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Life & Work with Channing Reid

Today we’d like to introduce you to Channing Reid.

Hi Channing, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I started my journey in media at a young age. At the age of six, I began to enterprise my own “newscasts” from my bedroom with my dad’s old camcorder. By all means, they are definitely cringe-worthy, but looking back, I just wanted to do it because it made me happy. As the years went on, I would begin to teach myself some of the storytelling skills I would see from some of my favorite on-air journalists and talkshow hosts. In college, while working towards my degree in Journalism, I had the opportunity to work as an executive producer, anchor, and reporter at the station on campus. Since graduating, I have challenged myself and explored more into the talk show realm, creating my own panel-style show, but I have also found opportunities to report on more serious stories and headlines. I honestly love doing both and I love creating content that people can find helpful or entertaining.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Upfront and honest…NO. It has not been easy at all. It’s actually the main reason why I decided to get serious about creating my OWN content, whether it be a weekly talk show, the occasional newscast, or 2-3 minute package. After getting my degree, I thought that was all I needed to get a big boy job on TV. Little did I know, that was not the case. The news industry is becoming extremely competitive and it really does depend on who you know (but let’s be honest…in what industry is that not the case…?). Straight out of college, I applied to about 15-20 different stations all over the country in small markets and big. I only heard from about 2-3 and actually got lead on by one station (the news director said I would be an amazing anchor on his morning newscast, and then never got back to me and ignored my emails thereafter). I found a mentor who currently works in the business to help me and give me a guide to navigating that first job, and unfortunately, even after having the amazing opportunity to interview for positions at both KTLA and KABC (which is unusual for someone who is straight out of college), I realized that for in my life right now, it isn’t the right time to pursue a career in TV news. I am very happy with my personal life, achievements and current occupation in another industry, which I can talk about later. Looking ahead, however, I am hopeful that my time will come as I continue to create my own content and establish more relationships in the business.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I selected the artist/creative category because I believe that my current career involves two different specialties but uses the same process to get a similar outcome. Along with my passion to work in media as I shared before, I also have had a passion for the performing arts for as long as I can remember. In 2017, I started working for the Walt Disney Company as a performer at the Disneyland Resort. My job has been the most fulfilling job I’ve had so far in my career. I get to create magical moments for visitors all around the world and get to transport them from real life to fantasy through immersive experiences. It truly is something that you can’t do anywhere else. Over the course of my work, I have also had opportunities to tap into the creative elements of our operation which is why I am able to make the connection so easily to my work in media.

As a producer and host, anchor, reporter, on-air personality, etc., the foundation of that work is creativity. I have to ask myself, what is something that is newsworthy? Something that will catch the viewer’s eye? Something that will both entertain and inform (in some cases)? The same process is used when I am backstage waiting to go on and perform at Disney. I have always been known to pay very close attention to the details in everything that I do. I have had so many friends come up to me and say that they felt like my content was watching something that would be on national TV or would have a huge team of people behind. I always take it as a compliment, but also credit the attention to detail because that can really drive anything forward whether it be a performance, immersive experience, talkshow, or newscast that is built from scratch all by yourself.

Do you have any advice for those looking to network or find a mentor?
My advice is to REACH OUT! Do not be afraid to send that message, email, or phone call to someone you look up to and has more experience in the business! There is nothing to lose. And just how they say with finding a job, be persistent! Let them know how much they mean to you and how they can help you in your journey. I contacted my mentor because I remembered watching her as a reporter when I was growing up in Phoenix, AZ. One day in college, I was watching news here in LA and noticed her. I decided to send her a message on LinkedIn telling her that I remembered when she worked in Phoenix and she got back to me. I have loved getting the chance to know her more and I actually had a chance to help her with one of her projects too. You never know what could happen.

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