Making a Vocation, a Vacation: NBC 5’s Pat Doney finds happiness in sportscasting

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Saturday night is not very busy in the NBC 5 newsroom, yet one sports anchor’s day is in full swing.

 

Pat Doney is the weekend sports broadcaster on local NBC affiliate KXAS, and each Saturday at 10:20 p.m. he gets in front of the camera and informs the fourth biggest sports market in the country about the day’s events in the sports world.

 

For Doney, this is not a job, it is a dream.

 

“When I was young, I knew that I wanted to be in sports somehow or another,” Doney said.

 

He began his journey in sports journalism as a high schooler during a call in to a post game radio show after a California (now Los Angeles) Angels baseball game. He asked the show host how he could become a sportscaster, the host told him to leave his number with the producer, and six months passed until he ever heard anything.

 

Then, after a long wait, he was offered an opportunity to come watch the broadcast in the booth at an Angels game in Anaheim, Calif., and he fell in love right away.

 

Doney went on to intern at the ABC7 KABC in Los Angeles, where he discovered his passion for storytelling, a trait that serves him well on camera.

 

“I love sports,” Doney said. “I love being around the athletes, I love being around the games.”

 

Doney has many talents, yet none that he treasures more than his one of a kind ability for storytelling, an essential skill in his career. His past coworker John Lewis, who worked with him in Louisville, Ky. talked about Doney’s special talent.

“Pat’s storytelling ability is unique,” Lewis said, “It is the most important aspect of the job. If you are unable to connect with the viewer, and unable to convey the sense of story, it’s a loss.”

 

Anyone can report on a game and describe what happened, yet the stories that transcend over real life are the ones he thrives on. Doney really believes that you do not have to be the biggest sports fan to really appreciate the amazing stories that lie within the games and athletes.

 

He begins his Saturday by watching every big sports event being broadcasted. While the average American at home has one, maybe two screens in their beloved man caves, Doney has three computer screens and countless TVs he can see and use all from his office desk. These screens are filled with an assortment of contests from college football, NBA games and even pay-per-view MMA and boxing matches.

 

He watches every comeback, heartbreak and championship, all while interacting with his nearly 10,000 Twitter followers. In the new age of journalism, Twitter is an essential part of any reporters repertoire, and @PatDoneyNBC5 is as active and interactive as one can be.

 

Doney is no stranger to Coppell, as he has covered multiple games when the Cowboys football team is playing the feature NBC 5’s Big Game Friday. He connected with the Coppell FCA group via Twitter and came and spoke at one of their weekly Friday meetings before school.

 

During his time at the meeting with FCA he shared about his then recent trip to Super Bowl XLIX, a game between the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots, but he did not focus in on the game. He instead told the group a story about how during his time in Arizona (where the game was held), he recorded an interview with the famous country artist Tim McGraw, or so he thought.

 

After the nightly news had played the clip he had sent in that day, including the interview, he started to receive texts that the man he interviewed was in fact not the country music star he claimed to be. Doney had no idea that who he talked to was a Tim McGraw impersonator.

 

Sometimes during the line of work he is in, you can mess up, yet he stressed that if your love for what you are doing is more than the fear of messing up, then in the end it will be okay.

 

NBC 5 sports anchor Pat Doney broadcasts his report on the TCU game on Dec. 22 at NBC 5 studios. Doney has worked at NBC for three years. Photo by Mallorie Munoz.
NBC 5 sports anchor Pat Doney broadcasts his report on the TCU game on Dec. 22 at NBC 5 studios. Doney has worked at NBC for three years. Photo by Mallorie Munoz.

“My dad didn’t really have a job that he liked very much,” Doney said. “So he always pushed me to find a job that I really loved. All the stuff about ‘If your vocation is something you enjoy, then your vocation becomes a vacation’ is really true.”

 

As 10:20 rolls around on Saturday night, Doney works on his script for his three and a half minutes he gets on air, practicing reading aloud and creating a rhythm for his segment. He works closely with his producer Chris James to make their brief piece of the show as loaded with content as possible.

 

“We try to put a show together that people at home can get all the information they need about what happened that day in sports,” Doney said. “One of the things we focus on is to make the show not only a highlight, that there is also some information in there too.”

 

From his command center of screens at his desk, he heads into the makeup room before heading into the live studio. Once he gets in place for his shot, he reads over his script a few more times before the time comes for his segment.

 

“My intention is to be very conversational [and] make it feel like when you’re talking to the camera, that you’re having a 1-on-1 conversation, as if we were sitting in the living room together talking about the day in sports,” Doney said.

 

Without even breaking a sweat, he goes through his script calmly while on camera and voicing over clips of certain games that his segment features. After the show has concluded, Doney, along with  the entire team that made up the show meets in the production room for a recap, and to look for areas to improve.

 

For a man who has gotten so far in less than 10 years in his sportscasting career like Doney has, one wonders what his goals may be, and he is in the same boat.

 

“Honestly, I don’t know what the goal is, at first the goal was for me to get to a place where I would want to be for a long time,” Doney said. “But the industry is changing so much, my best friend in Louisville who worked at the ABC affiliate is now the main sports anchor at Bleacher Report. What he’s doing right there wasn’t even a real job six years ago, and now he’s living in New York City doing that, and he loves it.”

 

Doney has moved all around the country starting as a photographer for a news station in Virginia, just hoping for the chance to work on sports, having no idea than in a few short years he would be anchoring the weekend news show on NBC 5 in DFW. So he will fill the time in while he waits for his next opportunity, the same way he started his journey, watching sports.