Ex-TV Sportscaster Joe Girvan Gets Candid About Media Industry

In this episode of Ex-TV Newsers this
gentleman and I used to share an office like the size of this room with about
eight people so buckle up it’s gonna be a fun ride hi I’m ex TV producer and Jennifer Moore
and I’m really excited to have this guest Joe Girvan
Joe recently departed from the sportscaster world Joe thank you so
much for joining me oh it’s my pleasure thank you for having me so Joe is
joining us from sunny Florida I’m really jealous and I want to start off you’ve
pretty much lived everywhere in Florida so can you walk me through all of the
jobs you’ve had sure so 18 years of snow and cold drove me out of Massachusetts
into the University of Florida my first job in commercial TV after school was at
WC jb t be twenty or four dollars and 85 cents an hour get four dollars what was
good have known I guess Jennifer I should have known
isn’t that like lesson was that minimum wage at the timers I assume I mean it
does go back a few days we’re talking about 1996 so you know I don’t know what
the legalities have a were but that was the wage as a photographer and just an
interesting sidenote at that time you know I wanted to be a sports broadcaster
I knew that I said this is my end goal will you ever if somebody’s on vacation
somebody else simply ever give me a chance to do sports no never you will
never do sports at the station okay that’s fine
so that’s 1996 I was I was at TV 20 as a photographer for about four months of
show three or four months went up to Savannah Georgia
Jennifer hit the big time $8.50 an hour that was to be a photographer and a
one-man-band reporter and then I got my first job in September of 1996 in Mobile
Alabama I was there for three years and at the end of those three years I went
back to where Gainesville TV 20 where they told me I would never do sports to
be their sports director what changes melendi thing like was it a change of
management er you know there were some adjustments and I think you know when
you get out you start proving in now so you have a real instead of a fresh-faced
cage I get out of college now at least there’s there’s a recipe line or two
there’s a you know a real behind you to support what you said that you would do
that’s what you should never say never because like it could come and bite you
an ass later you know truly truly so I was there for seven and a half years
before I got you know what I considered at the time a big break to work in a
market that I really wanted to work in which was Tampa and I went to bay news 9
right now Sports Network and I was there for three years I would have spent the
rest of my career there I love that part of the state I love that part of the
country I love the pro sports the college sports that we covered at that
time unfortunately towards the end of my third year they I was the second of
about eight layoffs we were all replaced by people who made half as much much
like the job that paid $4.95 an hour this should have been a flashing neon
sign get out of this preview right you ran towards the danger girl like a
firefighter well yeah I’m not as brave perhaps but I did run screaming towards
it yes so anyway after those three years I went back to Gainesville I had built
up a name for myself so I had sort of a soft landing there for a year as a
sports director for the new Gainesville television network at that time and I
also hosted a daily two-hour sports talk show on WR UF so I was there for a year
before I went to West Palm Beach ESPN West Palm and WPTV I was there for
three years and now I’ve been here in Fort Myers for just over so I have seen
a good bit of the state oh my gosh and you’ve had a few jobs out of news in
between – like I know you worked with the American Red Cross and now you’re
now you’re working in finance which we will definitely get to I want to ask you
what um you’ve worked in a radio and TV what do you feel like are some of the
differences between the two maybe m’s I mean the obvious is you know one’s
visual and one’s not so when you’re in radio you have to be a lot more
descriptive and I found the biggest differences were when I would do
play-by-play so in television play-by-play the viewer
can obviously see everything that’s happening so the analyst is really the
star of the show I was more of a traffic cop say what needed to be said but no
more and set up my analyst as opposed to radio play-by-play where you as the
play-by-play announcer you’ve got beeps extremely descriptive and let the person
at home ain’t their own picture mentally based on your words and then the analyst
helps in that but but the play-by-play person in radio needs to be the
quote-unquote staunch did you always want to be a sportscaster did you have a
time where you want to do something else like what how long does your interest in
broadcasting go back it goes back to probably sophomore junior year of high
school death and senior year high school when I was
sitting about 260 and realized the Red Sox are never drafting you can so what
can we do with this passion for sports you know I knew that I loved sports that
was you know my first love the Boston Globe newspaper was always on the
breakfast table as a kid and I didn’t go for the front page and I didn’t go for
the comics I always went for the sports page
I can’t tell you why it was that’s just a passion that came from I think
probably my family my friends Boston is such a sports mad town that was always
my passion and when I realized I couldn’t play for a living and I didn’t
want to be a referee I’ve always had a pretty big command in the language and
could write well and so it seemed to me a natural fit okay I’ll take my love for
sports and I’ll become an audience now I’m I will be the first to admit I am
pretty sports illiterate but I’ve seen you work and I’ve seen you do play by
place you’re um you’re amazing you’re so quick and you can like I feel like
people who aren’t familiar with broadcasting might think the sports job
is like the easy gig and I would really disagree with that on many levels one of
them being that you have to really be up on all of the teams what’s going on you
really have a lot of out of work homework to do pretty much every day and
really closely follow all of these teams in all these different sports so I think
that’s in and also I’m sure like you are probably always afraid of like if you
said the wrong thing or if you got something wrong people would be the
first to call you on in it you know obviously you know something you know as
a broadcaster I have a passion for sports but there are millions of sports
fans who are every bit as passionate they just don’t have you know the
platform so you’re most certainly right that that they need to maintain
credibility by being accurate 100% of the time is paramount and in television
you can really fake that you know everything’s written into the
teleprompter it’s three minutes it’s very controlled but when you put
yourself in the sports radio environment you’re talking about a big league
call-in show where you have no idea what the next person on the phone is going to
ask you about you really have to be well-versed in a variety of subjects and
when you’re not because it’s inevitable you can know everything about everything
you have to know a pretty quick way to find the answer or to get out of the
situation you’re in so that you can come actually with the Reds have you ever had
like an awkward situation where you were you know commenting or doing a
play-by-play and you really didn’t know it was going on you know not so much and
play-by-play because the you know the beauty of that and it’s my favorite
thing I’ve ever done behind a microphone is you’re just describing what’s in
