In his 11 years in Texas, Kevin has received the Lone Star Regional Emmy for best Feature Reporter eight different times. And in a 38-Regional Emmy career as a reporter, writer, and producer he also picked up a camera again – receiving the 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 Regional Emmys as the top solo Video Journalist in the state as well.
He is a 5-time recipient of the Best Reporter in Texas award from the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters, a 4-time Best Reporter recipient from the Headliners Foundation of Texas, has been honored with seven regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, and is a contributing photographer to WFAA's 2018 and 2019 wins as National Press Photographers Association Large Market Station of the Year.
1) Who are you? I am a Senior Reporter and Multi-Specialty Journalist at WFAA. The first title means I’ve been doing this for a long time. I suppose the second title means I do a lot more than just type fast, hold a microphone and occasionally stand in hurricanes like a human windsock.
My parents are from west Texas: San Angelo and Rotan to be exact. Full disclosure: I missed being a Texan by about a year and a half. Not my fault. But by kindergarten I was growing up in Fort Worth and Mesquite. In the middle of 3rd grade the Reece moving van headed back to the west coast again.
An A.A. in Television and Radio Production at Palomar College in San Marcos, California led to a Business degree at the University of Southern California and a Master’s Degree in Journalism at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and jobs in California, Tennessee, Seattle, Houston, and now Dallas.
Along the way, Regional Emmys, multiple regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, and best reporter awards from the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters and the Headliners Foundation of Texas tell me those first classes back at Palomar College, and a student Emmy nomination, pushed me in the right direction.
2) What are your interests? I made the “mistake” once of making one of my previous bosses laugh. He liked something I did that he told me was a “feature” story. I thought every story, whether crime, politics, weather, or sports was a feature story. Because every story is about people whose human journey, good or bad, deserves to be told. The problem was that my boss at the time decided my stories needed a title. He chose “Reece’s Pieces.” It even had a full screen graphic with “p-i-e-c-e-s” in little round candies. It’s still a running joke among my colleagues and friends. But it taught me that concentrating on the trials and tribulations and failures and successes of everyday people is what I did best and what every meaningful story should include. Also, thankfully, we never got sued for candy copyright infringement.
3) What do you like about working at WFAA? Television markets are ranked by audience size. New York is #1. Glendive, Montana #210. So, when you earn a job in Dallas, market #5, you feel like a pretty big deal. But city size isn’t necessarily the goal. Working at a particular station in that market is. Effective, impactful storytelling, investigative journalism that changes people’s lives, and holding the powerful accountable are decades-old strands of WFAA-TV’s DNA. And with that long-standing reputation comes high expectations of its journalists. I’m proud to have earned a seat at that table and honored to have the chance to maintain and hopefully exceed those high expectations.
4) What's one thing people would be surprised to learn about you? When you start a reporting career, in my case in Eureka, California (market #195) with an entire news staff of seven people, you do everything. You’re the anchor, the reporter, the photographer, and the video editor. Oh, and you also had to drive your own company car to news stories. In my case a lovely Datsun B210 station wagon. Although somedays you got to trade up to the other vehicle in the fleet: a Toyota Tercel hatchback! Fast forward a couple of decades to a bigger city where reporters and photographers have distinctly different career paths, and one day you can’t get a photographer scheduled to help you with a story.
So, with a few colleagues laughing at you, you announce you’ll just shoot and edit it yourself. And it turns out to be one of the best retro decisions you’ve ever made: receiving the 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 Regional Emmys as the top solo Video Journalist in Texas. More importantly, it helps put people I meet more at ease knowing that when the mighty, influential, and powerful WFAA shows up…they only have to deal with little old me.
He is always looking for positive, uplifting, and inspirational stories to tell. If you have a story idea, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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