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IRELAND:Former Sea King no paper boy


The sportscaster on TV with KCAL Channel 9 and on the radio with ESPN got his start delivering the local newspaper back in the day.

August 07, 2007|By Matt Szabo

Q: What was it like for you after graduating from UCLA? You went out of California for a few years.

A: That's typical in this business. If you want to go into television news, they've got to get a tape of you recording, so they can see what you look like on camera. I made a tape at UCLA and sent it out all over the place, and ended up in Monroe, La. in 1985. I stayed there for six months as a news reporter; sports jobs were too hard to get.

Then, I got a sports job in Beaumont, Texas, from 1986-90. I spent two years there as the weekend guy, then two years as the weekday guy. The guy I was working for there bought a station in San Diego in 1990, and that was my big break. I was in San Diego from 1990-95, then I got the KCAL job in '95 and I've been there ever since.


Q: Did you know that you eventually wanted to come back to Southern California?

A: Yeah, obviously that's what you want to do if you could pull it off. It's easier said than done. Los Angeles is the No. 2 market in the country, so I knew I wasn't going to get a job right out of college working in L.A. But I had begun targeting getting back to L.A. once I got to San Diego. I sent tapes to a couple of different stations in L.A. and got a good response.

Guys would say stuff like, "I don't have anything right now, but keep sending me anything you think is good." So maybe once a year, I would send tapes, and finally in '95 something opened up at Channel 9. As a matter of fact, the guy I replaced on Channel 9 is Mark Steines, who's now on "Entertainment Tonight."

Q: You've been a sports guy at KCAL longer than anyone else currently there. Are you like the elder statesman?

A: I've been there the longest, but I'm the youngest guy. It's funny how that works. But there have been a lot of great people who have come through there … I think it helps that I wear a lot of different hats. I'm on the radio, and then I marry myself to the Lakers for six months. They can send me anywhere, and I think my versatility has helped. If you're just the anchor, it's harder to keep those gigs, because you kind of live and die with the ratings … And I got to the Lakers the same year Shaq and Kobe got to the Lakers, so that's really lucky timing. That helps.

Q: What's it like covering the Lakers?

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