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Q&A; with Adam Mikulich, Sportscaster & Sports Reporter KUTV Salt Lake City, Utah

An Inside Look at Starting a Career On Camera

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Adam Mikulich knew early in life that he wanted to be Sportscaster, "Growing up, my favorite thing in the entire world was going to Mariners games with my Dad. I never wanted those nights to end, I got to thinking that the best way to be able to hang around that atmosphere as an adult would be becoming a Sportscaster."

But getting started isn’t always easy, "I was an Associate Producer at Fox Sports Northwest", recalls Mikulich, now a Sports Reporter for KUTV in Salt Lake City, Utah "and I had to take a huge pay cut to get my first on camera job in Pocatello, Idaho." 

A few years later, and a few steps up in market size, Mikulich believes that initial sacrifice in pay was the smartest career move he’s ever made.

When did you decide that you wanted to become a Sportscaster?

I was about eleven years old when I started coming to terms with the fact that I was never going to be good enough to play professional baseball.  Growing up, my favorite thing in the entire world was going to Mariners games with my Dad.  We would get there really early and I would nag the players for autographs and try to catch batting practice balls while my Dad graded papers.  Then we’d watch all nine innings together.  I never wanted those nights to end, I got to thinking that the best way to be able to hang around that atmosphere as an adult would be becoming a Sportscaster. 

Adam Mikulich’s Sports TV “Stats”

adam mikulich local tv sportscaster kutv salt lake cityEducation: Washington State University

Production Jobs held: Associate Producer, Producer, Sports Reporter, Sportscaster

Stations: Fox Sports Northwest, KIFI-TV (Idaho Falls/Pocatello, ID), WCIA-TV (Champaign, Il), KUTV Salt Lake City, UT

Best Piece of Advice: The pace of television is so quick that it really catches you off guard.  There’s a lingo, a rhythm, lots of arguing and then tension when the show is underway. Get ready to do some battling.

What was it about a career in Sports TV that originally lured you?

My uncle Rick Lukens was a longtime Sportscaster in the Spokane market and the first time I visited him at a TV station is when I started thinking about one day doing the same thing myself.  I watched a Cameraman shoot fireworks for a Fourth Of July story for ten minutes and then saw it go over the air in a condensed, twenty seconds in the six o’clock news.  I started thinking about how I would have done it differently and it was all downhill from there.

Were you nervous it would be hard to land your first job in Sports TV?

I was never scared about getting my foot in the door until the week of my College graduation, that’s when I really started getting scared.  I was too much of a daydreamer when I was young to think I couldn’t do it.

You went to Washington State University, how much did it help you in your Sports TV career?

The teachers there really gave us a good perspective on how competitive, and more importantly how much work, a job in television was going to be.  They were really good at sifting out “prima donnas” and acknowledging the more quiet personalities.

At WAZZU I got a more theoretical, ethical, and writing-based education in the classroom.  Through the Sports Video Department I was able to earn a part time job working for Fox Sports Northwest and learned a lot more of the technical things there.  I can’t say enough about what my time at WAZZU has done for my career.  It’s the best money I’ve ever spent!
sports reporter adam mikulich on football field northwestern

Where did you land your first job in Sports TV?

About the time I graduated from college, Fox Sports Northwest was starting up a new program called The Regional Sports Report and they were hiring a lot of young people to help launch the show.  Our Sports Video Director at WAZZU gave me the number of a man to contact there for a potential job, he had me over for an interview, and gave me a part time graphics position without batting an eye.  His name was Rocco Macarrone and I’ve never forgotten the man who gave me probably the biggest break of my entire career!

After your first few months did you know you made the right career choice, or were there concerns?

After my first few months at Fox it was amazing to look around and see how my life had changed.  The first thing that took some getting used to was working a 2-11pm shift.  While most people are starting to eye down the final hours before going home for the day people working in television production are just getting started.  The pace of television is also so quick that it really catches you off guard.  There’s a lingo, a rhythm, lots of arguing and then tension when the show is underway.  Everyday is a battle and you either win or lose.  And then you start over the next day.  That being said, I found the TV industry and culture to be a perfect fit for me.  I had never felt so good being a part of something than that first show I helped to launch.adam mikulich sports reporter at football game

Would you do anything differently if you could go back to the early stages of your career?

If I could do something differently I would have learned how to shoot video sooner than I did. In college I learned how to point and focus a camera but shooting really good sports video is a true art form and one that I didn’t start mastering until my mid twenties when I was in Pocatello, Idaho.  Photography is not something that everyone can do and it sets a great Sportscaster apart from a good one. 

Has working in television exceeded or fallen short of your expectations?

Working in television has exceeded my expectations in the sense that I’ve gotten to see things that most people don’t get to and I have never, ever had a boring day while on the clock.  I’m amazed too at where the job has taken me.  I’ve covered NCAA basketball tournaments and MLB All Star games.  I’ve gone fly fishing and made a story out of that.  I’m excited to see where things take me next!

How has your career developed in titles, responsibilities and locations?

When I left Fox Sports Northwest I was an Associate Producer and overseeing a show or more a day.  From there I took a huge pay cut for my first on air job with KIFI in Idaho Falls/ Pocatello where I was a Weekend Sportscaster for just over a year, and then took over as Sports Director for about another three after that.  From there I took a Sports Director job with WCIA 3 News in Champaign, Illinois where I worked for about two and a half years.  After my contract expired in Champaign I landed a job with KUTV 2 News in Salt Lake City.  I am what we call a #3 guy in the industry which means I am a reporter first and fill in Sportscaster when they need me.

This has been the biggest move of my career having split the market in half twice now.  The bar is much higher when you work in a top market and the margin for error goes away.

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