If you’ve heard this once, you’ve heard it a million times. The path to a major market TV job starts in a very small market, where you can learn on the job and make mistakes that won’t kill your career. It’s good advice, but it’s not the only way. Gil Matos is a 2006 graduate of Emerson College who’s already on TV and radio in Boston, covering professional sports from a Latino perspective.
Matos bypassed the traditional route to a big market job by combining several “niche” jobs at small media outlets. He does a twice-weekly talk show in Spanish for a local radio station, writes about sports for a Spanish-language newspaper, and reports in English for a local cable channel. (He also keeps a blog, but doesn’t update often.)
Thanks to his bilingual ability and multimedia savvy, Matos tells the Boston Globe, he’s had opportunities his peers didn’t.
I have friends who were working [as broadcasters] up in Maine, and they would come down to cover one or two Red Sox games. I get the chance to be there every day if I wanted to,” says Matos, who aspires to be a full-time TV sports anchor. “Covering the pro sports, hopefully, someone from the English side will take notice, and I can make my crossover.”
There’s one big catch in Matos’s story:
His radio and TV stints are part-time, volunteer endeavors. His day job: recruitment coordinator for Hult International Business School in Cambridge. He also bartends on weekends to pay his student loans.
While his dedication and hard work are admirable, you have to wonder how long the outlets Matos is working for will take advantage of his willingness to do it for free, and how long he can keep it up under those conditions. But if it all pays off in a full-time job, it will have been worth it.