front of you so you know the base knowledge is important but it’s really
about what’s happening right in front of your face I’m sure if we went back and
listened to some of my radio shows over the years and this goes back to the
early to mid 90s and and to more recently in West Palm Beach I’m sure
there were plenty of times when I was caught off guard or didn’t have a great
answer prepared but I’ll be honest nothing nothing really sticks out as a
moment when I was like oh my god what have I just said you you kept it
together pretty well and we you had a really great team at Bright House Sports
Network and that’s where you and I work together so I want it let’s go back down
memory lane at once so I was a special projects producer for you guys who don’t
know and Joe was you know Joe would do a sports show but we were all in the same
building for a while so at one point they decided to do like you guys had an
aunt like this back office it was how big was it like it was not big at all
yeah like a short hallway right just had us down a shed or something it was
pretty small so they decided that not only these sports people would work in
there but they would shove all the special projects people here as well so
and we all had to like share desks which was not and also we didn’t have shifts
where that was very conducive so we had at one point I believe there was like I
was thinking about this there was probably like eight of us all trying to
work in there that was not that was not a good
situation I thinking back I was like who came up with that idea it definitely was
an ideal but the cool thing is when you’re when you’re smushed into a
situation like that you have no choice but to interact with the other people so
you and I became friends Virginia is a wonderful person I really I miss you
know just hanging out with our being in the same office what a joy she was to
work with and Owen right Roger right and all the sports guys him and rock and
Jason and Chris I mean just so many wonderful folks we were all crammed
together and maybe it wasn’t ideal weight at work we didn’t kill each other
so that was I would consider that a success and I you know like you guys
would have so how it work is you guys always had like a
lately guests on the show and you know like they would get a car service like
it was an athlete and I would never like they would come waltzing in and other
people would get excited I would literally have no idea who they were so
like I knew if it was like a bigger guy it was probably like a football player
you know so I knew it was some sort of athlete but I again I had just moved to
the area and I’m not a sports person at all so it was kind of ironic that we
were all working together because I was literally the last person who would like
have anything to talk about with you guys but I remember you know just seeing
all these guys and some of them are pretty nice and down-to-earth I remember
maybe not Ryan nice and like Lolo Jones which was pretty cool and I didn’t know
who she was I was again I don’t I don’t follow anything but you guys had a
really like you guys had some really great shows and you were able to do some
amazing work there yeah it was cool Jennifer because we were outside that
local TV box right you know most of us got three minutes four minutes oh my
gosh you got four minutes first and then the producer always wants to cut sports
and weather so but at Bay News 9 and a bright house Sports Network we had you
know carved out more of a show you know they were 30 minutes sometimes 60 minute
shows and so you had you know a chance to stretch out a little bit and and
besides doing you know the scores and highlights of the day get into those
interview segments and they write was so great on so many levels number one you
met people who were just wonderful you you maybe only saw him on the field or
on TV and you didn’t know who they were and by the end of a 15 minute
conversation you got a little bit of an idea of what made them tick and I know
for me selfishly it was such a great learning experience because there’s no
way to become a better interviewer which is to say a better listener than by
doing interviews on a regular long form interviews on a regular basis as opposed
to the two or three-minute interview sometimes we do in local TV so it was it
was a great experience I really enjoyed and you you you got to do a lot of
traveling well they’re deep can you share some some highlights like some
moments that you’ll never forget that were just really cool to be there or
experience you know for me being a graduate of the University of Florida
and having worked in Gainesville in the mid-2000s having been front and center
for the 2006 and a football national championships the
2006-2007 and 2007-2008 basketball national championships as a gator fan it
was a dream to be a part of it and then you know to be there in a professional
capacity it was those were wonderful learning
experiences to be alongside you know people you watched on ESPN or CNN or
wherever it may have been people that you emulated irrespective to be able to
meet them and talk to them and pick their brains in addition to covering
these major sporting events those were some of my favorite time awesome alright
so I want it let’s get to the work side can you kind of share some of the best
and worst parts about working in TV sure the best parts that’s a really easy
question it’s people like you Jennifer it’s the friendships we’ve made along
the way you know I look back over a career above about 25 years or so and
there was a lot of nonsense and we’ll get into that in a second but there were
so many wonderful friends friends for a lifetime made a long way that that
that’s what warms my heart you know when again it will get to the bitterness a
here in a moment but those are the those are the memories that I alluded to that
I treasure and the friendships that again will last a lifetime there’s no
putting a price on that so for all the garbage at least there were some really
there were some great stuff too in terms of the downside of news I mean we can go
through the lack of compensation the bad benefits compared on other industries
the ridiculous hours the fact that they’re really on call 24 hours a day I
mean there are a lot of things that I think everybody experiences I’m gonna
air my sour grapes right now here comes all the bitterness all out at one time
right so forgive me for being selfish as I answered this part of the question but
but this is raw and real and and truly how I feel right so in 2017 the Florida
Associated Press named me sports broadcaster of the year the fort minor’s
news press Readers Choice Bowl named me sports broadcaster of the year our
ratings were up during the time that I were there I’m not saying that that I’m
responsible for that but that’s a factual statement the ratings were up so
winning awards working hard ratings are up and I lost my job so that was the
final flashing neon sign that said gurbin you’ve got to
stop this it doesn’t make any sense if it’s not your fault that you lost your
job why did you lose your job in any other industry just about if you work
hard and you have talent and people respect the work that you’re doing you
get a raise not sure yeah and that’s that’s not just happening to you it’s
happening to countless other people and that’s a trend that I feel like is not
going away and it’s kind of dangerous for our industry so I think that’s good
that you were able to talk about that and I saw you know when you had left the
station or former station your state your message was actually very positive
so I felt like you’re you had such an optimistic attitude in a time that had
to have been pretty difficult for you personally and I think you know moving
