Magazine Feature / People

University of Denver alumnus anchors news

Many young journalism graduates dream of the day they can sit in the anchor’s chair. Todd Unger didn’t have to wait long to realize that dream; he graduated from the DU School of Communication in June and now is a reporter and anchor for KNOP-TV, the NBC affiliate in North Platte, Neb. 

“Ever since I can remember, broadcasting has been what I’ve wanted to do,” Unger says. “I remember watching sporting events or newscasts and being just as entertained by the broadcasts as the content.”

That intrigue of content and style is what led Unger to focus his career on broadcasting instead of print journalism. He says his interest in the medium was piqued by broadcast journalism classes at DU taught by John Fosholt, a photographer and editor at KUSA 9News in Denver, and Adam Schrager, aKUSA reporter and political anchor.

“It was a great class because it exposes you to the differences between print and television mediums,” Unger says. “Writing for television is more conversational, but also more succinct because you’re writing to images so you don’t have to explain every detail.” 

It’s the details that landed Unger in his current position at KNOP. In a field known for fierce competition, Unger knew he needed to get an edge on his fellow graduates and sought to produce a resume tape that would wow prospective employers. 

“Having a dynamic resume tape is the key and what gets you that first job,” he says. 

Unger produced his resume tape with help from a friend and mentor he met while interning at KVDR Fox 31 News in Denver. He believes interning is one of the best ways to gain experience and to help land a first job, but he also cautions that students need to put a lot of effort into their internship experience. 

“You get out of the internship what you put in,” Unger says. “You have to be aggressive. Often times, assignment editors will try and just sit you at the desk. If you’re smart about it, it’s not hard to skip out with a reporter to cover a story — that’s where the learning starts.” 

As for his long-term goals, Unger hopes to move to a network position as a political or foreign correspondent. Until then, he’s just glad to be sit¬ting in the anchor chair, living his childhood dream.

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