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Annenberg TV News

Class of 2004

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Michael George

WTMJ-TV, Milwaukee, WI
Market Rank 33

[email protected]


I grew up in Rancho Mirage, CA, and I came to USC to pursue an economics degree. On a whim, I auditioned for an anchor spot at ATVN and, somehow, I got it! I spent the next four years living in the newsroom,
mostly sleeping under the assignment desk. I graduated with a degree in Political Science and got a job as a political reporter in Bismarck, North Dakota in 2005. In 2006, I started as a reporter for WTMJ in
Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

ATVN positions and duties:

News anchor/reporter, sports reporter 2000-2001; executive producer 2001-2003; news anchor/reporter 2003-2004

How did ATVN prepare you for your current job?

ATVN beats any internship or class. I learned how to work under deadline in a newsroom environment.  Shooting and editing skills are crucial at your first job. Most importantly, I learned to love reporting the news at ATVN.

What is your advice to aspiring journalists?

Spend a lot of time watching reporters and anchors who are better than you. I love watching a talented journalist, and trying to make myself better by following their example.

What are the top three skills college journalism students should be working on in order to be prepared for their first broadcasting job?

Patience- small-market jobs can be trying, but that’s why it’s called “paying your dues”. If you can make it, it’s all uphill from there.

Ambition- It’s easy to get complacent after working somewhere for a while. But if you keep working to improve, you will make a much bigger jump when you get out.

Integrity- It’s too early to compromise on your beliefs.

What is the most important thing a college journalist should know when he or she is trying to negotiate his or her first job?

Make it for as short a time as possible. Small markets are trying to sign people for longer periods of time nowadays, but most people learn everything they can within the first year. Try to get a short contract, with a reasonable out-clause. 

What prepared you most for your current job?

High standards. Expectations at ATVN were always high, and that meant that I needed to get better to meet them. Storytelling and writing ability are also key.

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