Whether reporting live during Hurricane Sandy or covering an impending bacon shortage, NBC 10’s Keith Jones has been up for pretty much anything since returning to Philadelphia this past July. The Villanova University grad landed the morning anchor job after two years with Pittsburgh’s ABC affiliate. And did we mention his alarm is set for 2 a.m. daily?
MLT: What sparked your interest in broadcasting?
KJ: I was a men’s basketball manager at Villanova University and traveled the country with the program. At one point, we were number one in the country, and sports reporters started to follow us closely. I got a chance to see what they did on a day-to-day basis. I love writing, too—so it just seemed like a great future for me. I actually interned in the sports department at NBC 10 before deciding to pursue a broadcasting career in the newsroom instead.
MLT: The most memorable stories you’ve covered?
KJ: I was in the courtroom during the trial of former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky this summer. I was also on TV for 12 hours straight, two days in a row, covering Hurricane Sandy. Once, I rescued a pig from the side of a highway just south of Pittsburgh. My buddies back in Ocean County, N.J., had a field day with that. Inside Edition picked it up, and the video went viral. Along those same lines, I ended up on The Colbert Report after reporting there was a global bacon storage. I woke up at 2 a.m. for my shift to text messages from friends saying I was on the show.
MLT: And the most mundane story?
KJ: I reported on a cow that wouldn’t move off of a rural road outside of Harrisonburg, Va., early in my career. So you can safely say there isn’t much hard news in some parts of the country.
MLT: What was it like covering Hurricane Sandy?
KJ: It was difficult for me, and quite humbling. I’m a Jersey guy through-and-through, having grown up in New Egypt. While at Villanova, I often made trips to Ocean City, Sea Isle City and Margate. I was emotionally invested in our coverage.
MLT: News crews always look so calm on-air. What’s it really like behind the scenes?
KJ: It takes a lot of manpower and hard work to put together a broadcast. There are so many cogs in the process, no one job being more important than another. Everyone at NBC 10 is a journalist, from writers to producers to video editors, directors,
operators, photographers and production assistants.
MLT: How does your current life in the Philadelphia area compare to the one you led as a Villanova undergraduate?
KJ: I missed half my classes every year because I traveled with the team on the road. I learned the importance of time management, perseverance and being dedicated to a team. On campus at Villanova, we always emphasized and embraced the importance of being a community. We constantly worked to improve life on the Main Line and beyond. Students at Villanova still do the same thing, to this day.
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