By Ehlayna NapolitanoStaff Writer
Harry Cicma, an NBC sports anchor, visited Professor Telfort’s public relations class on the morning of Wednesday, Feb. 27. Cicma anchors for multiple radio stations and is a producer of several sports-oriented TV shows.
Cicma addressed the class for 40 minutes about the field of broadcast journalism before accepting questions from students.
“I thought [this] would be a good experience to expose the students to his professionalism,” said Professor Telfort. He hoped that the informal session would prepare his class for the professional world of journalism.
Cicma graduated from Rutgers University and found a job at a small TV station in Sioux Falls, Iowa. In the following decade he chased his ideal job from one TV station to another.
“I was literally living on an air mattress [at one point],” Cicma said. “I was interviewing famous people but I was barely making any money.”
Now Cicma produces several television shows focused on “niche sports,” like tennis and fencing. He is also working as the third sports anchor on NBC—a station that he applied to for nearly ten years before a happenstance phone call finally got him hired.
Hailey Fitch, a second-year public relations major who hopes to practice corporate PR at Disney, took heart from Cicma’s talk.
“It’s really scary; you don’t know where you’re going to end up because journalism is getting smaller,” Fitch said. “It’s great to hear that he went through all of these things and he still got his dream.”
Cicma imparted experiential wisdom on the students, encouraging them to pursue their passions with fervor and with dedication. “If you love something and you have talent… amazing things can happen,” he said. “That’s what happened to me. ‘My dream is to anchor in a city with a big skyline.’ That’s what I used to say and now I’m in New York.”
This is precisely what Fitch is taking out of the experience. “[My takeaway] is to just keep trying,” she said. “Even if you feel down in the dumps, just keep going.”