By: Claire Winesett
From being a part of the story while playing football for the MSU bulldogs to being behind the camera breaking the story, MSU was a place where Marcus Hunter was able to discover and pursue many of his passions.
After obtaining his Bachelor of Arts degree in communication with a concentration in broadcasting, Hunter worked in several media markets. He began his career as a weekend sports anchor at WCBI-TV in his hometown, Columbus, Mississippi. Six months later he moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where he worked for eight years as a sports anchor and news reporter. Hunter now lives in Jackson, Mississippi, where he has transitioned into the role of morning news anchor and sports correspondent at WAPT-TV.
Hunter’s experience working in the media industry began before graduation. While he was studying at MSU, he anchored “Take 30” and “This Week at MSU,” and he reported on “The Sideline Show.” “Having the opportunity to work on all of those platforms helped me become more confident in my writing skills and on-air presentation,” Hunter said. “That, along with the voice and articulation class I took at MSU, allowed me to be able to secure a job in a top 50 market less than six months after graduating.”
“From the moment I stepped on campus I felt welcomed and encouraged that I could thrive there,” Hunter said. Through various hands-on experiences that MSU offered, and with the help of influential faculty members, friends, and coaches, Hunter was able to do just that.
These experiences not only shaped Hunter’s career but gave him the determination to continue in the broadcast field. One of Hunter’s favorite memories was being selected to be a reporter on “The Sideline Show,” a short-lived 30-minute sports program, his freshman year. “It was my first time having the opportunity to do on-air stories. Making it as a reporter on that show gave me the confidence I needed to become the anchor I am today.”
Another one of these programs, “Take 30,” was a weekly news show produced by Hunter’s TV practicum class taught by Karyn Brown, Hunter’s favorite faculty member at MSU.
“She became my adviser after my first year when I declared a major. She did so much to push me, and I can't thank her enough for all she did to help me have the career I love,” Hunter said.
Brown was just one of the many influential people Hunter encountered during his time as an MSU student. Hunter’s two greatest mentors – Ben Hart, the news director at WISN, and Marshall Harris, a sports anchor for Comcast Sports Philly – share his alma mater.
“I meet Ben my freshman year at MSU. Ben has always pushed me to expand my skills as a journalist. Thanks to Ben encouraging and working with me I was able to transition from sports anchor to morning news anchor, a move that will be beneficial to my overall career,” Hunter said. “Marshall gave me my first shot to work in television. When I had opportunities to start my career early and finish school later, Marshall encouraged me to stay at MSU and finish up my degree and that other opportunities would come. He was right.”
While attending school full-time, Hunter balanced his time between classes, assisting with campus media opportunities, and participating on campus television shows to gain experience. It was during that busy time his now 13-year-old daughter was born.
“From the moment she was born I knew I was going to work even harder to be successful in my career so I could be a great father to her,” Hunter said.
He also played football at MSU, which led to many of his fondest memories. “The memories and friends I made on the football team will last a lifetime,” Hunter said.
“Being a part of the team during a tough time in our program’s history taught me that being a bulldog is more than about winning and losing. It's about being a part of a family who might go through tough times but will always continue working to improve,” Hunter said.
Hunter says that over the years he has encouraged many students to attend MSU, enjoy their experiences while a student, and be comfortable stepping outside of their comfort zone.
“MSU is a place where you can make mistakes and bounce back. You don’t have to be perfect to succeed there. As long as you work hard, have the right attitude, and never give up on your goals, you will succeed – not just at the University, but also in life.”
In his free time, Hunter enjoys shooting and editing videos that he can share with family and friends. He also likes playing basketball with his daughter.
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