forward is really the only thing we can do right and but and it’s weird because
I was looking up you know some information on you and I saw a lot of
state a lot of stations in your market we’re getting rid of sports on the
weekdays how do you feel about that move uh you know I think part of it if we’re
just talking about the market that I’m in it was part of what empowered my
manager to say you know what if the guys across town have already cut sports and
the third station in town doesn’t even do sports we’ll have an advantage no
matter what and even if we do barely anything we’ll have an advantage over
the other guys so it was a great reason a great excuse for in to cut the staff
down so I think you know on the on the micro level that played a role on the
macro level like this is happening nationwide it’s been happening
nationwide or well over a decade I mean just in the last two markets that I’ve
worked in the Fox affiliate here in Fort Myers Florida does not have sports
casters the ABC affiliate in my previous market in West Palm Beach does not have
sports casters so this is again it’s been happening for a long time I don’t
see any reason why in what you might call a mediocre sports market like Fort
Myers is that I can see this trend continuing Boston Chicago Detroit New
York you’re always going to have sports there it’s too much of the fabric of
society like here in Fort Myers where okay we have six week of spring training
that’s cool we have a few golf tournaments that’s cool you know people
like some people like high school football
that’s cool but there’s no galvanizing there’s no University of Florida that
everybody gets excited about like in Gainesville
there’s no Detroit Tigers like everybody rallies around in Detroit so I think in
markets like this minimizing or totally eliminating sports is going to continue
do you see any what do you think is the future of sports casting do you like
obviously it might not necessarily be on local news but they’re still people that
obviously very much care about sports you know and a lot of people are going
to podcasts they’re going to youtube channels you know is there anything that
you’re seeing that’s exciting to you in this area well you know I think that you
know much like cable television with 500 channels you can really narrow down what
you want and watch just that right so there’s one of the good things is in
this continuing fracturing of the market we’re getting really specific I’m a
fantasy baseball junkie and I listen to fantasy baseball podcast right 99.9% of
the population is not doing that but that niche exists for me and however
many people there are like me so I think if you if you really have a passion for
an all narrow segment of sports then you can find that now more than you ever
could before I would say the other thing in cotton in terms of local TV one thing
that I tried to add in recent years is commentary opinion analysis everybody
has on their phone the score and the highlight it’s not like when I was a kid
and you had to wait till 11 o’clock to see what happened right you already know
so what can I offer you then at 11 o’clock that’s different
well I can analyze those highlights I can give you commentary about why the
manager should have kept that pitch you’re in or hold that picture out and
those are things I think that can can be successful I’ve seen them to be
successful I believe in them and I think that’s one way that local TV can evolve
is to be in sports it sucks over obviously in news you could be
opinionated about a murder case but you can be opinionated about a football game
and I think that’s one area that more TV stations should go down I wish that my
previous manager had not hamstrung me to the point where he said you can’t do it
at six o’clock only do it Levin he took away my most highly rated
show my best chance to connect with viewers because when you have that
opinion and then you put that on social media it negatively leads to dialog and
isn’t that what we want we want the viewer want to hook them in we want to
feel want them to feel like hey I’m not just some talking head I’m a person
you’re a person and these two people are having a conversation and then we
strengthen our bond and you’re there tomorrow night at 6:20 watching on TV
you know I wish that my previous manager had not been so short that’s a really
interesting way of looking at it and you’re totally right you were offering
them a value proposition you know I just talked to a YouTube expert you know
recently and he said what value do you offer them and you are really thinking
about what you were gonna offer them I think that’s that’s so interesting you
say you after 20 years working in TV I want to ask what kind of changes you’ve
seen within the industry that you’ve noticed as no as someone who’s lived it
you know Joey as long as you want rogon style I think if I you know
remember back to my beans bill days a couple of the changes that have become
really noticeable in recent years to me were the amount of shows within a day in
other words in in 1999-2000 I did a 6 o’clock show and I did an 11:00 o’clock
show period maybe there was a little bit of online content but very little fast
forward to present day and it’s not just 6:00 and 11:00 it’s 4 5 6 11 maybe
there’s a noon maybe you have to cut something for the morning show social
media is a critical part of the job again it’s part of why it’s a 24-hour
day job you cannot unplug if you do unplug you’re inevitably playing playing
catch-up so those are a couple of the things that really stand out another is
travel you know again you’re not talking about my treasured memories of following
the Gators to national championship games and Final Fours and such the
travel across the country especially in small or medium market stations has been
reduced dramatically a lot of that is just cost-cutting you know sure it would
be nice if you were standing in front of the arena but we’ve got the satellite
feed that will give us all the highlights and interviews that we want
so do I want to pay 2,000 4,000 thousand dollars to send you somewhere
worried about a satellite truck or however else we’re uplinking the video
of the audio I think that’s a big reason why travel whose web a Down and it’s
something again early my sports casting career I loved and it went away yeah
that no that’s that’s a really good point you bring up yeah
traveling to games is a big part of sports casting and yes stations are
really cutting costs and they’re not sending people as well and you don’t get
as much of the context I feel like if you have an anchor standing in the
studio versus someone that’s actually there they experience the game whereas
the anchor standing in the studio you know they might have seen again seen
some highlights and pull them but you know it really kind of changes the
nature of how they’re telling this story and Jennifer I think on the national
level in years to come we’re going to see a lot more of what has started to
trickle into the industry which is play by play not done on site but done
thousands of miles away in a studio as the play-by-play and color commentator
play-by-play person and color commentator would watch a screen and it
is it’s going to be a failure on so many levels yes money will be saved but like
you just said you lose the context you lose the excitement you lose so many
things when maybe the local TV sportscaster of eleven o’clock doesn’t
need to be outside the arena but the play-by-play person and the color
commentator must be in the arena they have to be at that game
they have to be talking to the coaches and the players and referees before the
game and they need to feel the energy of the crowd during the game to be doing
