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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Job Shadow


Judy Clark from WEAU 13 News. A reporter, anchor and producer for the noon and four o’clock show. ©2017 Casey Ryan

By: Casey Ryan

I decided to job shadow Judy Clark from WEAU 13 News. She is an anchor and producer of the twelve o’clock and four o’clock show. They have three shows a day the twelve o’clock, four o’clock and five o’clock show. I was able to come in the morning before the twelve o’clock show and watch how she has to get all the content for twelve o’clock show. WEAU 13 News is part of the Associated Press and NBC to get their news stories from. They pick and choose national news or worldwide news to cover on their shows daily. They write the briefs that they say during the air and then show the news coverage from NBC or the AP.

I was able to see behind the scenes of how they broadcast each show. Every morning the reporters that work at WEAU 13 News come in at ten in the morning and pitch a story. If their story gets approved then they make calls to get interviews and follow their story. By the end of the day they have to have their video, B-roll, interviews and story all put together by the  five o’clock news. Then the producers pick and choose local stories to run that day. By the end of the day if they don’t like your story then they most likely won’t run your story.

It seems like a lot of work to me if your story doesn’t run. I didn’t realize how difficult a reporting job is. You have to go out alone with your own video camera and equipment and basically make the story yourself. Judy had a lot of insight on how to balance reporting and real life. She said she had to start off her career doing the night shift at WEAU 13 News. It can be difficult because when you are reporting the night shift with a family or significant other.

She said internships were also key to receiving a job after college. She said it was easier when she was younger because internships were all paid. Now it’s a lot more difficult to get a paid internship. She said typically she has seen reporters come to WEAU 13 News and stay for around three years and then move on to another place.



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Job Shadow- Michael Knuth


Michael Knuth, UWEC’s Integrated Marketing and Communications Department’s Content Manager taking a phone call with the Dean of Students, Joseph Abhold. ©2017 Cole Edgell

When thinking about how I would approach the job shadow assignment, I struggled with deciding what kind of profession I would investigate. I am open to any job opportunities in communications and I am even strongly leaning towards switching my major to Integrated Strategic Communication with an emphasis on Public Relations. I subsequently decided to pursue a job shadow in a Public Relations profession because of this so that I could gain some insight on the field.

I got in contact with Michael Knuth who works for the Integrated Marketing and Communications on campus at University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Knuth is the Content Manager at IMC which means that he helps manage the internal and external communications for the university between faculty, students and other entities. “My title here is the content manager so I oversee a lot of content, that can be external communications with media, it can be internal communications with the faculty, staff and students, Chancellor communications. I have my hands in lots of different things.” He also helps oversee the university’s social medias and branding.

Knuth is originally from Rhinelander, Wisconsin and graduated from UWEC’s Communication and Journalism Department in 1986 with a Journalism degree. He went on to work at small newspaper in Missouri and subsequently moved on to various sports and news reporting jobs around the state of Wisconsin, eventually landing a sports editor position in Green Bay, WI.

I talked extensively with Knuth about his opinion about the state of journalism and media in the United States, social media, what good media writing means, his experiences in writing news and how to be successful in the field of communications and journalism.

Knuth said that his experiences as a journalism student at UWEC effectively prepared him for success in his career. “I think what certainly prepared me was working at The Spectator. I started working at The Spectator as a writer and then became sports editor and I got very involved in that community on campus. I interacted a lot with some of the professors who were involved in advising the staff and helping learn the craft. That really made a significant difference and impact on when I did graduate. I knew I was ready.”

Overall, I had a great and insightful experience sitting down with Mr. Knuth for a few hours and discussing with him a wide variety of topics pertaining to journalism and how to be successful in a career in communications. He is an incredibly wise and well-spoken individual who has spent over 25 years in the communications field in various positions. The conversation that I had with him was incredibly valuable and I am very happy that I decided use Mr. Knuth as my interviewee for this job shadow assignment.

The audio from my interview with Mr. Knuth can be found here.

