Most Stressful Jobs: #10 Broadcaster, WJON’s Jim Maurice [VIDEO]
ST. CLOUD -- A childhood dream come true, WJON's Jim Maurice got exactly what he wished for, a career as a broadcaster.
"I think from the sixth or seventh grade I knew I wanted to be in radio for the fact that I actually made a career for myself, almost 30-years now in radio is something I'm very proud of, that I was able to accomplish, something I knew I wanted to do early on in life, I just always knew I wanted to be in this business."
With the many hats a broadcaster has to wear, the career comes in at #10 on this year's top 10 most stressful jobs list, developed by Careercast.com.
"We're a multimedia reporter now, yes I have a job in radio beyond that I also have a job as a journalist, a website reporter, social media content [reporter], everything - all of the above."
After graduating from Maynard High School, Maurice studied communications at Brown College. His first gig out of school was at KDMA AM 1460 in Montivideo. As like most starting out in broadcasting he had the night shift but through the years he worked his way up to become the station's sports director. He eventually moved to KLGR AM 1490 in Redwood Falls, at KLGR Maurice started in the sports department and later was promoted to the station's program director. Maurice says he loved his sports broadcasting days but he knew he was destined to be in a newsroom.
"I knew I always wanted to be in news, that was my end goal always but that's not where my career path was going at the time. Sports seemed to be the direction I was going and I was pretty good at it and people wanted me in that role so I did it, when I had a chance to be a program director I took that opportunity, this job here came along and I took that opportunity. So I guess you take those opportunities when they present themselves."
After spending ten years at KLGR Maurice finally had a chance to get into a newsroom, since 2005 he has been at WJON in St. Cloud as the news director. His day starts before most of us are out of bed.
"I get here at 4:30 a.m. every morning and my first task is to see what happened overnight, is there any breaking news that happened, statewide, local wide, anything that needs to get updated right away. I anchor the morning news on two of our stations of course AM 1240 WJON and [our sister station] Mix 94.9 FM."
Maurice's day is never the same, he's just as busy off-air as he is on-air.
"I write stories, I do interviews with people, I go out to make public appearances and of course I host the News at Noon Show from noon to 1:00 p.m. every day, so I have to make sure I have guests for that."
Besides his own tasks Maurice also manages five full-time reporters in the newsroom he says his most important part of his day is meeting with his team.
"The news meeting at 9:15 a.m. everyday is a big part of what we do to set ourselves up for a successful day in the newsroom."
During the news meeting, reporters go over their assignments with Maurice and pitch new story ideas. Maurice holds two news meetings a day one with the three reporters that work early in the day and the other at 11:45 a.m. with two reporters that work the evening shift.
With the fast paced job Maurice says being a broadcaster does come with its stresses.
"Radio especially news is stressful especially when it's breaking news. Whether it is a big event that's happening in town, that's all of sudden happening on a Saturday night that we weren't prepared for or if it's a major storm that's coming in, it can be stressful at the time it's happening."
Constantly being in the public eye can also be challenging.
"We try not to be too thin-skinned about people who are critical of our work, you'll see something on Facebook of something that we are not reporting but until we have the confirmation from the officials or the sources we need to get it from we can't report on that. Sometimes we get criticized I guess if you will but we have to just make sure we're doing our due diligence and not report false information."
With news always happening, Maurice says it can be hard to step away an unwind.
"So whether it's at night and I'm sitting at home watching TV or if it's on the weekend, chances are I probably have my laptop open with our website up."
To relieve some of his stresses Maurice likes to exercise and spend time with family and friends. But regardless of the stresses and the challenges Maurice says being a broadcaster is an exciting and rewarding career.
"We're fortunate to have the jobs that we have, it's a wonderful career and you have an opportunity to meet people that most people don't get a chance to meet on a daily basis. Whether it's the mayor, your congressman or the governor or anybody else, we get to meet fascinating people every day and so stress aside this is a wonderful job to have."
Being a broadcaster is not limited to radio broadcasting it also includes TV broadcasting, both fields combined ranked as #10. Tune in next week as we discover the #9 most stressful job, being a taxi driver.