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Q&A with WWL-TV Sports Anchor Bryan Salmond

When you work in sports broadcasting, competition becomes a huge part of your life, you’re always trying to be faster to a story or come up with a more interesting angle, than the next guy.

For WWL-TV Sports Anchor Bryan Salmond, that sense of competition has taken on a new twist, he’s now facing off in a Bayou ratings battle against his childhood idol, Fred Hickman.boxer floyd mayweather being interviewed post-fight by bryan salmond

“When I got the job in New Orleans I looked around at the talent at the other stations and I saw Fred Hickman,” recalls Salmond. “I got excited, because truly Fred Hickman was my favorite sportscaster growing up. I loved him on CNN and he was one of the big reasons why I wanted to be on television.”

Salmond knows there is no time to be star-struck, he’s got a job to do and a whole new market to learn, “It’s hard to learn the big rivals and mascots and very difficult to do highlights of teams when you have no idea which team is which. Having people working around you that are from the area and are willing to help you makes things easier."

Here’s more with WWL-TV Sports Anchor Bryan Salmond:

STVJ: What inspired you to work in Sports Television?

Salmond: I’ve been asked this question many times and I really don’t know what made me want to be on television, but I did figure out early that I wanted to be around sports. I grew up as an athlete and I was a bit disappointed that career didn’t work out, so I figured the next best thing was to hold a microphone.

Now that I really think about it, being on television seemed like a "cool" thing to do. I was never a shy kid. I never had a problem being in front of people and I’ve always been somewhat of an "entertainer", so I think that played in the back of my mind.

Also, I’ve always enjoyed music and acting. I think that if I weren’t in local news, I would’ve pursued being an actor. I think I could’ve been a Denzel Washington, without the Oscars and droves of women followers.

STVJ: Was your goal always to work in front of the camera?

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Salmond: When I got in to television my goal was definitely to be in front of the camera. I like to think that I’m not a person who loves being in front of the camera because of an ego thing, but if I’m being honest with myself…it is pretty fun.

I’ve enjoyed shooting sporting events, but that’s as far as I go in enjoying the behind the scene work. I don’t enjoy producing. Editing isn’t all bad and writing can be enjoyable. I’ve never been interested in making a career of working behind the scenes, mainly because I think I am at my best in front of the camera.

STVJ: You went to Western Washington University – how did it help prepare you for a career on camera?

Salmond: Going to Western Washington didn’t help my career in front of the camera at all. Unfortunately, Western didn’t have a television program while I was there. So I used the "National Student Exchange Program" to find a school that offered a great television program.

I ended up going to Florida State for a year and that’s where I got the chance to learn broadcast television. It was the single most important thing I did. In Tallahassee I got the fire to be in the business. It was interesting; I had to audition to become a reporter. I had to write a 15 second stand up and perform it in front of a camera, then wait to see if I was selected as a reporter for the school’s television station. I made it, and from there it was a lot of hard work and traveling.

STVJ: We stress the importance of internships, did you do any in college and if so how helpful were they?

Salmond: Internships are extremely important. I only had one internship, but it was with someone who was very, very helpful and it definitely prepared me for my career. I’m a firm believer that I will try to help someone who is trying to help themselves. I’ve had multiple interns and it’s a great feeling when they achieve success. Finding a station and a mentor in the business is vital. It can make the process of moving up the ladder much easier.

STVJ: After graduating how/where did you land your first job in TV?sports anchor bryan salmond hosting ufc event

Salmond: After graduating from Western Washington, I landed my first job in the ‘biz’ at CNN/Sports Illustrated. Working at CNN/SI was a very important portion of my growth in the industry. After working at CNNSI the only thing I didn’t know how to do was anchor, but I did have some of the finest talent around to study and emulate.

Also, I got my first job on air in Atlanta on a show called Prep Sports Plus with Tom Vardase. That was HUGE. I was a reporter traveling all over the state of Georgia doing stories on many different high school student athletes. I also got the chance to be on live for the first time as a sideline reporter for the Georgia state championships. That job also really helped me get my first anchor job.

STVJ: Did you have any mentors early in your career and if so, what advice did they give you?

Salmond: I’ve had many people that have helped me along the way. My mom told me something a long time ago that’s stuck with me…"No person is an island". She instilled in me that if you need help ask. Most importantly, allow people to help you. I’ve always been the type of person who feels that I can do everything myself, but in life you can’t do everything through hard work, toughness and dedication. You need help from others at certain times in your life.

That’s one of the main reasons why I am so willing to help any and every one that I feel is trying to help themselves. Back on topic, I’ve received great advice from a ton of mentor types. Larry Smith, Matt Morrison, Jeff Green, and the person I interned under Jeff Wiengert were all very helpful in my career. Many others, but I’ll be typing all day if I list them all.

STVJ: If you were mentoring somebody today who wanted to work on camera what advice would you give them?

Salmond: I have many that I do mentor and the first thing I ask them is, will they move anywhere. If the answer is yes, then I get in to the rest of what it’s like pursuing a job in television. Newbies need to know that their first job will not be in their hometown of Seattle on air, or Austin, Texas or whatever big city they’re from. Also, that you can make good money in the business, but don’t get in to it with that as your goal.

STVJ: You’ve worked in Missoula, Montana…Beaumont, Texas…Las Vegas, Nevada…Eugene, Oregon and now on to New Orleans, Louisiana. How hard is it to always be on the move looking for the next opportunity in a higher market?sports anchor bryan salmond on set

Salmond: Relocating is the toughest part of being in the business. I’m single and my career has always been paramount in my life, so moving hasn’t ever been a problem… until I started getting old. I’m at the point now where I’m tired of moving, although, it is fun to see different parts of the country, live in different cultures and meet many types of people.

I’ve enjoyed everywhere I’ve lived except Eugene, Oregon. The biggest reason is I left the Northwest because I was sick of the weather. Oregon resembled the weather in the Puget Sound too closely. Especially after leaving Las Vegas where it’s warm and blue skies 8 months of the year. That was very, very tough to deal with. Plus, I lived in a college town, and I was beyond the college age and that made me feel old as dirt.

STVJ: When you are constantly changing markets, how do learn all the new teams and all the important players? It can’t be easy to learn all the different high school teams and sound smart on camera!

Salmond: That is the toughest thing to get used to, especially now that I’m in New Orleans. I’m not looking forward to learning the names down here for football season. It’s very difficult to learn the big rivals and mascots and very difficult to do highlights of teams when you have no idea which team is which. Having people working around you that are from the area and are willing to help you will makes things easier.

Unfortunately, I think sounding smart on the air is very difficult in that situation. Locals know you aren’t from there, so hopefully they like you for another reason and tolerate you being an outsider. For the most part I’ve been places where the market has welcomed me because I’m not the type of person that gives of an attitude of being "better than" whomever is from there.

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