Saturday, November 22, 2014

Tim Brant
By Connor Smith

On Monday November 10th, I shadowed legendary sports announcer Tim Brant at WJLA ABC 7 news in Arlington. Brant has been an announcer since his football days ended way back in 1973. Brant was a defensive captain linebacker at the University of Maryland, and was drafted by the Washington Redskins. After he hurt his knee while with the Washington Redskins, he got lucky when he found out there was an opening for the Maryland radio announcer job at WMAL radio. Brant eventually moved on to the local ABC station, WJLA. In 1982, Brant moved up the ladder, joining ABC sports. Brant was known for working Keith Jackson on college football telecasts. From 1987-1990 Brant worked for CBS Sports. In 1991, he returned to ABC where worked for until 2007, and after that he came back home to WJLA. He has also called the ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament since 1993 with Raycom Sports. He calls ACC football games every Saturday for Raycom as well.
While I did have to write a report on my day, some of the questions I had to ask did teach me some things. Brant said that some qualifications for the job were to have a degree in journalism, and that the size of the market you are working in matters. Some personal qualifications were being able to communicate, having experience, and being able to persevere. His major responsibilities are the sports staff, and the sportscast on the news. He finds it frustrating that he doesn’t get enough time on the news. Brant says that the biggest keys to success in the business are to communicate, being kind, and to “treat every work day like it’s your first and every day with your family like it’s your last.”
Brant usually doesn’t get into the office until 2:30PM. I arrived at 3PM, and the sports staff, a group made up of four-five people, had a meeting to decide what to air on the sports. The sports airs usually at 5 and 6, as well as the 10 and 11 news hours. After deciding what to air, one of the members of the sports staff, Alex Parker, met with the editor to edit the sports clips and videos. I watched the 5 and 6 o'clock news next to the news desk (off camera) and in the director’s room. I met longtime broadcaster Gordon Peterson, as well as weather man Doug Hill. I was also able to meet Leon Harris and Maureen Bunyan and the directors, producers, and most of the staff at WJLA. I also went for a tour around the studios, and everybody I met was very nice and complimented me on my wardrobe, as I was wearing a blazer, khakis, and a tie. I wish I could’ve stayed longer, but in the end I learned a lot about the life of a sportscaster, a job I hope to have when I grow up.

“Treat every day at work like it’s your first, and every day with your family like it’s your last.” -Tim Brant

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