Josh Skluzacek didn’t know exactly what he wanted to be doing with his life after he graduated from Tri-City United High School in 2013, but he knew he liked writing and he liked sports.
“Leaving high school, I wasn’t 100 percent sure what I wanted to do, but I knew I could write and I loved everything sports, so I thought it’d be awesome to be a sports journalist,” Skluzacek said.
With that small idea after graduation, he eventually landed his current gig at one of Minnesota’s top news broadcasting stations – KSTP’s 5 Eyewitness News.
His journey to the position started after his high school graduation and when he went to college at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. At college, he majored in both print journalism and broadcasting, with minors in psychology and political science.
“The journalism program at UNL is fantastic and the professors there also really connected with me which is why I chose Nebraska,” Skluzacek said.
But as he learned more and more in his schooling, he realized that being a sports journalist was probably not the route he wanted to go.
“I didn’t really want to travel all over the country for work (as a sports journalist or sports broadcaster would) because family is very important to me and I wanted to be close to them as much as possible,” Skluzacek said.
He also learned that being a fan of sports and trying to cover them as a journalist wouldn’t allow him to be objective. Because of these two realizations, he decided to go for the news side of journalism where he could cover other things that he cared about.
“I think journalism is as important as it’s ever been because of the political climate and the way people treat and trust news sources nowadays,” Skluzacek said. “While it’s a very stressful job at times, it’s an important job that many people take for granted… It’s not always a fun time to be a journalist, certainly in today’s day and age, but it’s something I’m extremely proud of.
From there, Skluzacek started looking for internships for his junior year of college.
“While in college, I got an internship at the CBS affiliate in Lincoln, 10/11 News,” Skluzacek said.
After a summer of working there, they promoted him to a full-time position as a newscast producer. This was about a month into his senior year of college in 2016.
After that, he filled a couple of other positions until January of this year.
“After a few months, the station wanted to build its digital brand up and I joined the digital department as a digital producer, and when the senior digital producer shifted to a new role at the station, I was promoted to senior digital producer,” Skluzacek said.
In February he started his job at 5 Eyewitness News as a digital producer.
“As the end of my contract at 10/11 approached, I’d applied to several different jobs across the country, but always had the goal of moving back home to Minnesota and working in the Twin Cities,” Skluzacek said.
He knew that he wanted to be closer to family and his experience and the timing all worked together to bring him to the job he currently occupies.
“Really, this happened to be right place, right time,” Skluzacek said. “KSTP happened to have a job opening that fit what I was looking for, and I had a good amount of experience for what they were looking for, and it really worked out.”
And so far the journalism gig is something he has really enjoyed doing.
“One thing about news is it’s not a 9-5 job, and it doesn’t stop when you leave the station,” Skluzacek said. “Breaking news and different situations can lead to extra hours, working odd shifts and sometimes (for my job) working from home. That leads to a pretty busy life, and between work and trying to get to see family up here while living in Lincoln, or now trying to get moved up here and being able to talk to and see my girlfriend, it’s been go, go, go. But, at least for now, it’s a life I enjoy.”
Skluzacek said he also really enjoys his team at KSTP.
“So far, I’ve felt at home at KSTP, and I really love the entire staff here, not just the digital team,” Skluzacek said.
He looks forward to continuing his work at 5 Eyewitness News and he looks forward to working on investigative, political and court stories.
“News can burn a lot of people out, but as long as I enjoy it and feel like it’s important work I’m doing, I hope to be here,” Skluzacek said.