#MediaMonday – Bob Adlhoch

Bob and his wife, Kellie, at the 2010 Rocky Mountain Emmys, where he was a multiple honoree

Each Monday, we are posting a blog to help our readers get to know the media just a little bit better.
With a TWIST!
No, we aren’t posting story pitch tips or media lists, but instead great stories from the media themselves about their lives, their work and other little known facts! Think of it as your first “networking” opportunity of the week!
Today’s #MediaMonday comes to us from Bob Adlhoch of Phoenix Suns Broadcasting.
So, Bob, time to share!
What do you want to tell the blogosphere about yourself today?
I’m a native Chicagoan who moved to Phoenix with my family in 1973. My dad was working for a fledgling electronics company called Motorola that had recently expanded beyond their Schaumburg headquarters. My dad loved the Western U.S. and decided it was time to trade the cold, snowy winters for sunshine. Although I lived in Chicago for less than four years, it played a huge role in my choice of career.
Like most boys, I was a huge sports fan growing up. I played soccer, baseball, football and basketball – and couldn’t get enough of sports on TV. I remember first getting cable TV in the early 80s, when ESPN’s live sports consisted of Canadian Football League, college lacrosse and yacht races. But my connection to Chicago remained through WGN, one of the first local “super stations” to be carried around the country. WGN broadcasts of the Cubs were a staple in my house during the hot summer months and when I was in junior high the thought finally occurred to me – someone was getting paid to watch this game!! At that time I had no idea what a producer or director did, but I knew at that moment that I wanted to cover live sporting events for a living – but only, of course, if my plan to be a professional athlete didn’t work out.
Once I embraced the truth that my jump shot wouldn’t take me much farther than an extremely average high school career, I attended the Cronkite School at ASU in a quest to be the next Al Michaels. But a production internship I got while in Jim Dove’s class changed my focus. I was working for ASPN (predecessor to Cox7 and Fox Sports AZ in this market) covering Phoenix Firebirds baseball games. I realized very quickly that I didn’t really want to be an announcer and fell in love with this world of production that used camera shots, replays, graphics AND announcer track to completely tell the story. Some 20 years later, I’m in my 10th season working for the Phoenix Suns and I still relish the opportunity to help tell the stories that Suns fans want to see and hear. And, as a side note, Jim Dove is the Godfather of sports production in Phoenix. A list of the careers Jim was instrumental in launching would be thicker than the Phoenix yellow pages. Thanks, Jim!
A couple of lessons I’ve learned along the way:

  1. Don’t forget to throw the rope back over the fence. If you attain any level of success in your career (or life, for that matter), you’ve been helped by a great many people. Help those who now need your assistance to achieve their goals.
  2. Treat people as you want to be treated. Sounds simple enough, but the world of live TV seems to have given some people the idea that it’s OK to yell at their colleagues or subordinates. Having been a part of nearly 2,000 live broadcasts in my career, I’ve never once seen yelling or demeaning crew people as a successful tool. Respect breeds respect, and the carrot is always better than the stick.
  3. Don’t get too comfortable. If there’s one thing that is constant, it’s change. The transition from low-def (sorry, it’s not standard anymore) to HD was the biggest technological change I had seen in my 20 years in TV. But it didn’t hold a candle to the industry changes prompted by the economic recession or the explosion of the Internet. Some of you reading this have had to re-invent yourselves as journalists on the fly. And you likely did it because you embraced change.
  4. Finally, keep your eyes open and trust your instincts. I met my wife on the first day of 5th grade but it somehow took me more than 20 years to figure out that I should be married to her. I guess you can’t be in a hurry to get where you’re supposed to be.
Written by
at Dec 13, 2010

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