remote broadcast of live events to me it’s just yeah if you are like if you
know if they put you in charge how do you feel like stations could kind of
rectify this money angle because it seems like again everybody’s cutting
costs you know people are doing more and and that’s a trend I’ve noticed from
talking to to folks through this through this show is that you know their
workload has doubled tripled they’re not getting paid anymore and there’s no more
resources so I can see why like the level of burnout in our industry is
insane and I can see why these people are a lot of people are leaving the
business because they don’t want to deal with it
and I don’t think managers care in fact I think managers have embrace
that that turnover that burnout in other words you know each of my last few stops
what you saw was consistency and anger teams right you’ve got you’ve got to
have consistency in your anchor team but the reporters on a two to three-year
contract cycle are washing through you know one after and again this is not
just in one place I’ve seen it place after place I’ve talked to friends
around the country they see at you that reporters get burnt out and gotta get
you know outside the industry or they get burnt out on a particular station
think it’ll be better in their next market and it’s not to lay around a
nonsense just a bigger better city how much pressure did you feel like you were
under when you were on air um you know I always felt like the pressure that was
applied came from within I’m my own worst critic I’m a perfectionist so I it
was rare that I felt outside pressure that was greater than what I internally
put on myself and certainly not on the air you know during a broadcast there
was never a moment where I was like I wonder if all wonder if I’ll get called
in tomorrow about that I’m presenting at that point and I’m trying to block out
any the outside noise so I don’t know if that answers your question a little bit
but that’s in terms of pressure it was not something I felt from outside well
it’s that’s a good thing then you you managed to deal with it for a lot longer
than you can you know again there are people that leave the business five
years in two years in and you really stayed in it for the long haul so you
don’t see a lot of many people like you with 20 years I talked to Brendan
McLaughlin who had over 20 years Mike Dee Singh was it 50 years like that guy
you know and he’s still he’s still saying so it’s you know but I feel like
we’re gonna see less and less of people like you and more people that get in
realize what the business is and then and then getting it out you know
Jennifer when I was in West Palm Beach there was an anchor there and I feel
terribly that I cannot remember his name I’m almost certain his first name is Jim
he was at that station for decades I think 40-plus years and on his final
night they threw a party that was akin to a wedding reception and he earned it
it was wonderful and I thought to my so this is great they flew his mother in
from a husband I mean it was a really great tribute to a man who had meant so
much to that station into that market but I don’t think if I’d stayed in TV
news for another 50 years I ever would have seen another time like it those
days yeah well hello boy all right so I want to talk about viral stories I’m
sure you you have probably have an opinion you know what makes a viral
storing what kind of attributes they have what do you think makes a viral
story I would I would preface it by saying I
think you’re much better position to answer this question than I am you know
listen if I got a couple hundred likes or retweets I tell you that’s a big deal
so not even anything close to viral I think you know that the two things when
I see things that have gone viral that they get millions of views hits whatever
the two things are generally it’s unique it’s out of the ordinary at somebody
falling off a truck whatever you know it could be a thousand different things and
there’s good it’s compelling compelling video so if you’ve got a unique
situation and now we get to see it this is why everybody else wants to see it
because we don’t get to see very often and it was weird it’s cool it was unique
whatever very cool all right and you’ve probably worked with PR people over the
years you know sports media relations people you know do you have any any tips
for folks who are working in PR or media relations and how they can better
connect with with their local station sure I would say the best thing that a
PR person can do is make it easy on the reporter or hanker they’re trying to get
to the more information that you can provide in a short form press release
you know don’t give me three pages that I have to read because I probably just
don’t have that kind of time yes I got a hit at four o’clock a because I hit five
o’clock and I have three minutes show at six and then then I said oh shoot
something up at six o’clock show you know I think that the easier you can
make our lives here’s a link to video here’s a link to it too to an interview
those types of things really help on the receivers and on the you know for the
reporter for the anchor the more you make my life easy the better your chance
of getting your story on the air so that’s the first thing that I would say
and then the second thing is and I’ve worked with some great PR people over
the years and I I don’t want them to ever be upset when
we don’t run their story it’s not personal it’s just that we had better
material or a different material that I thought might be more compelling for the
viewer but they were you know the times that that I had a PR person contact me
and I didn’t run their stuff it was never because oh I don’t like you it was
just this doesn’t fit with what I’m doing here in this particular market do
you ever remember like any like super weird press releases you’ve gotten or
like any like really off-the-wall pitches where you’re like wow this will
never happen yeah there’s a local PR company wonderful people and oftentimes
they would bring food because they know and food right so when you see the fruit
basket walking around the newsroom it just it seems it seems so strange to me
and I would never ever put something on the air because somebody gave me a
banana like that just never entered the it’s this valuable to my viewers or not
you you have a granola bar it does not matter
I don’t want your cigar hey so for folks watching granola bars will not buy Joe
not not for me enough for maybe for others how about a steak or like a
bottle of wine or something would that maybe do you know not I wish that that
opportunity had presented itself maybe I would be that might have but that might
have been a better play and I remember our old station had some Baker send a
cake with the station like they made a cake in the shape of the station logo it
was good cake you know and it was I have no idea I think they you know and they
always would leave like business cards or something but like you know I’ve
never in my entire life I’ve never purchased a cake so I don’t I would
never relate a need for it I don’t know impressive Street your honor yeah I know
I’ve never purchased a cake you know I only go out to eat like one to two times
a year so it’s a we’re on a roll here I’ve also like I get again I don’t buy a
lot of stuff so I’m probably not the target demographic
I don’t know okay so there’s a lot of people on YouTube YouTube is blowing up
do you watch YouTube yourself sure yeah I mean I tend to avoid going down the
rabbit holes because I’ve done it and I see how much time can be wasted by oh
let me look up Dave Matthews Band videos and you’re like a good song and all
