KEVIN MAGEE BEGAN his college career as an electrical engineering major at Drexel. After a few days at his first college internship, he recalls, "I thought I was going to die."
Then he found the campus radio station, WKDU, and fell in love with the medium. To become further trained in broadcast, he transferred to Temple.
After stints at KYW News Radio, KYW TV, NJN, ABC Radio, Good Morning America and CNBC, Kevin now serves as the vice president at Fox News, overseeing the Fox Business Network and Fox Radio, among other duties.
Here are a few things that stood out for me from his visit to class today:
- He says that Fox does not promote conservative causes.
- Their news coverage, he says, is straight down the middle.
- Their evening programming, which is mostly talk shows, offers opinions but they make the audience aware that what they are seeing and hearing is opinion, not news.
- The audience at Fox tends to be older, wealthier and conservative.
- Bill O'Reilly is a master broadcaster, according to Kevin.
- What he does may be entertaining but Glenn Beck is not an entertainer.
- If someone at Fox says something that proves to be incorrect, the network tries to air their mistakes publicly and apologetically, Kevin says.
- Finding talent for programming is unbelievably difficult.
- "Good talent" means being engaging on air, so that people want to return day in and day out.
- Talent is magic. Some people have it. Some don't. And it's not just about physical appearances.
- As a student aspiring to a career on air, you should try one of two routes: 1. start low in a big market and elevate within the system; 2. start in a small market as a reporter and move to larger and larger stations.
- As an intern, Kevin says, you should show up on time, smile, do all the awful intern work (with a smile) and keep your eyes open for opportunities. Make an impact during your internship.
- Broadcast executives can look at your demo reel for ten seconds and know whether you will be considered for the job.
- Networking is important. Very important.
- The difference between CNBC's business coverage and Fox's, Kevin says, is that CNBC reporters try to prove how smart they are; Fox reporters try to make their audience smarter.
- Everybody is biased, he says. Everyone has baggage. The best journalists are able to put that baggage behind them when they report.
- Fox doesn't cause controversies. They shine light on them.
- Conflict is good television.
- Rupert Murdoch does not have any influence on the editorial content at Fox News.
What stood out for you?
6 months ago