The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


SMU grad finds success in field

Craig Lucie’s first big break? Earning $8.25 an hour at a little television station in Corpus Christi. That was two years ago. Today, the SMU graduate is in Austin, working as a reporter and making almost four times that much.

Lucie said his internships are what really prepared him for the real world. And that starting out in a small market is both necessary and beneficial when getting into the journalism business.

“Be prepared to make nothing and live off TV dinners,” Lucie said.

The summer after his first year at SMU, Lucie went to Boulder, Colo. where he had some experience with an outdoors show “Out and About.” Lucie changed his major from business to journalism after the experience.

The following summer Lucie was a sports intern in his hometown of Jacksonville, Fla. at WJXT Channel 4. Lucie simultaneously interned with the “Lex and Terry Morning Radio Network.” Lucie was on air many mornings. He loved the rush of knowing 2 million people were listening to him. Lucie said his internships were all unpaid.

“For anyone that wants to get into this business when you graduate, you’re going to make nothing and be supported by your parents until you get going,” Lucie said.

The second semester of Lucie’s junior year he interned at WB33 in Dallas. He wrote shows for Victoria Snee, the channel’s entertainment reporter. He also helped produce the show “WB on the Town,” which involved looking for new bands and interesting weekend activities.

Michele Houston, a journalism professor at SMU who taught Lucie said he was an exceptional student.

“Craig was very motivated, driven, smart, and set on what he wanted to do,” said Houston.

The summer after his junior year, Lucie interned for “Entertainment Tonight” in Los Angeles. He said he mainly assisted the senior coordinating producer in order to avoid being thrown into the tape vault to search for footage like most interns. Working with “Entertainment Tonight” is Lucie’s long-term goal.

Lucie returned to his internship with WB33 his senior year and was entrusted with more serious duties. He was sent to Los Angeles to interview celebrities such as Meg Ryan, Snoop Dogg, Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Jack Black, Elisha Cuthbert and Samuel Jackson.

SMU’s student-run morning news show, “The Daily Update,” was still in start-up mode when Lucie graduated. Even in its early stage, Lucie said the show helped prepare him for the real world.

The show is a part of the journalism curriculum today. Juli LoCascio, a junior journalism major at SMU, thinks that the journalism program and experience at “The Daily Update” will give her a good chance of getting a job.

Lucie says journalism is about getting comfortable, getting experience, and making and keeping contacts. Houston agrees that internships are essential to getting a job.

“It doesn’t matter where they are. It matters what you learned and the contacts you made,” said Houston.

Simone Skinner, a freshman advertising major at SMU, said that internships are important to build contacts, but essential only if you really want a job in a specific field.

“They are more of a tool for yourself to see if that’s what you want to do,” Skinner said.

To get his first job, Lucie drove six hours to shake the news director’s hand at KZTV Channel 10 in Corpus Christi. His interview was to do a story for the 10 p.m. news. He got the job and stayed for 14 months.

He was a reporter, a weekend anchor, a producer, and an assignments editor. Lucie said the various opportunities are one of the advantages of a small market.

“They’ll just throw you at the anchor desk,” he said.

Lucie said his first job allowed him to learn about himself and earn credibility. From it he learned to deal with management and his limits.

In one instance, Lucie was asked to confront a bank manager about two credit cards found by reporters in the bank’s dumpster. He did not believe that two credit cards constituted a story about identity theft, but he addressed the manager against his instincts.

Afterwards Lucie said he felt horrible because the bank manager had done nothing wrong. Lucie refused to do the story.

“I’m not going to do a story if I don’t agree with it,” Lucie said.

Lucie’s first job was demanding, but his experiences in Corpus Christi taught him to be ready for anything. Lucie says the journalism business is not easy. He always has to tell a story to the best of his ability. He has to talk to the right people, get a point across, and be clear, concise, and memorable at the same time.

“Every day is an obstacle,” said Lucie.

Lucie knows part of his job is to alert people of various problems. He said if you are doing a story about homeless kids, and people donate to the cause than you have done your job and helped someone out. Lucie knows that TV has the power to change a lot of things for the better.

“You are giving back to your community through your job,” said Lucie.

Mostly, Lucie says his job is fun. He is not sitting at a desk, but instead is exploring Austin, meeting people and making friends. He said the likes the social aspect of the business and he loves being able to find a story and make something of it.

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