By Jade Henschel, Alexis Beck, Madison Heun, and Angela White
Kyle Malzhan, a December 2020 graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay, is currently a Digital Reporter/Multimedia Journalist (MMJ) at WFRV in Green Bay.
He initially wanted to study print journalism but transitioned to broadcast journalism after realizing how quickly print was fading out.
High School and College
As a senior in high school, he started a sports blog called “Cubs Live,” sharing Cubs news 24/7. Cubs Live is still active and has almost 30,000 followers on Twitter.
“I just kept growing and doing anything and everything to get my foot in the door with an opportunity,” Malzhan says.
Then, he appeared on WGN’s “Sports Feed,” talking about Cubs with Jarret Payton, the son of the NFL Hall of Famer Walter Payton, and Josh Frydman.
He says that in college, he was not involved on campus.
“I wish there was a UW-Green Bay broadcast where there was a student-run newsroom,” he explains.
He did, however, work in production for UWGB Athletics.
Malzhan applied for a job at WFRV-TV and got the job on the spot in 2017. He was a production assistant and floor director for WFRV’s Packer Show, Locker Room. This began his WFRV career.
In 2019, he won first place in the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association’s Student Awards for Excellence in the Television Sports reporting category. The story was made for Danielle Bina’s News Reporting and Writing course and was about basketball player Sandy Cohen’s journey to UWGB.
Multiple internships helped him get on-camera experience.
“I was the on-air host to the Northwoods League Pregame show for the Northwoods League studio in Rochester, MN. I covered 72 games in 77 days…I’d also do live shows for our events,” Malzhan explains.
The internship was in the summer of 2019.
Then monthly, he hosted a show on Fox Sports Wisconsin called, “Northwoods League Now,” a 30-minute network show talking about everything that’s going on in the NWL.
Malzhan graduated from UWGB in December 2020.
Malzhan was the first full-time Digital Reporter/MMJ at WFRV, a position he says, “was created for me.”
His Monday through Friday work week consists of covering news and sports stories. This is a nice change of pace from working every weekend in the behind-the-scenes roles he had previously. He doesn’t cover murders, fires, or hard news. As he says, “I get to do the fun stuff.”
That “fun stuff” ranges from reporting live in hot air balloons to being in the Packers locker room covering post-game reactions.
Malzhan says that the best part about being a digital reporter/MMJ is creativity.
“You meet so many people while going out and doing these stories, which gives you the ability to network,” Malzhan says.
Success Doesn’t Just Happen.
Matt Reynoldson, Sports Anchor at WFRV and a co-worker of Malzhan, says that a great strength of Malzhan is his dedication to being versatile.
“Early in a broadcasting career, it’s easy to get bored or apathetic when it comes to individual stories or assignments, but Kyle attacks each day like it’s the most important story of his career. He gets excited about each interview and gets a thrill out of doing the little things,” Reynoldson explains.
Reynoldson adds, “…One thing that stands out about him is his ideation. He’s a marketplace of ideas, and it seems like each one of those ideas is able to be executed in a unique way.”
Natasha Geiger, Digital Content Director at WFRV, says that Malzhan excels the most in storytelling.
“Kyle does an amazing job of picking the right sound bites from his interviews and makes it easy for anyone to follow along – that’s much of the reason why he’s our top Digital MMJ performer on this team,” Geiger says.
“I am constantly learning from him, his technique, and his passion, and I know that his co-workers are too,” Geiger adds.
Advice for Aspiring Journalists
“Kyle is setting himself up for success by doing one thing I’d tell any journalist early in their career – never turning down a new opportunity,” Reynoldson says, “He works as hard as anyone I know, got the most out of his internships in college and has clear goals in mind for how to follow his ideal career path. His experience in so many different areas will only make him better at whatever he chooses to focus on moving forward.”
Malzhan also had advice for students.
“Take every single opportunity you can get,” Malzhan says, “If you really are invested in your career, give up those weekends of hanging out with your friends and create opportunity.”
He adds that internships are beneficial because they offer hands-on work that reflects what you learn in class.
“Don’t be afraid to reach out to others that you may look up to or peers. They were there once. They will help you out,” Malzhan explains, “As long as you are passionate about what you do and create opportunities for yourself, you’ll go as far as you take it.”