One of the most important factors in developing a successful broadcasting career is initiative.
Carson High senior Chris Graham has already shown plenty of initiative in developing his aspiring broadcasting career. Graham took the initiative to become an announcer for Carson High baseball games this past spring on KPTL 1300 radio and has taken the initiative to attend broadcasting school in the fall.
Graham is also certain where he wants all to end. "My ultimate goal of my career is to broadcast for the San Francisco Giants," he said. "I know that's a long ways away, but you've got to start somewhere."
His start came announcing games for local public access television with Dan Slater on the Local Sports Program. Then he really decided to jump start his dream when he saw a KPTL banner hanging from the Ron McNutt Field luxury box.
Graham called the station to ask if he could broadcast the Senator games and Lee Adams of the station gave him a chance. So for the rest of the season, Graham worked with broadcast partner Craig Swope. Graham said he obviously appreciated the chance that Adams gave him and also enjoyed working with Swope.
"It wasn't so nerve wracking," said Graham about his first broadcast on KPTL, adding his experience on the Local Sports Program helped.
But Graham admitted he was a little nervous. "You always have those first-time jitters in everything," he said.
When he began, Graham also admitted he was somewhat rough around the edges. "The first part of the year I made a lot of mistakes," he said. "The first part of the year was pretty interesting."
But Graham went back and listened to his tapes and anyone who listened to the games this season should have been able to tell that he was more at ease as the year went along. "It was a lot of fun," he said.
Graham said he'll also never be satisfied. "I know there's always room for improvement," he said. "I know I have a lot more to learn."
He said he learned to "just be fluent with your speech and don't be biased." That second part was hard since Graham was understadably pulling for Carson, especially during the Senators' 6-5, 11-inning win over Douglas. "Sometimes it was kind of hard for me being a senior at Carson High," he said.
On radio, Graham said he also learned he needed to be as descriptive as possible. There was also one more important job he learned that many broadcasters even at the Major League level don't seem to be able to grasp - giving the score.
"You've got to report the score a lot," he said. "I want to know the score. I know listeners, they want to know the score. You've got to let them know what's going on."
Graham will graduate in June and then heads to Phoenix to the Academy of Radio and TV. He plans to attend school there for seven months, beginning in Septemeber.
Again, he came to the school through his own initiative. "I was just looking on the internet," he said.
There was another reason for choosing Phoenix. "I don't have to deal with three feet of snow," he said.
If everything goes according to plan, Graham will finish his schooling at about the time Spring Training starts. Graham said he would obviously love to work in any fashion with a Major League team during Spring Training. He would also obviously like to work with the Giants.
"I'm not going to limit myself to the Giants even though the Giants are my favorite team," he said. "I'll start anywhere."
Another possibility is after he returns from Phoenix is to broadcast Western Nevada Community College baseball games next year, which KPTL is considering.
An associates degree from WNCC and attending a four-year school all could be in the future. "We'll have to see," Graham said. "You can never have too much schooling."
Whatever it takes to reach his dream. "I love doing the baseball," Graham said. "I love the game of baseball.
"I just love everything about the game of baseball. I'll probably be doing this if I can until the day I die. There will be no retirement."