Once a Lute always a Lute

KELLEN WESTERING; Sports Writer: westerka@plu.edu

If you went to Pacific Lutheran University in the mid 90’s, Chris Egan’s a familiar “This is Chris Egan reporting for KCNS 6 News.” would greet you on Wednesday nights.

That familiar voice re-entered the halls of PLU as Chris returned to pay a visit to the students who are involved in student media.

I had the lucky opportunity to intern for Egan at King 5 News throughout the spring. To say I’ve learned a lot is an understatement. It’s not a paid internship but to say you get paid in experience is an certainly an understatement.

Chris Egan
Chris Egan

A lot of people have asked me what it’s like to intern with Egan. My response has always referred to his professionalism, his attention to detail and work ethic is unmatched. I witnessed firsthand the grueling grind of a sports reporter/anchor.

I’ve learned this job puts you in place to be the center of attention as well as accept the behind the scenes roll. It’s true that sports reporting on TV with over 30,000 followers on Twitter is glamorous, but before the camera turns on and once the camera turns off, it’s many late hours in the office spent logging, writing and editing.

Throughout my internship with Egan I never left earlier than midnight. Reason being, Egan was finishing his script for the next day. Whether it was getting the perfect angle of a clip or getting the best quote, he wanted it perfect.

And to me, his work ethic is so inspiring that I wanted my fellow media classmates to meet Egan and reap the benefits of his hard work. Naturally Egan was more than willing to sit in on a newscast for Mast TV.

Communications professor and Mast Media advisor Joanne Lisosky fully supported the idea of Egan coming.

“That would be far out.” said Lisosky.

The last episode of News @ 9 was upon us and with less than an hour before show time the energy throughout the newsroom was something entirely new. Excitement and nerves filled the stomachs of the news team. Chris Egan was coming.

For myself, it was surreal. Here I’d spent my weekends watching him anchor in front of the camera and now he’s coming to watch myself and others do the same. I think all the news anchors would agree that we’ve never read our scripts over so many times.

I met Egan out in the parking lot and showed him down to the newsroom. I felt like a security guard escorting a professional athlete to the locker room. Everyone was lined up to meet him. Just as I thought, Egan made everyone feel like they were the most important person in the room. A quality trait he learned from someone very near and dear to my heart.

“I learned from Frosty Westering to make the big time wherever I am and to make everyone feel important even if they can’t do a single thing for me,” said Egan.

During the show, Egan moved from the control room, to the studio, to the newsroom. After the show, we always get together as a news team and discuss our highs and lows of the show. Egan stuck around and gave his highs and lows, only he had only highs.

“I loved the energy and the excitement about television news that you guys all had tonight. It’s the same excitement and energy my news team had in the 90’s and it’s so much fun to see it continue on today.”

The students hung onto his every word. You could hear a pen drop.The studio specifically really blew Egan away.

“I cannot believe how nice of a studio PLU has now, we had nothing like this when I went here, and it’s really neat to see.”

Freshman McKenna Morin thought it was really encouraging to see a PLU alum who’s so successful come back to visit.

“Having Chris here was really cool because we got a chance to see what PLU alums can do after college. It was really inspiring to see someone going after their goals using skills they’ve learned here.”

After Egan said his goodbyes I walked him back to his car. He was grinning from ear to ear. Before he shut the door he said, “Thank you for inviting me, it was a really special night.”

The night couldn’t have gone any better. Personally, I will never forget it and I know everyone who was in the newsroom won’t either.

Egan who graduated from PLU in 1995 is now signing off with a different phrase then his KCNS 6 anchor outro. Now, it has a little more meaning as you can hear it on a much grander scale. “This is Chris Egan reporting for King 5 News.”

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