TV & Movies

What It’s Really Like to be a Sports TV Anchor

Ever wonder what a rocket scientist, or a ballerina, or a fashion editor actually does? In our new 9-5 series, we asked our favourite boss babes what a day in the office entails. This week, Sportsnet Central co-host Evanka Osmak gives us a glimpse into her grind

Evanka Osmak

Evanka Osmak, co-host, Sportsnet Central, Toronto

Age: 35

Length of time in current gig: Eight years

Education: Bachelor of science in civil engineering, Queen’s University; broadcast diploma, Seneca College

Typical hours: 5 p.m. to midnight; but all day I’m checking in, reading, writing and watching.

When do you wake up? 8 a.m. I work out and keep tabs on the sports world through the day because everything is changing.

What kind of preparation do you do before you get to work, so you’re on the ball when you arrive? I feel like I have to be updated and on top of things all the time. I go through newspapers, websites like Sportsnet, ESPN, Deadspin, the Globe and Mail,  Goop and Toronto Life.

And of course, Twitter is a huge source for me. Some of my must-follows are Sportsnet Stats, Elliott Friedman, Chris Johnston and Richard Deitsch who have great insight and links to terrific articles.

What do you typically wear to work? A lot of dresses, sometimes skirts and shirts. I like Judith and Charles, Pink Tartan and DVF.

What’s the workplace vibe like? It’s actually like a big sports bar where my co-workers and I watch games and talk about them. Sometimes we get a little bit hyper and excited.

What’s the first thing you do when you get to work? Makeup. I’m in the chair for 30 minutes where they make me into a fantastic-looking woman. From 5:00 until 10:00 I keep up-to-date with scores and what’s going on. Our producer meeting is at 7:00 and we go through the rundown for the show. Then I start writing what’s been assigned to me. We also watch the games, which is pretty nice. I’m on the air around 10:00. We all have our off days when we’re not feeling 100%. But ultimately when I sit at the desk with the camera zoomed in on me, the adrenaline just kicks in.

What’s the best part of your day? Going on-air. I still get a rush of nerves when the camera light goes on.

What’s the worst part of your day? It’s the dark side of social media—it can get pretty nasty out there. I check Twitter after we get off the air and at least once a night someone will tweet me about my hair or clothes. Sportsnet has some very opinionated viewers, but it’s more friendly feedback than negative. During the Blue Jays run I had people making sure I was wearing blue every game night, as if my clothing choice played a role in the outcome.

What are the biggest challenges in your job? Previously, I worked in civil engineering and that had its challenges. It didn’t excite me anymore and I wasn’t passionate about my job or my industry. So I went back to school. Thankfully I hit a home run with broadcasting. It’s all good now.

Who do you admire most in your profession and why? I really like what Charissa Thompson (host of Fox Sports Live and co-host of Extra) is doing. She’s a credible sports source and she’s added hosting an entertainment show. I aspire to combine my two passions, sports and entertainment.

What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received? Be yourself.

If someone else aspired to do your job, what qualities would they need? Be confident, passionate and resilient—the latter because in this business you get knocked down a lot. Scrutiny mostly comes from the public, but within the industry there’s plenty of competition. Also start at the bottom, put in your time. My first paying television gig was in Yuma, Arizona, co-anchoring a morning show. It was a small U.S. market where I was making peanuts, but I loved it. One day I was in Toronto for a story at the Rogers Centre. I introduced myself to Sportsnet’s Jamie Campbell and asked if I could send him my demo tape. He said yes, and even though I never sent the tape, he remembered me when he got a call from then Sportsnet news director, Mike English, asking if he knew anyone interested in a job. I had my audition and eight years later I’m still at Sportsnet.

What do you to unwind after work? I get home and go to sleep as soon as I take my makeup off. If I’m still alert, I may watch a game still going on, or an episode of Real Housewives. That’s my guilty pleasure.

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