sudden an hour and a half has passed and I have work to do so yes I find it to be
a great tool on so many levels and I do gain enjoyment from it I wonder and I’m
gonna rely on your expertise down the road how perhaps I could become part of
it I mean my resume trail has always been on YouTube and so those you know I
I did have a little interaction with it but I know that there’s a lot more that
I can do I may not know exactly how to go about it the best way but I know you
can help me and and I do appreciate the medium for what it is it certainly is
you know we’re in a time where technology and the ability to see things
on a moment’s notice it’s it’s unparalleled do you have any favorite
channels you like to follow no I don’t a guy I don’t use it the way many people
do I’m sure that’ll change over the course of time but I honestly don’t know
that I subscribe to any channels all right well I would recommend first of
all the Joe Rogan podcast I don’t really follow a lot of sports ones but um
another one one I follow is the h3 h3 production podcast it’s a little bit off
the wall but they have interests they’re very interesting guests and the guy is
pretty pretty quirky I’m a fan of him so h3 h3 Phillip DeFranco than you actually
you have like a philip defranco esque like like you kind of talk similarly I
think you should check him out I feel like you and him could be like cousins
or something like he’s got like darker hair and stuff but I feel like and also
he lived in Tampa for one time he was like homeless or something like
literally it came from nothing and now has like like a media corporation so the
things you can do on YouTube are crazy so I want to ask what um there are a lot
of youtubers that may be trying to get noticed or try to you know get some
attention there what do you think are ways that maybe they can stand out as
like an on-camera personality do have any tips boy it’s a great question I
don’t feel like I’m well positioned to answer it but my guesses would be you
know if you want to catch the attention of more mainstream media than there’s
really no substitute for millions of clicks millions of views you know if
you’re getting that kind of attention then others will take notice including
TV other than that you know I think that
if you have the ability to do videos on YouTube and show and show
professionalism and show a comfort level and an ability to to be a solid
broadcaster then news directors of local TV stations national networks what have
you will see the ability though they will take note of you know you don’t
have to have a million views if you have skills if you have talent and so I think
you know just the more repetition a youtuber would get it’s just like
anything in life the more you do it the more you practice the better you’ll get
and perhaps that will lead to other opportunities there’s this trend now
where a lot of people that are that have a big social media following are getting
jobs from it for instance Jake Paul was able to get a
Disney job because of his following do you feel like we’re gonna see more of
that in TV news or you know like they kind of hire someone like hey we’ve got
two candidates for sports this person has two million
you know Instagram followers and this person doesn’t do you feel like that’s
gonna be more of a factor in hiring decisions yeah I can definitely see
where that would come into play you know local TV managers are confused they’re
uncertain of what to do they’re throwing things against the wall to find out what
sticks and so if they have two candidates
and candidate X has a thousand followers viewers friends whatever and the other
you know candidate Y has a million then it seemed there’s something different
about this guy girl who they’ve been able to amass an audience that this one
has not so it seems like Y would be a better choice than X that makes sense
believe it or not there are still people who who you know written to me and
reached out and said they’re very still very interested in going into broadcast
journalism what kind of a career advice would you give them for today and we’re
like being half serious but we’re half joking but we’re half serious here like
no you know I think that you have to go in with your eyes wide open and I have
made sure that every intern that I’ve had over the last 20 years has
understood the commitment in terms of time and effort that has to come forth
that it’s going to be nights and it’s going to be weekends and it’s going to
be holidays you have to understand that going in you
have to understand the lack of compensation the bad benefits compared
to other industries you have to have wrap your brain around those things and
if you can tolerate the ridiculous hours and if you can tolerate the lack of
compensation and you really have a passion for what you want to talk about
news sports weather then go for it if you think that this is going to make you
rich and famous you are barking up the wrong tree I think that people want fame
I don’t understand all the reasons why but I have you know and I’ve experienced
it on a tiny itsy-bitsy level alright Fame is probably not even the right word
but if I’m having dinner with a family member or a date or a friend or whatever
and somebody wants to come up and ask you for an autograph
on the one hand that’s very flattering I always took it as such because it
happened so infrequently but if you are a big time star and you’re constantly
being interrupted by your fans your viewers you’re watching your listeners
people that you have to cater to because otherwise they’re gonna go away that
would be a difficult way to little to not be able to go out in public so be
very careful of I want to do this because I want to be famous I want to be
on TV I want to be the next reality TV star I think that it’s a dangerous road
to go down and again when we talk about fame and fortune
there is no fortune in local TV news so you have to go into it eyes wide open
and understanding the negatives as well as the potential positives if you’re
able to feed the passion for the things you do like to talk about put me down
please oh that’s a really good advice and I
think that’s really a good way to put it because I feel you know a lot of these
people that are like you and I didn’t know in college what it was gonna be
like there wasn’t really I feel like I really did not have a good picture of
what my life would be like and a lot of other people I’ve talked to say the same
thing they’re like you know I didn’t like I thought it was gonna be you know
I thought it was gonna be one way but it was like a lot different than I acted
then it actually turned out to be you know an idea but not picture you know
life changes so much – between the time we’re in college – you know 15 years
later and then for some maybe five years later you know when when I
have instructors professors who said listen sports guys your honor work
weekends you’re going to work nights here and the work holidays and I was
like so what else might you know I’m 20 years old 21 years old no family what
take all my night to weekend’s what I mean what else am i doing let’s talk
sports but I should get older and I’m married now and I’m thinking about
family that schedule is not conducive to a good family life so bright your
priorities change a lot for sure for sure what do you think my wife walk in
the door right and doesn’t doesn’t she work in PR please yes a social marketing
manager right so okay so you guys are pretty good combination she does the PR
and social media stuff you you you can do that on air stuff pretty cool pretty
good I thought that I get I I’m trying to convince me to start a YouTube
channel everybody should I think I think you totally should so what if you were