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Job Shadow with Brian Maki of Volume One


Last week I had the opportunity to do a job shadow with Brian Maki, the Advertising manager at Volume One. It was a good experience for me to see what it is like working in the advertising field and talking with Brian he gave me a lot of information on the types of things he does around Volume One. Also shared his career path and he gave me some helpful advice for me as being in advertising is something I am interested in for my future. Brian definitely has a unique story on how he got into advertising. He graduated from the UW-River Falls with a degree in psychology and a minor in business. After thinking about going to grad school for psychology he decided he would try and get some real world experience. Before working at Volume One he worked at the Leader Telegram for 12 years and also worked for WEAU-13 and a technology company.

Brian works on a variety of community driven initiatives such as publishing a magazine every two weeks. He provides feedback on proposals and takes calls from companies looking to advertise through Volume One. He also has formal appointments with companies like Leinenkugels. Currently he is reviewing their action plan in 2017 and all of the advertising they have been doing through Volume One. Brian also said the job can be stressful at times with managing a variety of different sized advertising budgets and accounts. They work on a lot of initiatives in a short period of time and requires someone working in there to be very well organized. They are also looking at their goals and objectives for 2018 that are relative to their promotional calendar in 2018 and seeing how Volume One can help meet their goals. He is also working on integrating video into Volume One and capturing the contemporary vibe of Volume One through video.

Some of the advice he gave me for  was to be a really good critical thinker. He also said to be familiar with all of the different types of advertising like the internet, social media, print, radio, billboards, and video. He also said to be familiar with the different types of targeting that is used on the internet like contextual targeting, behavioral targeting, and geotargeting.

In conclusion I learned a lot about what it is like to work in advertising through watching Brian Maki at his job and talking with him.It seemed like he was passionate about his job and eager to share what his job was like. After the job shadow I still think working in advertising is something that I want to do in my future based on my experience job shadowing Brian Maki.


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Leader Telegram Job Shadow


Joe Ziemer, top sports reporter as well as editor at the Leader Telegram, gets set to create the section plan for tomorrow’s newspaper. ©2017 Lucas Semb

The Eau Claire Leader Telegram is a newspaper covering the Chippewa Valley. They hire many UW-EC students as part-timers, who are then sometimes offered full-time jobs out of college. I recently got the chance to job shadow Joe Ziemer, the head sports reporter and sports editor at the LT. Although Joe works primarily with high school and college teams, and I want to work with professional teams, he was full of insight about how I need to get to that level.

Joe fully understands how to get to that level, as he is a graduate of the UW-Madison School of Journalism. While in school, he also did freelance writing, was a sports editor at the school’s Badger Herald, and had a part-time job at the Post Crescent in Appleton, WI.  After wrapping up his college career, Joe got a job offer at the Eau Claire LT where he has been ever since, working his way up the ranks. Starting as a typical sports reporter, he is now the head of the sports department and the sports editor.

This job shadow went very smoothly for me as Joe and I meshed very well. We both had extremely similar interests, the NBA being our biggest one. One thing Joe told me was that if he could go back, he would have tried taking the next step from high school / college sports reporter to NBA reporter. Because he did not do this when he thought he should have, he has been able to reflect on things he would have done to reach that level and was more than happy to share those ideas with me.  I am very appreciative of this, as he wants to see fellow journalists succeed and reach their dreams.

One thing he stressed to me was that you won’t be rich right away, and you’ll probably never be rich. Joe said to be in this industry, you need to enjoy your craft and be dedicated, because you’ll work some weird hours and not see as much money as you’d like for it. He also stressed, however, that if you work hard enough, you may catch a break that could lead you to a very good job and more money. One idea he suggested to me was to start with The Spectator on campus and cover the UWEC men’s basketball team. This way I can show future employers I can cover a team and interview players, things that are essential for the type of high level job I want.

Overall, this job shadow was very helpful. Talking to a professional in the field showed me that this is truly what I want to do and got me even more excited for my future. It was so easy to talk to Joe and ask anything and everything. Besides just vital career helping tips, I created another contact in the sports journalism world.

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Volume One Job Shadow


Managing Editor of Volume One, Tom Giffey, looks over the magazine before sending out the finished copies.     ©Shannon Gunderson

Volume One is a “local magazine” based in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. They cover pretty much everything related to the community in Eau Claire, whether it’d be events, music, or the local art scene. An issue is released every two weeks to the public, and the best part? It’s free for anyone.

