Published Jan 19, 2021
Recent Sportscasting Grad Starts as Weekend Anchor for Pittsburgh-Area NBC Affiliate
Carley Ford covers the Pittsburgh Steelers, Penn State, and more as a weekend sports anchor for WJAC-TV.
Full Sail grad Carley Ford is putting her bachelor's degree in Sportscasting to work as the new weekend sports anchor for NBC affiliate station WJAC-TV. Covering professional, college, and local sports in and around the Pittsburgh area, Carley's reporting includes major league teams such as the Steelers and the Pirates along with teams from universities including Penn State and the University of Pittsburgh.
"I grew up playing sports my entire life," says Carley. "After high school, I knew I wanted to continue with sports, but I didn't want to play them anymore. I had a passion for it, so then I figured what would be a good way to continue that would be to work in sports."
After finishing high school, Carley toured the Full Sail campus but opted for a degree in broadcast journalism from Virginia Commonwealth University. "I just wasn't sure about it, and I'm glad I wasn't, because my program didn't exist yet," Carley recalls. "After VCU, when I wasn't sure what I wanted to do, my dad suggested Full Sail, and Full Sail got me to where I am now."
During her time as a campus student, Carley had the opportunity to take advantage of a partnership with Rollins College to cover athletics.
"The partnership with Rollins was amazing because not only was I calling games, but I was getting to do stories on Rollins athletes," she says. "Honestly, that was a big preparation for where I am now."
When it came time to find a full-time role, the grad kept in mind the importance of a strong professional network and connected with instructors and Program Director Gus Ramsey.
"Gus knew somebody who was leaving [WJAC] and put me in contact with them, and then they put me in contact with the news director and the sports director," says Carley. "You have to know what's going on and know who to talk to about it."
Even with the pandemic greatly impacting the world of live sports, Carley has found it hasn't hurt the need for content and coverage.
"We'll cover whatever's big," she says. "I'm not really having to go out and find stories right now…I'm more in [the] studio every day."
For games Carley can't attend due to health and safety protocols, she's given access to practice footage, game content, and more that allows her to report on Pittsburgh sports as she would if she were working in a more traditional setting.
While she loves the opportunity to work in the studio, the grad admits nothing compares to being able to report from the sideline.
"You're in the atmosphere," she says. "That's one thing I like about my job now is that when I go shoot games, it's right in front of me…You're breaking the story as soon as it happens."