like 22 now what do you think you would be doing if you were little Joker than
it graduating UF that’s a great question guys think about that all the time I’m
like what would I do if I was well first of all I don’t think I would have gone
to college honestly oh I don’t think I think
traditional college is definitely going to have to change especially at these
current prices no like people are starting to realize is this worth it
it’s absurd you know I was very fortunate to go to the University of
Florida at a time when out-of-state tuition at UF was the same as in-state
tuition for me in Massachusetts and so I felt like you know in hindsight I feel
like I got a deal based on some of the private universities I looked at and
what college cost now so I definitely appreciate where you’re coming from and
I’m sorry Jennifer had asked me a question again what if you were 22 right
now okay yes like just graduated what do you think you would do like so the one
you know I really try hard not to live life with regrets but but one mistake
that I made in college is you know I had these two paths in front of me you can
go down the local TV news path or you can go down this path which is more
play-by-play broadcasting and I like to play by play but my childhood revolves
around 620 and 1120 turning on Bob Lobel Mike Lynch with those guys in Boston
Massachusetts they were my centers of the sports universe and I wanted to be
like them so I went down the local TV news route
and obviously over the last 2025 years we’ve seen how local local TV news has
changed how sports has become minimized in local TV news while play-by-play has
grown and grown and grown because what’s DVR proof live sports so I wish that I
had gone down the play-by-play path there was a time relatively early in my
career when I was having these conversations in my head and I you know
I approached the owner of multiple make minor league baseball teams and I said I
have my my passions and play-by-play I want to do play-by-play
oh no problem you’re hired 18 grand a year and it’s not like I was getting
rich quick at that point in my life I wasn’t making a whole lot more than that
but I was like how do I roll back yeah it’s and once you get out of $18,000
hoping that high 20s or rule $30,000 a year
yeah what’s its heart the later you are in your career the harder it is to start
over because you get to the point where you’re comfortable with that salary
level it’s very difficult to leave if you’re making and you know I I’ve never
made I’ve never made six figures in TV I don’t think a lot of people have and
it’s I feel like it’s getting harder and harder to get to the point where you’re
making decent money you have and you have an okay life so I don’t I honestly
I’m okay with my decisions but I do think there are things I could have done
differently that might have panned out better you know I guess we’ll never know
but uh yeah I know we’ll all right I want to ask you what’s your favorite
social media platform I enjoyed Twitter the most not because I feel like it’s
the most customizable I can follow the newsmakers who I want to follow and
nobody else and so when I go to my Twitter feed it’s useful to me when I go
on Facebook you know maybe 50 60 percent of the stuff that I’m strong through
really has no bearing on my life you get ads for some crazy products and
you know silly videos and I you know many years ago was getting a lot of
friend requests people who were not friends and I accepted them all because
I figured that was part of my job and so right so now on my feet even though I’ve
you know muted a good number of people what have you unfollowed whatever it is
you know I find Facebook to be cluttered I do a little bit of Instagram but not
enough to use it like many others do like I’m sure you do so yeah for me
Twitter is I think a very cool what are you ok so if you were if you
were put in charge sort of like as Mike dicen says if you were King what do you
think the TV industry can do overall to to remain relevant and make sure they
don’t get left in this dust of new media Wow but what you do like to kind of turn
things around or at least make it you know again that this business is kind of
a like a roller coaster and you know we’ve all seen it we’ve all experienced
it you know what would you do to try to get get more eyeballs yeah I wouldn’t
say that I have a magic wand because if I did you know my last job situation
what it turned out differently but I will say going back to my previous
employer and the other station in town that fights with it for number one in
the ratings right the other station lies on a daily basis they tell untruths on a
daily basis whereas I did not see that from my employer at the time and so I
think the first thing you have to do is be credible you know now I’m watching
very little local news these days but if I did I would go to the source which I
deem credible not the one which I have watched lie over and over and over again
so I think credibility is a one beyond that you have to cater to your local
market you know we’ve seen the change in sports from doing highlights of national
events to know you have got to lock down the area that you’re in because all that
other stuff people can get from other sources previously in this conversation
we talked about the fact that people have scores and highlights on their
phone so you have to give them something different and commentary and analysis
fits that bill but boy Jennifer it’s a tough question I don’t I don’t know if
there is a real good answer no that’s so true and you have these you know again
I’ve been hearing people even talk this week different commentators talk about
how the lack of gatekeepers has really changed the face of what we do you don’t
need a TV station to put you on the air anymore you can start a YouTube channel
and there’s nobody stopping you from doing it so there’s definitely good and
bad and recently I just saw that Utah had passed a law saying so I want to
talk about you know your your life as an on-air personality you guys had some
restrictions they you know they kind of restricted your personal life
they do that too a lot of people on TV they did it to me and I wasn’t even on
TV I was a producer but we have contracts and we’ve got non-competes and
there are things that that I feel kind of trap employees and staying there so
Utah just passed this law saying anybody under like $47,500 in broadcasting you
can’t do a non-compete for you know and anyone over that threshold I think it
can only be a year what do you what do you think about this move do you think
this should be spread more across the industry yeah absolutely I I’m so glad
you brought it up I want to approach it from a couple of different places you
know early on is you’re asking the question you were talking about limiting
our personal lives when I was in Gainesville wcj btv 20 this is a true
story in 2006 I had for the prior three years lent my name and my time and
effort to a golf tournament in town that raised money for the arc of Alachua
County which is very proud of it we did a lot of great work in the community and
it really became a point of pride for me over the course of those first three
years in the fourth year my my assistant general manager and general manager sat
me down Bob Williams and Carolyn Barrett and they told me you may not do that
tournament again unless it bears our name I said oh no problem we’re actually
selling our title sponsorship right now for $10,000
it can be the wcj BTB 20 joker and celebrity scramble they said no no you
understand if you don’t put our name on it
you can’t do it I said I can’t raise money for people who need it it was a
charity golf tournament today I mean so so that’s it just to give people who may