For my Job Shadow assignment, I knew I wanted to do it at the Volume One Headquarters, because I have been reading the magazine since high school and really liked the writing style they have. I looked on the website for information on how to contact them, and found Nick Meyers email, who is the creator of Volume One and Editor in Chief. I reached out to him and after a few emails back and forth it was arranged for me to shadow the Volume One managing editor, Tom Giffey.

Giffey studied Journalism at the University of Wisconsin Madison campus. He graduated from there in 1999. He got a job at the Eau Claire Leader Telegram right after college, where he started out as an intern, and worked there for 5 years. Giffey decided to work for Volume One after the job was offered to him, because it offered more flexible hours and he could write more about what he was interested in. This was a great fit for him because he was starting a family, and needed that extra time to spend with them.

Volume One is often credited for raising awareness towards the big music and art scene Eau Claire has. In fact, Nick Meyer started the magazine because he wanted to write about the music in Eau Claire. What started as a small monthly paper, soon grew into the Volume One we know today, and they are continuing to expand their business more.
When I asked Giffey what his advice for aspiring journalist was, he said “Take every opportunity you can to write about whatever you are interested in. There is no real substitute for actually going out and doing the work.” He went on to tell me some people he had graduated with never took the opportunity to do an internship or write for the local paper, and when they graduated they had no idea what to do with the degree they just graduated with. “Just find things to write about, and contribute them to local papers or magazines.” said Giffey.

Overall, it was a really great experience. I feel that I really learned a lot about what I want to do, and the different kinds of journalism there is out there. Many people think Journalism is just news and reporting, but it is so much more. After this experience, Giffey encouraged me to become a contributor for Volume One and submit pieces I write to them, he also mentioned the internship Volume One has every summer. I can see myself interning at Volume One, and after my experience there I learned to take every opportunity I can to write.

Job Shadow – Shannon Gunderson


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Job Shadow- Matt Peterson

Matt Peterson adjusts the settings on a Sony NX3 camera to prepare it for student use. Peterson is the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire’s Digital and Broadcast Programs Manager. © 2017 Rachel Schmidt

By Rachel Schmidt

The person that I shadowed was Matt Peterson. His official title is the Digital and Broadcast Programs Manager at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He is employed by four different departments throughout the university. Peterson works with Housing, Learning and Technology Services, Integrated Marketing, and Athletics. With Athletics he oversees video for athletics, which includes tv broadcasting and web streaming. With Housing he is an advisor for TV-10 and manages their relationship with other departments. With Learning and Technology Services he works multi-camera video productions, and lastly with Integrated Marketing his job is to help them expand and grow their usage of video, as well as increased student involvement.

Matt is a 2017 UW-Eau Claire graduate and was a member of TV-10 for four and a half years. He was a human resources management and communication studies double major, which took him five years to complete because he decided to add a second major later in his college career.

During his time at TV-10, he held the position of station manager for two years and production director for one year. As station manager his responsibilities included keeping the station running smoothly and managing staff. He had weekly meetings with the TV-10 advisor and led group meetings every Sunday. As production director he oversaw the staffing of live streamed sports events, trained new members, and made sure studio equipment was fully operational.

Other than TV-10, he had the opportunity to gain management experience by working at a summer camp. Peterson also had a summer internship at Securian Financial Group.  They are headquartered in St. Paul and provide insurance services.

Because of his work with live streamed sports during his time with TV-10, there developed a need at the university for there to be someone full time to oversee everything. As a senior Peterson worked with some department leaders to shape the job and hammer out what it would look like. Once all the details were finalized, the job was posted. Then he applied and right after graduation they officially offered him the job. Peterson said he has a passion for multi-camera video production, especially in the athletics setting, and it was cool that he got to see it grow as a program. He started in July but between the four departments employing him he always has something to do.

The top two pieces of advice that Peterson has to offer students pursuing a career in media would be to network and to have a good portfolio. He said that you never know who can help you find a job, so get to know as many people as possible. As for your portfolio, Peterson said that a good reel can say more about you than your resume or an interview can. According to Peterson, if you follow these two pieces of advice you can go pretty far.


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