You have heard their voices on radio and seen their faces on TV. Now The Blade goes behind the scenes to introduce you to your favorite media personalities. Stay Tuned appears the third Monday of every month.
First job: My first job was cleaning the lint collector from the dryer. I was 4 years old and the money was great about $1 every three weeks. The best part about the job was my mother let me keep the lint in a cereal-sized Tupperware container. I hid it in my closet for safe-keeping. Fast-forward 16 years, and my first job in television came right after I graduated from college. I moved home to South Carolina to send out resume tapes and ended up getting a job in my hometown of Myrtle Beach. I lived and worked there for 2 years before WTOL came calling.
First salary: I started receiving my first salary at 21 years old. I had been reporting for WPDE in Myrtle Beach for eight months and had just been named the morning anchor. The change in position meant an upgrade from hourly pay to salary, and I earned every penny of it going into work at 3:30 a.m. and often times staying until 2 p.m., only to go back to bed at 6:30 p.m. My schedule has remained very much the same for my move here to Toledo.
My idol is: There s no one single person I admire there are several: Robin Meade of HLN s Morning Express for her sassy delivery; Neil Cavuto of Fox Business for his matter-of-fact approach; Candace Olsen on HGTV s Divine Design and Divine Basements. (I m trying to buy a house and I m obsessed with her style.)
Most embarrassing TV moment: I had been anchoring the morning news in Myrtle Beach for about six months and was pretty comfortable in my role. I was doing a routine segue from the sports report to our meteorologist who had a cooler forecast to talk about. Since football was the last topic the sports anchor had brought up, it made perfect sense to talk about it actually starting to feel like football weather. However, when I went to say that, my brain got a little ahead of my mouth and instead of saying I love football, I said I love something else. I was mortified. Thank God it never made it to YouTube!
Highlight of my career: Truly, the highlight of my short career so far has been making the move to Toledo. WTOL sought me out from Myrtle Beach when I wasn t searching for a job and offered me a position doing the same amount of work with more resources: more reporters, more folks behind the scenes, more support! I made the move here with the intentions of learning, growing, and improving and I fulfill that promise to myself every day. Every big step should be a milestone and Toledo has been mine!
My favorite thing to do outside of work: If it s been a long day at work, I match it with a long walk with Tyce. If the weather is nice, I try to spend as much time outside as possible which I ve continued to do despite the cold and snow. I love to scrapbook, too. I see it as a way to memorialize my life in pictures. I also collect T-shirts from every place I visit (restaurants, cities, etc.), to make T-shirt quilts. I am a bit of a news junkie, so I spend a good bit of time watching news. It s always on in the background when I m cooking up some exquisite cuisine in the kitchen. Cooking let s me tap into that creative side I love trying something new!
I think Toledo s best-kept secret is: The parks! Simply put, the park system in northwest Ohio is rivaled by none. Between the sprawling hills by Maumee and the long walking trails, I ve counted a few dozen deer. My goal this year is to visit every single park in the area, and already I ve learned a lot about what this wonderful city has to offer just by exploring its most untouched scenes.
People may be surprised to know that I: Have a big performing arts background. It started at a young age with dance. I began competing in clogging and jazz, then moved into theater with singing and acting. I had no aspirations in the news business; quite frankly, the thought never crossed my mind. I went to college for a BFA in musical theater and over time realized the program wasn t for me and decided to major in communication instead. That s how I fell into news. While I was working in Myrtle Beach I got back into dance by teaching and competing in ballroom. What a thrill! The rhythm dances are my favorite.
My dream job is: I don t have just one dream. The truth is, I dream about doing a lot of things: I love to garden how great would it be to own a nursery. I love to dance and I d be tickled pink to return to the ballroom scene. I m an HGTV addict and I d love to be a part of one of those shows. The way I see it, our life expectancy has been extended so dramatically that we have plenty of time to reinvent ourselves more than once!
Contact Kirk Baird firstname.lastname@example.org 419-724-6734.