By Kelli Phillips
“You must have the best job in the world!” Words often spoken to my husband, Bob, after more than four decades of traveling the back roads of Texas. Spending all of my professional life in media of some type, I would have to agree.
Television has been a part of my life ever since I was a teen and a local merchant asked me to appear in his TV commercials. Commercials soon turned to long format videos and even a brief stint in radio. Then at the tender age of 18, I was chosen to be the co-host of “Evening Magazine” in San Antonio. At that point, I guess you could say, I had been bitten by the TV bug! So when I was asked to be a part of a morning news team in Beaumont, Texas, it was hard to say no. Mornings soon turned to afternoons then evenings with all the hard-hitting news of the day.
The addition of social media suited me well, too, because it gave me the opportunity to keep my viewers informed on a minute by minute basis. I felt a responsibility to be the person everyone could turn to when they needed to know what was going on in our community.
I especially love reporting the stories about every day unsung heroes, ordinary people often doing extraordinary things to help others. It was after watching just such a story I had delivered on our local newscast that Bob said, “I really liked that. It reminded me of something we would do on TCR. Too bad you don’t have time to tell the WHOLE story. “
That started the many wheels in my brain turning an unfamiliar way. I had not given it much thought but, by necessity, television news is an abbreviated series of headlines followed by the bare facts. I wanted to tell stories about people’s lives. So when Bob said, a short time later, “I have an idea for how to make TCR, and my life, even better,” I was very interested in hearing what he had to say.
Leaving hard news reporting behind was not without a certain amount of self-doubt. What I did in news felt important, because it was important. But, now, after traveling the Texas back roads for the past three months in preparation for the new season of TCR, I realize these stories about the positive things people are doing with their lives are equally important.
And to top off my newfound love for this new direction in my life, just today a woman said to me, “You must have the best job in the world!”
“Yes I do,” I told her. Yes, I do.