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“Kristy Breslin offers this advice to students: “Try not to get frustrated, because it can be challenging. . . . Make sure that you follow your heart . . . Never give up, and when you do achieve success, make sure you pay it forward.”
Kristy Breslin, WJZ traffic reporter and host/producer of Harford Cable Network’s “Harford MagaScene,” got her start at Harford Community College. “I think that Harford is an excellent choice. The experiences and lessons I learned in my time there helped to shape my career, build my confidence, and allowed me to follow my dreams.”
A native of Harford County, she chose HCC for a variety of reasons. “Harford had an excellent reputation, and it allowed me to live at home and work part time. Four years of college costs can be prohibitive, and by attending Harford I was not only ready for the next step but I felt that the cost of my education would literally be cut in half.”
Kristy’s confidence grew while she was a student at Harford. “In my time at Harford, I became prepared to face the real world. I learned that if I wanted something badly enough, it could be achieved. I knew there would be disappointments, but if I was determined I could achieve success.”
“The most surprising thing about Harford was how much I learned in only two years, along with the friendships and special bonds I formed. Professor Wayne Hepler encouraged me to audition for Harford Cable Network, which was one of the best career moves of my life. He helped me build my confidence, taught me all I needed to know about entering the broadcasting world, and introduced me to my former coworker and friend, Kai Jackson, who mentored me at WJZ. Wayne really took a personal interest in making sure that I made a success of my broadcasting career. He remains a close friend today.”
She earned an AA degree in communications from HCC, transferring to University of Maryland University College for a bachelor’s degree in communications.
After graduating from Harford, Kristy began working with Harford Cable Network as the host/producer of “Harford MagaScene,” a topical show focusing on the nonprofit community. The show features people and organizations who make a difference in Harford County. “I am proud to say the show is still on the air after 18 years and is going strong. It is a true passion of mine to be able to tell so many stories. In my time as a show host, I have interviewed celebrities such as Cal Ripken Jr., Michael Phelps, Coach Gary Williams, LPGA golfer Michele Wie, and many more.” Her duties include selecting a topic, contacting the interviewees, writing a script, then hosting and producing the show along with her longtime, talented videographer Tim Reca.
She also sold airtime at WXCY radio in Havre de Grace for 10 years. Kristy then became involved with a company now called US Traffic Network that supplies traffic information to the local Baltimore stations.
“I began as a fill-in for WJZ TV. I did traffic on radio for WBAL/98 Rock. I filled in on WMAR Channel 2 and was also hired to do on-air lottery drawings for WBAL TV Channel 11. I served as backup for many years until 2011, when WJZ offered me the permanent afternoon traffic reporter position that I still hold today.” In addition to providing live traffic updates for the 4 and 5 p.m. newscasts, Kristy’s duties include gathering information, making graphics, updating social media, coordinating with the station’s helicopter pilot, and reading live commercials. “The most challenging part of my job is being ‘live’ because if you mess up there are no re-takes. My job also becomes more challenging during extreme weather conditions. I can now say that I have reported in hurricanes, earthquakes, tornados, snowstorms, and derechos!”
Kristy said, “I really enjoy being on air. I love being the person who brings personal stories to life on Harford Cable Network and on WJZ. I love being the one to hopefully save commuters from traffic headaches.”
For the past 15 years, she has been a frequent guest lecturer in Professor Hepler’s broadcasting classes at Harford. “I lecture about various broadcasting topics and duties that include live television, traffic reporting, hosting and producing a 30-minute program along with radio sales and being on air. I talk about the differences between TV and radio, the challenges of live TV, how to produce and host a segment along with some personal victories and mistakes I have made. I also talk about needing to have a ‘thick skin’ being in the business.”
Kristy, who has volunteered for numerous organizations over the years, has been serving as President of the Harford Cable Network Foundation for nearly two years. The mission of the organization is to transform local television into a multimedia experience that informs, educates, and entertains our community. Over the past 15 years, she has emceed many community events including the ATHENA Award, The ARC Northern Chesapeake Region After Dark event, The March of Dimes Walk, the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation Walk, Harford’s Most Beautiful Person, Harford’s Most Beautiful Baby, and events for the American Diabetes Association, Harford United Charities, and many more.
She offers this advice to students: “Try not to get frustrated, because it can be challenging. I was not a straight-A student, but I tried hard. Make sure that you follow your heart and choose the career path that best suits you. Never give up, and when you do achieve success, make sure you pay it forward.”
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