Job Shadow: WQOW Sports Director Bob Bradovich

By Ben Petersen

Bob Bradovich interview

Bob Bradovich, sports director at WQOW 18, working in his office at the studio. © 2017 Ben Petersen

From local to regional to national, Bob Bradovich covers everything sports for Eau Claire’s local ABC news station, WQOW 18, as sports director, a position he has held for 21 years.

While in college at Carleton College pursuing his undergraduate degree, Bradovich was not a journalism major, however, some of his baseball teammates were broadcast journalism students and, as a result, Bradovich became intrigued with the field.

After earning his degree, Bradovich received a volunteer opportunity at a cable company in the Twin Cities where he could experience the hands-on aspects of journalism.

“That gave me a lot of experience of just talking on air, talking on camera, and things of that nature,” Bradovich said.

Subsequently, Bradovich went to the University of Wisconsin-Madison to earn a master’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communications and after got a job at a small TV station in Vermont.

After a few years in Vermont, Bradovich went on to get a job as the weekend sports anchor in Mason City, Iowa.  After some time there, Bradovich began to look for a job that could fulfill his goal of being the “sports guy” and happened to find WQOW as the place to meet that target.

“One of my goals was I wanted to be a sports director.  I wanted to be the Monday through Friday sports anchor and the person who plans and essentially runs the department.” Bradovich said.  “This opportunity opened up in 1996 and I landed the job here and have been here ever since.”

When I visited Bradovich at his office on September 27, he walked me through his “day in life” as the sports director at a TV station.

One thing Bradovich emphasized throughout the time I was with him was that every day is unique and you do not know exactly how each day will go when coming into work.  Though there are some regular things that happen on a regular basis, however, the content of those events will often change.

Bradovich began his day by reading the sports section of the Leader-Telegraph and checking his Twitter feed.  Afterwards, Bradovich checked his weekly schedule of what is going on during the day and began writing for the 6 o’clock news.

His next task was to put all of the pieces of the puzzle together.  Bradovich had an idea of each segment he wanted, but needed to find the order to put them in and give the adequate enough time for each.  He said often at WQOW he will elevate the local sports events rather than national events since the TV station pushes more toward the local viewers.

The rest of Bradovich’s day entailed editing footage, researching, writing scripts, writing closed captions and getting everything ready for the shows at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.

After completing the job shadow, Bradovich piqued my interest even more in journalism and gave me a quality experience that I can refer to in my future to come.


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