21Q caught up with CBS13 morning anchor Ron Hyde earlier this week to chat about what his first week back on TV was like. In his words: "I used to tuck my kids in. Now they tuck me in!"
Ron's new stint at KOVR is a departure from his almost 15 years at KCRA 3. He left the station two and a half years ago as its sports director - a nighttime gig. Now, as a morning guy (on the air from 5 to 7 a.m., plus the occasional cut-ins during "The Early Show), he's going to bed at 6 p.m. and getting up around 1:30 or 2 a.m.
Talk about your time change.
"It hasn't been that bad," Ron says. "I start dropping off around 3 or 4 in the afternoon. Some colleagues have advised a catnap; others say suck it up. Sunday nights are difficult because I usually stay up later on Friday night or go out with my wife on Saturday night."
But, the guy who put "high" in local high school sports coverage is happy with his new gig, especially co-anchoring with Lisa Gonzales. "She's so bright and quick on the air," Ron says. "She laid a lot of my fears aside."
Ron, 49, who ran a video production company during his hiatus from TV, was looking for a great opportunity to return to the airwaves, even if it wasn't in sports, which he loves.
"It's like if a dog eats steak every day for 20 years, chicken or fish might taste good, too," he says. "CBS13 asked if I wanted to be the morning anchor. I had worked with the show's producer before. I knew I was more than a nuts and bolts sports guy because it's still story-telling. You still have to care about your community, whether it's news, sports or weather."
And speaking of weather, Ron's ultimate goal is to pull off the trifecta of broadcast journalism: sports, news and then get his meteorology degree online from Mississippi State University.
"Wouldn't it be great to do the weather in, say, Arizona and be able to tell folks pretty much every day that, 'Hey, it's a great day for a hike'!"
Ron says he's always been fascinated by weather and, during his stint at KCRA, spent a lot of time in Mark Finan's weather center. "He would talk golf; I would talk about cooling systems."
And, as with most media these days, learning to adapt to new chores is nothing new. Ron is also doing a blog, webcasts and online chats.
But when I mentioned how great high school sports coverage has been since Ron reinvigorated it more than 10 years ago, he got a little nostalgic.
"Of all my years covering high school sports, I have this great memory. Donte Stallworth was a football star at Grant High. He went on to play for the University of Tennessee. While he was with the Volunteers, he called to thank me for covering his (high) school when no one else would.
"Those were some of the most rewarding times of my life."