What is your normal job at KMIZ, and how did that differ at NCAA finals? Can you describe the busiest day/evening you had, either in Albuquerque or San Jose?

Eric Blumberg: I'm the Sports Director at KMIZ. Usually stuck in the office putting the shows together and anchoring. So it was great to get out of the cubicle and be on the road. The days on the road are longer. Start in the morning going to the Missouri basketball press conference and locker room interview sessions. Then, edit a package for 6... live shot at 6, pack for 10... live at 10. In San Jose we stepped up coverage so I was in the beginning of the 6pm and 10pm shows... while still pitching to packs in Sports.

TDJ: How do you deal with the technical limitations of a small-budget station? For example, you arrived in Albuquerque without edit equipment, but managed to file several taped reports from The Pit.

EB: It's always a challenge on the road without editing equipment. My boss knows it's not easy, but he knows I'm creative and always find a way to get it done. On this trip we shared with ABC affiliate out of Arizona. They were really great... loaning us Beta tapes to edit on. We use DVC equipment and had to dub our stuff off before we could edit. But always got it done in time!

TDJ: What's your market size? Do you have ambitions to move up and on? Why?

EB: I'm currently in Columbia, MO. Think it's about 140 market. Sportswise... it's much larger. Covering the University of Missouri football and basketball doesn't feel like small market. I'm also big on following the local high school sports. I'm sure someday I'll want to move to a bigger market, but need to find a place I like living as much as I like it here.

TDJ: You seem very comfortable and happy when you are reporting live by satellite? What drives that confidence and expectation?

EB: It wasn't like that when I first started doing live shots! But eventually the knees quit knocking. I really try to think positive before the live shot. Then, don't look at the camera like it's a lens, but imagine your speaking to a group of people sitting on their couch at home.

TDJ: The Pit in Albuquerque seemed like a very congenial place to work. For example, they left the lights on for your Live Shot after the last game. Did the working conditions change as the Tigers advanced in the finals?

EB:They get more strict in San Jose. Make sure that the media is ONLY where it's supposed to be. No sneaking in the backdoor. But for the most-part the NCAA runs a smooth ship. They've done it for years now.

TDJ: What's the best part of your job?

EB: The best part of the job is getting to go to the game that everyone wants to see... for FREE, and I have a great seat. Really though, the relationships you make with the players and coaches are meaningful and many of them last after the playing days are over.

TDJ: What did you learn on this road trip?

EB: On this road trip to Albuquerque I learned that the Pit is a really neat stadium. Also, I learned how important editing equipment is on the road. (Wait, I already knew that). I gained more experience covering an event that I knew lots of people back home cared alot about.

Write a Letter to the Editor
Join our Mailing List
© The Digital Journalist