Paul M. Banks conducts an exclusive interview of Fox Soccer Channel’s Katie Witham
For part one of this interview click here
(PMB) So tell us a little bit about how you got started in the sports media industry, and your background…
(KW) Honestly, I just kind of fell into it.
I graduated from Capital University in Columbus, OH with a double major in RTVF (Radio-Television and Film) and Communication where I spent 4 years on the varsity women’s soccer team. Then, while interning with Major League Soccer’s Columbus Crew, I started doing some work on their telecasts and eventually landed on the sidelines. I now work with Fox Soccer Channel doing MLS and WPS (Women’s Professional Soccer) sideline, Fox Sports South for SEC soccer, the Ohio News Network for home Columbus Crew and high school football broadcasts, as well as SportsTime Ohio for high school football and basketball…and I am the Ohio State Correspondent and studio reporter for the Big Ten Network. (WOW..did you get all that? Haha)
(PMB) Wow! I wonder where you find the time to sleep! A couple hours before typing this, I attended the Chicago Fire kickoff luncheon. I’m very excited about covering this season. I know you cover the Columbus Crew for Ohio News Network, and you played soccer in college. I’m sort of a soccer newbie (and I mean that only when compared to my ridiculous nerddom regarding college football and basketball) tell us about life on the MLS beat…And your thoughts on the 2010 World Cup in South Africa…It’s going to be an exciting soccer summer!
(KW) To say that covering MLS is a passion of mine would be an understatement. Seriously, it’s my one true love! And since I don’t really play competitively anymore, standing on the sideline helps fill the void. The great thing about Major League Soccer, especially this year, is that it’s anyone’s game. The league has progressed to the point where every team has their own distinguished players and are extremely competitive overall. This will be a very fun season to watch and my eyes, of course, will be on my beloved black and gold.
As far as the World Cup, a lot of talk has been doubt about what the US can do this year, if anything. I completely disagree. Bob Bradley is the head coach for a reason and they have some solid players including Landon Donovan who’s coming off a successful stint with Everton. A good measuring stick for the MNT should be on June 5th when they face Australia a week before World Cup play begins.
(PMB) The teams we cover have a pretty fierce rivalry with one another. Columbus’ fans travel better than any other franchise to Chicago’s Toyota Park, so I’ve circled that match on the schedule. And given that Columbus is arguably the MLS premier franchises, it’s always a great game in the Chi. Think these two teams will be in the mix late in the postseason? What other MLS teams do you see making some noise this year?
(KW) The Chicago-Columbus game is one of the best!…always a tight, physical, edge of your seat type of match. I think they will both be post-season contenders; joined by Houston, LA and Seattle. Real Salt Lake has a shot of being back-to-back champs, but only if they get their road game together.
(PMB) Ultimately, what are your long term goals in this profession? Or what would be your dream job? I recently read an interview of you on Bleacher Report, and this quote of yours caught my eye. “This is an extremely difficult, cut-throat business and only those who truly love what they’re doing will make it.” I could not agree MORE! lol!
(KW) Honestly, I just want to work…and if I could be doing this exact thing in 5 years but more consistently (and maybe throw in some World Cup reporting here and there), I would be very happy. I mean, I’m being paid to watch sports for a living…there is no better job.
(PMB) I concur.