Our newest Meet the Media feature is Q13 News Sports Anchor and Reporter, Michelle Ludtka. Michelle loves the positivity and inspiration that she gets to share through her work! Get to know more about her by connecting with her on Twitter.
How did you find yourself in your current role?
I started at Q13 in 2012 as a freelance news writer. I had just wrapped up my first job out of college as a Sports Anchor/Reporter in Idaho Falls, Idaho (market 162) and turned down a fulltime sports position in Tucson, Arizona so I could move back home. Q13 couldn’t offer me anything on-air because I was coming from such a small market, but I felt like the move was worth the risk. Within a month of being at Q13, they gave me an on-air audition and moved me to the weekend Sports Anchor roll. Six months later I was moved to fulltime sports which is where I have been now for the last eight years.
Which of your stories are you most proud of?
There are two that come to mind. The first is a feature I did on a man by the name of Junior Coffey. He is a horse trainer at Emerald Downs but came to Seattle in the 1960s to play football at the University of Washington. He was the first black man to integrate his high school in West Texas and his story of overcoming racism and trying to find joy when he had been surrounded by so much hate touched me in a way no other story ever has.
The second was a series I worked on in June 2019 to coincide with the Women’s World Cup. It was an All-Local Women & Girls in Sports Series where I was able to highlight women and girls in sports that normally don’t get the attention they deserve. It was inspiring and encouraging, and some of the best storytelling I’ve ever done.
What is your favorite thing about your job?
Getting to lend a voice to those that may not have one, and also priding myself in thinking that the stories I share bring joy to the viewers. There is so much negative in the world and sports usually is a break from that.
What is your interview style?
Very conversational. I do my research and have a general idea of what questions I may want to ask, but I’d rather have a conversation and see where it goes. I find that when you don’t stick to a script and are really listening to what is being said, you get the most authentic and genuine responses from people.
What do you look for in a story?
Passion. I love talking with people who have a passion, whatever that may be. If something is important to someone that comes through in a conversation or interview.
What is your day like at your job?
Pre-COVID, it entailed a lot of driving. I would spend my days going from one story/practice/press conference to another, with a couple days a week dedicated to anchoring or hosting one of our many sports shows. During COVID, I’ve been working almost completely from my home. All interviews are done virtually, and I only go into the studio to tape certain shows that require it. But if I had to try and summarize it, I would say it’s a lot of juggling. We are very lucky to live in a city that has so many major sports teams and college teams. Almost every day it’s a different story, team or show so I am always busy (which is something I really enjoy).
Who do you most look up to in the journalism industry?
For me, it’s mostly women who have paved the way for women in sports. On the national level I love Erin Andrews, Rachel Nichols and Charissa Thompson. But I’ve been very fortunate to call the incredible Cindy Brunson and Angie Mentink friends and mentors. That’s not to exclude the incredible men who’ve helped me out along the way that I’ve learned so much from. I always enjoying reading/watching Eric Johnson from KOMO and Jayson Jenks at The Athletic. Both of their storytelling abilities are absolutely beautiful.
What is your favorite news outlet?
CNN for News and ESPN for Sports, but I always read the Seattle Times for local coverage
Fill in the blank:
- If I am not working, I am… spending time with the husband and family, reading, taking walks (I love walking) or exploring (I love playing tourist even in my own City).
- If I could interview anyone, it would be… Billie Jean King – she has been my role model since I was a little girl.
- My favorite thing about Seattle is… it’s home and it will always be my home.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Chocolate and Red Wine – together, separate, you just can’t go wrong with either of those.
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