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Q&A: Bears Sideline Reporter Lyndsay Petruny Chats About Life in the Sports Broadcasting Industry

December 10, 2013 • Ben Heck • Front Page, Interviews, NFC

Current Chicago Bears sideline reporter Lyndsay Petruny was able to take time out of her busy schedule to chat with All-Out Blitz about her days as a college student at Kent State and what it takes to make it in the broadcasting industry.

Petruny, with over five years of experience within the sports broadcasting industry, has worked several gigs with numerous different big-time broadcasting networks (on-air and off-air), including FOX, CBS Boston, Big Ten Network, Comcast SportsNet and The CW. In addition to her sideline reporting duties with the Chicago Bears, Lyndsay is an on-air talent for two FOX shows––Inside the Bears and Bears Gameday Live. Past broadcasting jobs of Lyndsay’s include Penn State Correspondent for the Big Ten Network, a Steelers show with the Pittsburgh-area CBS affiliate and reporter/producer for Kraft Sports Production, where she hosted numerous shows covering the New England Patriots.

Here’s the full interview:

All-Out Blitz: What made you want to get into sports broadcasting?

Lyndsay Petruny: My very first semester at Kent State, I was an Exploratory major. I took a class called “Media, Power, and Culture” and decided I wanted to pursue Journalism. My father was an English teacher for 34 years and I’ve always liked writing. I also enjoyed my high school journalism class and did some writing for my high school newspaper, so I thought I’d give Journalism and Mass Communication a shot at Kent State. Soon after, I got a spot as a sports reporter on Kent State’s student-run television station, TV-2. I gained invaluable reporting experience there while I was still in college. Eventually, I stepped into more extensive reporting work at TV-2. I was the sideline reporter at Kent State basketball games, a co-host on a weekly sports talk show called “SportsCorner,” the Sports Director at the station, and the producer of “SportsCorner.” I was also a co-host on a weekly civics show on PBS in Cleveland called “NewsOhio.” In three of my broadcast classes, I was required to do a minimum of 10 packages, which included all writing, shooting, and editing. It was hard work and very time-consuming, but it benefitted me greatly down the road.

AOB: What ended up being your first job upon graduation?

Lyndsay: I had a life-changing internship experience at FOX Sports Network in Los Angeles right before graduation. Eventually, after earning a degree in Broadcast News at Kent State University, I landed my first job with the CBS affiliate in Pittsburgh, KDKA, which is also partnered with the CW Network in Pittsburgh. I worked behind the scenes on a show called The Nightly Sports Call and in front of the camera as a reporter on a Pittsburgh Steelers show called Steelers Saturday Night. I was also a correspondent for the Big Ten Network at Penn State University. My coverage of the Nittany Lions was televised nationally on Big Ten Tonight.

AOB: And now that you’re working for the Chicago Bears, what’s kind of a typical week-day for you like?

Lyndsay: My main responsibilities are for Inside the Bears, a year-round magazine show airing weekends on FOX Chicago. During the season, I also report for a show on FOX Chicago called Bears Gameday Live. My responsibilities during the week are feature stories for Inside the Bears and shooting the show in the Chicago Bears Network Studios at Halas Hall. For Bears Gameday Live, I’m in the locker room talking with Bears players about the upcoming game.

AOB: What do you think is the most important aspect, or trait, to have in your profession, especially in terms of all the interviewing?

Lyndsay: I do my research. It’s so important to be prepared. I always do more research than necessary. Another thing that is crucial in this industry is time management. It’s always a work in progress, so you have to learn to prioritize and make sure you’re prepared, because things may get thrown at you that you might not expect.

AOB: Do you have any last words of wisdom for anyone that is trying to break-out into the industry?

Lyndsay: Take advantage of internships and the opportunity to be involved in student media as much as possible. The experience is invaluable and will give you all the tools you need to become a better journalist. People in student media organizations and your internships will give you opportunities if you make yourself stand out and show them that you have what it takes to succeed in this industry.

For more information about Lyndsay Petruny, her career, or the Chicago Bears, you can follow her on Twitter (@LPetruny) or visit her website at lyndsaypetruny.com.

Photo courtesy of Lyndsay’s official website.

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