Braxton Jones

Age: 24

Hometown: Wichita, KS

College: Hutchinson Community College / Kansas State University

Years in the Industry: 1 year 4 months

Where were you working before KWCH? KWCH is my first job out of school, before graduation I was working at Dick’s Sporting Goods

How have you survived the industry? I think the biggest thing for me has been my drive and willingness to course correct. Nothing in this job is ever promised and things are changing all the time, it is important how you react. Being able to learn how to react to situations differently has been beneficial for me in the beginning stages of my career but it took me a long time to actually learn that. I know that I am far from where I want to be but being able learn as much as possible has helped thus far.

Why did you chose to go into broadcasting? For me it goes back to my elementary school days. I always got in trouble for talking in class, I couldn’t stay quiet for anything and now it is ironic that I get paid to talk. I grew up playing sports and wanted to be around them for the rest of my life no matter what and I am able to do just that. Plus being able to tell real stories about real people has always been something I have felt strongly for. Being able to combine those three assets, people, sports, and stories helped me choose this career path. Growing up I remember watching Stuart Scott on SportsCenter when I probably should have been in bed but I remember seeing a man that looked like me, used language that appealed to me personally and had the sharpest suits in the game, I knew watching him that I could do that one day.

What’s the hardest part of your job? The hardest part of my job has to be telling the stories that are hard to talk to people about. I have talked to people hours after losing family members or loved ones and that never gets easy. Sometimes building that amount of trust in such a short amount of time is hard to do. In today’s climate some people view the media as the bad guy or only think we are trying to profit from their loss and sometimes they don’t take to us very well. I choose to stay genuine and know let people know I actually care about them and not just the story.

What’s the easiest part of your job? The easiest part would have to be when we get to put it all together every night and actually do the newscast that we have been working all day for. To me it is always like a relay race and I am given the baton at my portion of the show. If I do my job and focus on that then I can go home that night knowing I did everything I was supposed to do to help this team. Sometimes that is doing a news story, other times that is doing a sportscast, either way, I want to do my best.

What do you like most about the Wichita market? Wichita for me is home so being able to come back and start my career where I was born is one of the most rewarding things about working here. People here have watched me grow up, not just on TV but from a boy to a man. Sometimes that can be intimidating knowing that this city is your hometown and you want to represent it well but at the same time it gives you an added bonus to keep going. Vice versa, I have been able to watch the city grow into what it is now and what it is going to be. Being able to compare big stories from when I was growing up to the ones I am covering now gives me a sense of being able to make it all come full circle.

What is something that you want to do professionally that you haven’t done already? Cover a Super Bowl, NBA Finals, World Series, or Final Four

Tell us about your most memorable sports interview. My most memorable interview would have been during an internship in Los Angeles. It was before a Los Angeles Dodgers game and I was able to interview Dave Roberts, the manager at the time one on one. There were not many people who were willing to approach him individually because we had just finished a group interview but I asked and he agreed. Followed closely by my interview with Kyle Kuzma  (LA Lakers), Melvin Ingram (LA Chargers) and Patrick Beverly (LA Clippers)

What’s next after KWCH? Not sure what life holds after KWCH, I’m only focused on the now and giving Wichita everything I have and learning as much as I can from some of the best in the business.

What’s the toughest challenge for African Americans looking to make it in this industry? I think the toughest challenge is that we aren’t willing to help one another as much as we should. This business is seen so much as competition that some are willing to step on another to rise to the top. That attitude is accepted but it can also give you a poor reputation. The television industry is so small and people remember how you worked and how you made them feel. You can go about being good at your craft but if you do so in the wrong way, you will hurt yourself in the long run.

How do you feel about being approached when you are in public? Selfies? Autographs? It took some getting used to. I wouldn’t say I get stopped for selfies or asked for autographs that often but it there are a lot of “Hey, you’re the guy from TV,” or even old classmates and my friends telling me I’m big time now. I appreciate it because it tells me that people are watching and that I am doing a good job at serving the community. Being in the public eye is also scary at times. I’m normally a pretty private person with people I don’t know as well so in a way I’m sharing a lot with strangers every single day whether it be on TV or social media.

Were/are you an athlete? Retired, I still play recreationally. I played football in college, basketball and baseball in high school.

What’s something interesting and fun about yourself that people may not know? I was in JET magazine when I was 7 years old when I held an alligator at the State Fair, ironically, that same year I went, I met Merril Teller who would be my coworker years later.

Are you married? Have children? I have a girlfriend, no children.

Your choice of music? Hip Hop/ R&B, I have the new Wale album on repeat right now.

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