by Kendall Poltzer
“When I grew up I was fascinated by radio. I wanted to b a DJ,” said Todd Grisham,
ESPN SportsCenter anchor and keynote speaker at the University of West Georgia’s 2016
Media Day. Todd, a 1998 graduate of UWG and former resident of Carrollton, was also
the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award by the Department of Mass Communications.
Future UWG graduates and alumni, many of who are hoping to begin a career that will lead to the kind of success Todd has enjoyed, attended Media Day.
Todd is regarded as a successful journalist, but the journey to the top wasn't always easy for him. When he first started out as an intern for Steve Gradick, owner of Gradick Communications, he worked the night shift. His primary job was running commercials, and he was not even permitted to speak on air. When he finally landed his first television gig, Todd worked for minimum wage and lived in someone’s basement.
Through all of this, he maintained a positive attitude and made the best of his situation.
“I made $50 a month, but I was on TV, and I felt like a star,” Todd said.
ESPN’s Todd Grisham, UWG Alum, Gives Keynote Speech at Media DayA major contributing factor of Todd’s success is owed to the education he received while attending UWG. During his undergraduate education, he learned how to shoot and edit video. He also took advantage of the hands-on opportunities to learn about how the industry works on campus. The campus radio station allowed him to get the real world experience he needed to make it in the industry.
Todd encouraged the students in the audience to chase their dream like he did when he was first starting out.
“Believe that you can do it,” he said. “I believed in me.”
Todd received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of West Georgia following his keynote address and participated in the networking sessions with students. Media Day is an annual event that is open to all interested students free of charge. This year’s Media Day was attended by companies such as Chick-fil-a, Radio 105.7, and Southwire.
To see what Media Day means to mass communications students, watch this video.