Today’s #MediaMonday comes to us from Martha Maurer, News Director at KTAR News 92.3 FM in Phoenix. She oversees the editorial and breaking news decision-making of the largest radio news team in Arizona.
Martha, time to share:
My journalism career began in television, not in radio. During my last year at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University, I was an intern at Univision Arizona. I was in love with every aspect of TV news. From the newsgathering process, to the editing of video, the behind the scenes in the studio at the time of a live newscast, and of course, the on- air product. I thought I had found my forever career. I was wrong.
In 2008 I moved to my home country of Mexico as I waited out my immigration process. During that time I freelanced for a TV and radio station as an education reporter. At the same time, I worked as the head of public relations for a five-star hotel chain. I dabbed a bit into management in different areas of hospitality, and quickly found I had a passion for working with people and guiding a team toward a bigger outcome.
Three years later I moved back to Arizona and as I explored career opportunities back in journalism, I stumbled upon radio and thought I’d give it a chance.
My first position at KTAR News was of news editor in 2012. This is the entry-level role in most radio newsrooms. I helped gather information, conducted interviews and wrote scripts for anchors. A couple years later I was promoted to breaking news editor. Let’s just say I work better under pressure. During breaking news, the newsroom becomes a bustle of activity. Multiple people work on different parts of a story for the goal of providing in depth and up –to-the minute coverage. The beauty of radio is that we can get on the air in a moment’s notice, interrupt programming and provide our listeners with what they need to know. My role soon changed to assistant news director, helping guide story planning and breaking news execution as well as collaborating with the digital and talk teams.
In September of 2018, I stepped into the role of news director. It’s hard to explain exactly what I do because every day is different. Sometimes I don’t spend a single second in my office and am hands-on in the newsroom. Other days I focus on planning special coverage and meeting with other team members on a specific project. Sometimes you can hear me covering stories or anchoring the news. My favorite part of my career still is hearing breaking news come on over the air. It’s knowing that the work our editors, reporters, producers, hosts and anchors put into a story pays off every single time.
When I’m not writing, reading, anchoring or tweeting the news, I shift gears a little bit. I’m an avid runner and would call myself a gym junkie. I’m amazed at what our bodies can do every day. Exercise also helps me stay focused and clears my mind to meet the demands of the work day. I also love to craft. I make wreaths, signs, t-shirts, mugs, you name it! Friends and family come to me for special party decorations and personalized gifts. It’s one of the ways I balance the often stressful days of the news. Reading also helps me relax. Speaking of relaxing, spending quality time with my husband, two dogs and cat completes my day.
For anyone considering a career in radio: give it a chance, you never know until you try it. Radio news continues to evolve every single day. We all consume news in different ways, in different platforms. At KTAR News, we fulfill those needs by providing the most breaking news and compelling news content on the radio, online, on the app and on social media. I hope you tune in.
Make sure to follow Martha on Twitter at @MaurerMartha. You can get in touch with her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.