not understand the kind of limitations that are put on Bob Williams and Carolyn
Barrett did that to me in 2006 it’s no surprise I left in 2007 now to dial in a
little bit more on the non-compete thing they are absurd and they are held over
the heads of people in this industry who make no money I’m talking about $18,000
a year producers who are told sure you can get out of your contract you only
twenty one thousand dollars I mean it’s just absurd
a good friend of mine who just got out of the industry literally within the
last week when he was on the west coast in a small market California he had an
off his contract was almost up only had once left and he had a job offer in
Phoenix tremendous place to live outstanding television market and his
bosses said no you may not take that job so he the bosses know he’s leaving in a
couple of months they know for those couple of months he’s going to be an
unhappy person and not work to them all his fullest capability so why would you
do that to a person ran into a friend earlier this week her future husband
just got a job in a different market and I said you know is your contract going
to be problematic and I won’t tell you what she said I’ll tell you what I said
to her don’t let it be you tell me when there’s a judge somewhere in these
United States of America who will not allow you to take a better job that
compensates you more in a place with your future husband right but I’m
telling you this person’s boss is saying you can’t leave it it must change and
and I think that this that law that you reference where the non-compete is going
away that is a great step in the right direction it’s absurd to be holding
people who make so little money to these incredible standards and not allowing
them to pursue a better life for themselves that’s that’s not what
America is about and the rules are too restrictive they need to be changed in
their very they’re very one-sided there’s really no upside for the talent
because you a lot of people will sign anything just to get any job they need a
job and I’ve been in a position where listen here’s the contract you either
sign this today or you go home and don’t come back again Carolyn Barrett did that
to me here it is put your name on it or you can’t come
back and it does it have to continue it just happen to me it happens all over
the country and right when these people who were making no money are held
hostage and they have to make a decision they take the money however little it
might be it’s it’s bad it’s bad and so many yeah and the other thing I want to
bring up is probably I would say probably the majority of people working
on TV on air you have limitations like again would you have been able to start
a YouTube channel at your previous stations
no no exactly and I was not a problem yeah
exactly so I think you’re gonna see more and more cases like this where you know
and I think there’s even gonna be some debate over you know a personality’s
Facebook page or personality’s Twitter account because does it belong to the
station does it belong to the person and what are you gonna do I can tell you
what my previous employer said they didn’t say it belongs to hospital a said
you will not talk about these subjects XYZ political debate and and I’m not
saying there’s this a merit to it if we just talk about politics you know if
you’re putting out really strong feelings on one side of the other
there’s a chance you’re alienating half of your audience so I can appreciate
from the managers perspective why some things would want to be off-limits but
yes they they definitely country dictate what you can talk about and how much you
have to talk about the things you can talk about and it’s it’s part of what’s
made it a 24-hour day job and and when you’re making so little money I can see
if someone’s making a good salary why you would why there might be more
restrictions but for someone making twenty to thirty thousand dollars they
can’t start a YouTube channel they can’t have their own Facebook page you know or
the one that they start I think my one of my previous contracts says something
like if my spouse started a business they could claim ownership I’m not
joking you probably had the same or very similar clauses in your contract and I
read that I was like okay so this means I can’t do anything outside of again I
was not making big money but I could not start a side business I could not do
anything outside of that scope you know definitely not news related for sure and
but but even being restricted from non news activity seems a little a little
over the top it’s completely absurd and and these contracts need to be
challenged in court but what the station’s know is they’re paying you
know employee a eighteen twenty four thousand dollars a year they don’t have
the money to go to court meanwhile the company has all the
resources of eBay of lawyers on retainer they don’t need to put extra resources
those resources are in-house so it the contracts are unilateral and they’re
rarely challenged because the companies know that the employees will be what
kind of arrangement do you think would be fair to both the station in to the
employees like maybe a an arrangement that
was more mutually beneficial sure and you know and I think that the I do
understand why stations want to have non-competes if they’re in investing
time and resources in an employee then to prevent them from going across town
for a period of time you know typically one year I don’t have a big problem with
that but telling someone they can’t go to another part of the country
especially if there’s a you know future spouse involved there’s a better
opportunity or life and career involved to try to place those restrictions on
some ways very interesting thoughts and I again I I do see you know again a lot
of people are might like someone like you someone you know someone who works
in TV might have a great chance of developing a social media following on
YouTube or another platform but she’d be so yeah you were so restricted you
couldn’t even try to do that and if you did in your in your channel got big
maybe the station would would sue you who knows but I think that’s why you
don’t see a lot of TV reporters having YouTube channels I don’t know well Joe
thank you so much and I want to give you the opportunity to ask the viewers of
this show any question you want anything you want
well thanks first of all I appreciate the invitation to be part of the show so
much this is a lot of fun and it’s been great to catch up with you Jennifer and
I would say to anybody watching if I can be a resource for you in anything to do
with the TV or radio industry happy to do it if you need a financial advisor
that’s the path that I’m currently on right now and would be more than happy
to help people who make crappy TV money or maybe better money in the real world
and the third thing that I’m doing is in addition to a little sports I’m gonna do
some radio play-by-play on the fall but I’m also a licensed auctioneer I’ve
received my license in the last month or so so and I’m so sorry I wanted to ask
you what you’re doing now so I apologize for that can you give us a little
sampling of your auctioneer voice it’s difficult to do without a whole you know
we should without yeah without the actual auction taking place I think
that’s a perfect that’s such a perfect thing for you and the fine
as well is is fire finance is something you’ve had an interested in I know we
you and I have talked about money quite a bit over the years you know when
you’ve made as little money as we had you have to manage your resources
carefully otherwise you’re left with zero so it’s always been
I don’t know passions the right word but it’s always been something that was
