Here it is, my least favorite question during the interview process. “Tell me a little about yourself.” I never know how I should answer this, because if you answer is short, then you run the risk of being boring. If you go on and on, then you sound like a braggart.
I was born and raised in Central CT, in fact I live five minutes away from where I grew up. I knew back in high school that I wanted to be a journalist and tell stories, and I graduated from St. Bonaventure University with a degree in Journalism/Mass Communications.
I started my career in Syracuse, New York with the thought of being in front of the camera, but quickly realized that my skills were better suited behind the camera. My love of shooting video, and crafting stories during the edit process came easy to me. After four years of tough winters and building a foundation for my career, I came home.
I began working at Fox 61 in the late 90’s as a videographer and editor for our 10 o’clock news. I was fortunate to work for bosses who were more like teachers, and they encouraged me to take chances with my work so it would stand out. My skills and hard work have paid off with 17 Emmy awards, over 20 Associated Press awards and one Pulitzer Finalist recognition for being part of the team at the Hartford Courant for our coverage of the Sandy Hook Massacre.
After 6 years, I moved into the management track, and even though I continued to shoot and edit, I passed along my knowledge and love to my co workers. For eight years, I was the Chief Photographer, and for two and a half, I held one of the most unique positions that any photo journalist could have. I managed all of the videographers for Fox 61, the photographers from the Hartford Courant, was an editor for two monthly magazines, and was in charge of all visual aspects for four websites. I was a leader in a first of its kind integrated newsroom which featured the oldest continuously published newspaper and an established television station owned by Tribune.
Unfortunately, the experiment lasted five years and Tribune split the publishing and the broadcasting units into two separate companies. I went back into my comfort zone and became the Assistant News Director/News Operations Manager for Fox 61 being responsible for the day to day operations of the newsroom. I have increased my skills to involve producing newscasts and manage everyone from a camera operator to our main anchors.
In the past 20 years I have accomplished all of my career goals and more. I have covered Super Bowls, World Series, Final Fours. I’ve met four Presidents, and have had many conversations with some of the most powerful and important businessmen, and politicians in the country. I am often asked, what is your favorite or most memorable story, and it seems to change on a weekly basis, but when people ask what I do for living, my answer has always been the same…I am a storyteller.
Berlin, CT 06037 | C: 860-478-5899 | E: Mtpisk@comcast.net | linkedin.com/in/michaelpiskorski
TV & DIGITAL VIDEO EXPERT | PHOTO JOURNALIST | STORYTELLER
Award-winning and respected leader in television broadcasting, print and web communications
DIGITAL Communications: Award-winning Videographer and editor with 15+ years experience producing informative and entertaining newscasts and stories.
CROSS-FUNCTIONAL ENGAGEMENT: Work across departmental lines and levels including direct engagement with Executive Producers, Chief Photographer and News Directors.
STORYTELLER: Trained journalist and effective communicator. Winner of 17 EMMY awards and Member of 2013 Finalist team for Pulitzer Prize.
Team Leadership: Valued leader and mentor with experience managing teams 55+ staff including wide range of functions from interns up to news anchors.
Creative Leadership: Won 40+ awards including National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (Emmy’s), Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists and National Professional Photographers Association (NPPA).
WTIC-TV FOX 61, Hartford, CT | April 1997 – Present
Assistant News Director/Operations Manager, June 2014 – Present
Report to News Director and General Manager.
Team Management: Supervise team of 20 direct reports, with a total of a staff 50 + including photographers, reporters, anchors and producers and production staff. Lead two daily news editorial meetings.
Operations Management: Oversee day-to-day news gathering and production including 9 ½ hours of daily news.
Special Productions: Partner with other departments to coordinate events including local community events and political debates.
Director of Integrated Photography Hartford Courant and Fox 61, Oct. 2011– June 2014
Reported to News Director, General Manager, Publisher and Editor, and Digital Publisher. Member of leadership team to run first-of-its-kind integrated newsroom featuring established news station, and oldest continuously published newspaper.
Visual Communications: Managed all visual content for Fox 61 newscasts, the Hartford Courant, four websites including fox61.com and courant.com and Hartford Magazine and New Haven Magazine.
Team Leadership: Supervised 30+ journalists, including staff photographers, videographers, and editors.
Pitch Management: Strategized story ideas to complement visual components. Addressed range of stories including high profile news and sporting events including Hurricane Irene, Super Storm Sandy, Sandy Hook Tragedy, Boston Marathon Bombing, the New York Super Bowl, UConn Final Fours and 2013 Red Sox World Series.
Chief Photographer, April 2003 – October 2011
Grew department from seven videographers and editors to 21 as station expanded news coverage from seven hours a week to five hours a day. Reported to News Director.
Supervision: Managed videographers, editors and truck operators, who combined won over 30 Emmy awards, while also shooting and editing daily and special news stories 3-4 times a week.
Photographer, April 1997 – April 2003
Shot and edited news stories. Proficient in non-linear editing (Final Cut Pro 7)
Time Warner Cable, Syracuse, NY | October 1992 – April 1996
Reporter, Producer, Photographer, Editor: Produced Point and Click. Field produced and reported for Magazine 13. Member of production crew for Syracuse basketball, lacrosse and high school sporting events
BA, Journalism, St. Bonaventure University, Olean NY, May 1992