Growing up, class of 2012 MacArthur High School graduate Jett Beachum watched the local 10 o’clock news every night with his mother. Now, he gets to be the one on TV as he recently started his new job as a Sports Reporter/Producer for CBS 11.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to come back home, and truthfully I never expected it to be this soon,” says Beachum. “This industry is tough, and jobs in a top-five market only open every once in a while. It still hasn’t set in. I feel so blessed, and I’m still kind of in a dream state.”
Beachum became enamored with the sports world after being actively involved as a kid and from getting a chance to sit back and be a fan, as he watched his older brothers compete. His love of sports and his nighttime tradition of watching the news led him to put two and two together. Thus, the desire to one day become a sports reporter was born.
During his time at MacArthur High School, Beachum joined KMAC, the student news broadcasting program where he got his first taste of the industry.
“I got a chance to do the morning announcements, and I’m sure there’s videos on YouTube that Ms. Sims could probably show you if you asked her,” says Beachum. “She is such a fantastic teacher, and she has always been one of my biggest supporters. I would not be where I am without her.”
Beachum grew up as a fan of the University of Texas at Austin and although he was not sure what he wanted to pursue after high school, he knew he wanted to become a Longhorn. After having switched majors a couple of times, he set his sights on majoring in journalism and giving it his all. Beachum went on to intern at Time Warner Cable Sports and ESPN’s Longhorn Network during his time at UT Austin.
After graduating, Beachum worked in San Antonio for a year before getting a job in Quincy, Illinois, a small town of about 40,000 residents.
“When I was in college, I remember how much work we had to do, and the early years help weed people out,” says Beachum. “However, when you start out working in smaller markets, that is what definitely weeds people out. I was averaging about 55 hours a week, I was away from family, I didn’t really know anyone or have any friends. It is not for the faint of heart.”
Despite the struggles, Beachum credits his perseverance and grit for helping him advance in his career. He also credits the connections he made along the way for allowing him to grow and move up in the industry so quickly.
“I had gotten burnt out, and after two years in Quincy, I decided to leave and I actually remained unemployed for over eight months,” says Beachum. “My old boss from the station at Quincy moved to a station in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and reached out to me about an opening. She knew I was looking for a job and was familiar with my work ethic, and I went over to Iowa.”
Among other things, Beachum had the opportunity to work with the University of Iowa and Iowa State University athletic teams, cover March Madness and ultimately rekindle his love for sports. The passion for sports journalism had undoubtedly returned.
After two years in Iowa, one of Beachum’s prior connections from his time in San Antonio mentioned his name as a great candidate for a sports reporter job opening in Dallas. Beachum was ecstatic. He remembers going through a lengthy interview process and actually waiting until everything was official before telling his family he was coming home.
“I had had a job fall through before, and I just wanted to be 100% sure this time around,” says Beachum.
In his current role, Beachum works on camera and behind the scenes producing the sports segments that viewers see on TV. In addition to this, he has had the opportunity to cover Dallas Cowboys press conferences and the unveiling of the Dirk Nowitzki statue outside of the American Airlines Center, just to name a few.
“It’s a dream come true,” says Beachum.