Olympic broadcaster shares industry success

The multi-media speaker series went off with a roaring start, featuring well-known American broadcaster Bill Seward as the first speaker this semester.

The Media Arts department’s speaker series brings in experts in journalism, broadcasting and cinema to share their expertise with students and give them insider advice about working in their respective industries.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for students to hear from people who are doing the things they may want to do in their career and be able to get up close and personal with experts and professionals who have the experience and hear what they have to say,” Assistant Professor of Journalism Tracey Savage said.

On Wednesday, Sept. 14 Seward was the first speaker of the series this semester. He delivered an inspirational speech with quick wit and a sense of humor, trying to motivate students to take hold of their success in the industry.

Seward has been a sports anchor for ESPN, KCBS-TV and KNX-AM, as well as the rugby commentator for the 2016 Olympic Games. He also has a steady acting career in movies, television and commercials.

“If you want to do this, you will do it,” Seward said. “No matter what other people tell you, please don’t let somebody derail what you want to do because their opinion is that you can’t do it.”

Seward spoke about his beginnings in Sherman Oaks and his choice to get in the field of broadcasting, as well as the risks and rewards that come with the business. One of Seward’s examples of risk was his attempts to be picked up by an agent from New York, who after reviewing his submission, suggested he find work in some other field.

“If I took her words and gave them value, I probably would have quit the business, because I went from making say 50 grand and living in Manhattan Beach, coaching football and teaching high school 9 months out of the year, to I made 800 dollars a month, in Eureka, being on T.V., being on billboards in Humboldt county, but I wanted to do it,” Seward said.

Seward also stressed the importance of networking within a group of likeminded individuals.

“The guy or the gal that you’re sitting next to, in ten years, they’re the EP [Executive Producer] of some show or they’re the EP of some network or they’re the news director somewhere, and ‘oh by the way we need somebody to do this,’” Seward said.  “And that’s what you do, so come along and do it. It just works out that way.”

Seward ended the event by answering a couple rounds of questions from students.

Announcer for Brahma’s football games and host of the night Ethan “Scooby” Hansen explained that the speakers here, some of them are former student themselves, that have gone here and gone on and done great things.

“This is where you get to create your opportunity to make something of yourself and if you’re strong enough and your strong willed enough, you will get somewhere,” Hansen said.

Hansen spoke of what great prospects the campus offers to its students and the overlooked benefits of attending Pierce that some students may not be aware of.

“One thing about Pierce College that’s probably the most underrated part about this school is its media arts department,” Hansen said.  “All the people that work in the media arts program here at Pierce College, they are truly some of the best people, and some of the most respected people, in their industry, that you will know.”

According to Savage, on Thursday Oct. 6, Fox 11 KTTV’s Jeff Schultz, a 30-year veteran television producer, will be speaking at the college in the Great Hall as the speaker for the series.