important to me to make sure that I manage my finances correctly so that I
had enough money to eat take vacations whatever else it might be so it seemed
like a really natural fit and and so I’m really pleased to have gone down this
road and again if I can help anybody I’m happy to and then in terms of the
auctioneer piece you know being able to do benefit auctions and raise money for
charities it’s something that really warms my heart and I’m getting to work
with charitable organizations all over the state so it
I can be a resource in that respect to you know not just in Florida but
anywhere around the country more than happy to do so all right did you online
auction still maybe you couldn’t maybe YouTube auctioneer I don’t know and what
kind of financial services do you offer we are a holistic financial planning so
you know we take a look at protection first and investments and paying down
debt and there’s a wide range and the way that we do it Jennifer I think is
different than many it’s counterintuitive to some of the
financial planners that I’ve worked with over the years who were really only
concerned with selling the product oh you need this you need this we need this
what we do is take a look at each person or each family’s individual financial
situation find out where there are inefficiencies how we can help them
today and how we can help them build for a better future and it’s really
rewarding work okay because I see people come into our office they’re
disorganized they’re uncertain they have so many questions and concerns and by
the time we meet with them once or twice they feel like they’re on a path to
financial freedom and security and that it’s really again for me it’s
heartwarming to see that change how are you liking it so far it’s it’s great and
it’s great for that reason it’s you know it’s great in the auction world to know
at the end of the night I was just at the miracle ball in Sarasota last
weekend and we raised tens of thousands of dollars for you know Children’s
hospital that warms my heart to be able to take individuals and Families into
our office show them our philosophy and help them manage their finances and set
themselves up to success that warms my heart so I’m really pleased that I’ve
been able to do those two new things on top of still keeping my toes in the
sports water just elope all right yes what are you are you you’re gonna be
doing like a show or anything I think you should yeah the plan right now is
for high school football play by play and fall and there may be some
basketball baseball play-by-play the rest of the year we’ll see what develops
there but those conversations are ongoing and there may be some radio talk
show type stuff we’ve talked about a YouTube channel so I think all things
are possible right now I think you’re a great testament to her for anyone out
there who’s who’s looking to transition you always have quite a few irons in the
fire you’re always thinking about you know what else can you do and you’ve
really managed to diversify your your spectrum of what you’re doing thank you
for saying that you know I’ll tell you just yesterday I had a conversation with
someone who has an agency and they want me to facilitate speakers you know my
connections with athletes helping out businesses or organizations who are
putting on events you know I am trying to diversify as much as possible I don’t
want to have one job anymore like most of the last 25 years I want to have
three four or five and I’m one or two of them go away I want to be more
recession-proof i’ve still got these one two or three and i’m again as i offer my
services to your audience if there’s anything that i can do in terms of being
a resource for life after broadcasting i’m more than happy to do it because you
and I are living testament to the fact that not only can you do it once you do
it life will be better you promise all right Joe how can people get in touch
with you I’m all over social media you can find me on Instagram and Twitter and
Facebook and all the rest my last name is spelled G IR VA n it’s go VIN gir VA
N and by me on youtube my email address is all over the web too so by all means
find me on social media on send me a message in all right and we will link of
course link to all your all your platforms here every every way to reach
out to Jill we’re gonna link them so don’t worry
and enjoy I also have to thank you so okay so Joe actually introduced me to
our realtor in Florida that helped us sell our forty seven thousand dollar
house isn’t she the best oh my gosh she’s awesome so if you’re looking for a
realtor in the Tampa area Tampa Florida Melanie Atkinson amazing she was
incredible and she’s the best realtor we’ve worked with to date so Joe your
you have to thank for for some of this going on here so I wanted to say that
again I honestly like that kind of started our paths rolling to be more
secure financially so I really wanted to thank you right here right now
absolutely it’s my pleasure Melanie so great at her job and a wonderful person
decides and it was a thrill to be able to introduce people and and it’s part of
what I want to do in the financial world too is when you know let’s say somebody
comes to me and they don’t have a will or a trust that’s not something I can
provide but before you walk out the door I’m gonna give you a number of an
attorney because that’s too important not getting paid for that there’s no R
enumeration but I care about people I want to do good in this world and and so
any way that I can be a resource for anyone whether it’s a realtor or an
estate attorney or any point in between and I’m happy to have wonderful well Joe
thank you so much okay so all right now that I’ve skipped around some questions
I do want to give you the chance if you have any question you know you can pull
people you can you know just if there’s something you’ve been wondering a Brian
Jaeger or former coworker he asked what kids think should I know about that I
don’t already know about so if you have anything you’ve just been wondering and
you just want to get some feedback on this is your chance Jaeger-Bomb that’s
what’s great to hear a Melissa like the rest of us we’re all getting older and
we’re losing a little touch with what the hip happenin new things are and you
say things like hipping happening and you it’s clear that you’re not questions
you know I would like to know from from the new wave of sports broadcasters
right people who are in college or maybe write out what is it about the
profession that draws you to it what do you think you’re staying power is why do
you think you have staying power why is this the right career path for you
because I I’m so negative right now I know there’s good to it have been
but in 2018 it looks different than what I experienced in 2000 2005 so I’d be
curious for for the young broadcasters out there and again specifically in
sports because news and weather are a different different breed for young
sports casters what do you what do you love about it and what do you love about
the pack not here today so much but your tomorrow and your 20 years from now why
do you believe this is the right path to be on maybe there’s a great answer that
I haven’t power yeah that’s that’s a really good question all right guys so
I’ll put Joe’s question in the description box as well so if there’s
any sports sports men or women out there and you want to answer it feel free and
Joe thank you very much i’m jennifer moore Ex-TV producer if you enjoyed this
video feel free to hit that like button and subscribe to Ex-TV producer for more
videos and more interviews with flying folks like Joe Girvan thank you so much
thank you Jen great

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