Jamie McCracken

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I also did not leave myself in a cage. I tried everything. My first experience in college was when I was hired by the campus radio station as an on-air sports personality.

For the last six years, I have spent building and developing a career in journalism, and I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity to be part of the WYMT sports team. I was born and raised in North Central West Virginia, where I spent my entire life, not including a few moves here and there for an internship or job.

My career started as a junior in high school when I interned at Channel 12 WBOY, the NBC-affiliated local television station in Clarksburg, W.Va. When I attended West Virginia University in Morgantown, I knew exactly what I wanted to do: continue being a multimedia sports journalist.

There was not a lot of time to party, but I do not feel as if I sacrificed anything. Sacrificing means giving up something; if I partied, I would have sacrificed what I truly love to do: talk sports and tell stories.

I also did not leave myself in a cage. I tried everything. My first experience in college was when I was hired by the campus radio station as an on-air sports personality. I did everything from sportscasts to color commentating/play-by-play to hosting the “Sportspage,” a 1-3 hour sports talk show on Friday nights. But again, I did not limit myself. I wrote for three newspapers, including The Daily Athenaeum (WVU’s student paper), The Dominion Post (a larger paper in Morgantown, WVa.) and USA Today (in McLean, Va.), where I completed a four-month internship writing as a National Football League reporter. However, I had the chance to do so many things there – like interview Tiger Woods, Billie Jean King, and covering the Washington Redskins and Baltimore Ravens training camps. Throughout college, I also was a freelance producer for ESPN, CBS Sports, FOX and the Mountaineer Sports Network. I spent Friday nights during the WV high school football season at WVMetroNews as a producer for “High School Gamenight,” a statewide, three-hour radio show while the games concluded. I was also a journalist for WVU football and basketball at MetroNews. I have even dipped into some regular news, non-sports reporting at MetroNews and during my time as a writer with newspapers and online.

The coolest opportunity I ever had was at ESPN in Bristol, Conn. in the fall of 2011 as a studio production intern. I do not classify it as an internship, though, because I was able to do everything a regular employee/production assistant did: cut highlights and partials for Sportscenter and variety shows (NASCAR Now, NFL Live, etc.), run the teleprompter, write shot sheets and talent scripts, work on the VO unit, feed video to ABC and much more. The best part were the observation days because it was up to me to shadow whatever department I wanted, so I took advantage of it by dipping my nose into the ESPN radio wing and shows like First Take. This is where I cultivated a relationship with former WYMT sports reporter/anchor Jay Crawford.

If it wasn’t for the 45 minute conversation I had with Jay after a 7 a.m. prep meeting when he was hosting First Take on ESPN2, I know for a fact I would not be here at WYMT. Jay recommended me. And now, I am here, anxious to learn, get better each and every day, and bring you the best coverage I possibly can through entertaining storytelling. Sports are intended to be the fun part of a newscast. I hope you will have fun with me.