Today we’d like to introduce you to Kristen L. Pope, Award-Winning Journalist, TV Host and Speaker
Kristen, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Sitting at a desk in a research department at a medical college, bringing home a steady paycheck, I knew there was more for me. That more feeling began as a child. I was born and raised in the Midwest. I always saw myself on a big platform inspiring people. I had gone to Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism. Almost immediately after college, I moved from Virginia to New York City. NYC was the only city I wanted to live in after doing a television internship at a media company over the summer in midtown. After my college graduation, I arrived in NYC in 2005 with big dreams of becoming an on-air storyteller. Little did I know that dream was far from achievable. NYC was the number one market for television news. At that time, new stations were not hiring college graduates with little to no experience. From there my career course took a curvy journey. I went from hospitality brand communications to financial communications to research communications. Every year, I seemed to get further and further away from broadcast journalism.
After about six years, I made a decision to jump two feet into broadcast. I took a TV 101 refresher course; hired a consultant; created a new journalism reel and started applying for jobs. After almost a year, a station in Abilene, Texas, Market 165 offered me a job! I felt like all my dreams had come true. Over the next six years, I moved from market 165 to the top 10 market as an on-air broadcaster. Within that span, I’ve had some amazing opportunities including hosting red carpets, MC’ing major events and hosting my own show called, “The Positive Controversy with Kristen Pope.” After almost a decade in television news, I’ve elevated to help aspiring on-air journalists and media professionals achieve success. I’ve created a course called the “On Air Academy,” the six-step master class to unlock your on-air success. https://kristenlpope.com/courses/on-air-academy/
This is the first online class offering under my company Pope Productions umbrella. I’m excited to help empower the next cohort of on-air professionals with the keys that have catapulted me.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It hasn’t been a smooth road at all!
I like to call my career the curvy journey. It seemed as though every time I thought I was getting closer to my goal, someone came along to tell me, I still had more work to do or start over. When I moved to NYC, I had the great privilege of meeting one of my sheros in journalism. I walked up to her at a party and told her how much I thought of her and how much she had inspired me through the years. I told her I had just moved to NYC after graduating college with a broadcast journalism degree. She stopped cold in our conversation and asked me what I was doing in the big city. She told me the only job I would find in NYC at that point was as a production assistant. She said I needed to leave immediately and move to a small market. To be honest, I was crushed. It had been my dream to live in NYC. I didn’t take her advice that night, but eventually, I followed her guidance and it worked out.
Taking the job in market 165 in Abilene, Texas came with a mighty cost. It meant living a long distance from my husband for a year. My husband works as a trader. Moving to Central West Texas was not in his career’s best interest. While it was a sacrifice, the move helped establish my foundation as a working journalist. Every job wasn’t as hard to obtain as the first, but there were obstacles to overcome with each one. My course, the On-Air Academy helps my fellow “vision casters,” navigate those challenges.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Pope Productions – what should we know?
Ultimately, I’m an encourager and a connector and I do that through television, speaking, stand-up comedy (yes, I do stand-up comedy) and helping others. As a journalist, I get to tell the stories of people who otherwise may not have a platform. As a speaker, I get to encourage people through my story, by sharing that they can achieve their goals and aspirations too. As an entrepreneur, I’m most proud of my show, “The Positive Controversy with Kristen Pope.” I’ve showcased some amazing world changers on topics not commonly seen on the news. I’m also most proud of my clients who have taken the On Air Academy and are now living their dreams on air!
What sets me apart is my ability to be vulnerable. I don’t mind airing my dirty laundry if it means it will help someone else get to the next level.
What were you like growing up?
Growing up, I loved books, writing stories and imitating people. I could read all day and I loved the library. I used my imagination to write stories all the time. I could see my characters come alive in my stories. You could say, I loved becoming a character as well, because imitating people came very natural to me. My favorite person to imitate was my Dad. My Dad had a very distinctive walk that really came alive when my family was headed to church. I used to love to imitate his swag.
I grew up as a natural performer. The gift of performance has helped me dynamically encourage and inspire audiences globally.
- On-Air Academy Professional and Student Cost – Email for pricing
- Pope Productions Media One-on-One Coaching – Email for pricing
- Website: KristenLPope.com
- Phone: 305-498-5947
- Email: Kristen@KristenLPope.com
- Instagram: @KristenLPopeTV
- Facebook: @MrsKristenLPope
- Twitter: @KristenLPopeTV
- Other: Kristen L. Pope on LinkedIn