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Weekly Features
Life in the Small Market
A collaborative weekly feature, Life in the Small Market offers up thoughts and views from small town broadcasters across America.
Kathleen Mitts is a General Assignment reporter and anchor at KMIR 6 News in Palm Desert. Kathleen has been working there for two years. Her first television job was at WIVT, NewsChannel 34 in Binghamton, New York. Kathleen helped launch a brand new morning show as the morning anchor in New York. Kathleen aspires to continue her career in television staying on the west coast.

It may be a small market but Palm Springs has some big stories!! Working in the California's Coachella Valley is my second newsroom job. My first was in upstate New York. Back in 1993 I was selected to be the Disneyland Ambassador to the World representing the Walt Disney Company on TV and radio all over the world. It was that experience that made me interested in broadcast journalism.

After graduating from California State University at Fullerton, with a degree in Communications, I started freelancing for just about every cable news outlet in Orange County. I learned to edit, write a package and get it done under deadline.

But getting that first job took a lot of work and patience. I put together resume tapes, sent them out and waited. Finally I decided to attend RTNDA, the Radio, Television, News Directors Association. That year it was in San Antonio, Texas. That’s where I met the News Director from WIVT in Binghamton, New York. I was hired as the morning anchor.

Before too long, my bags were packed and I moved across the country. My mornings were tough. Up at 3am, on the air at 5am and back in bed at 6pm. While the snow and rain and overall lifestyle of the east coast was different than anything I, a California girl knew, moving there was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Meanwhile, I decided to head back west after my contract was up. After working as a writer in radio at KFWB in Hollywood for a few months, I was hired at KMIR 6 News in Palm Desert. I started out as a weekend producer, three day reporter. A year later I moved into the full time reporter slot and am a fill in anchor.

Palm Springs is a great place to work. It’s a great town with great weather, but hot summers. This business is extremely competitive. You have to be willing to do it all in this market. While I don’t shoot my stories, I write and edit them. It’s not uncommon to turn around three packages with live shots within two hours.

There are a lot of interesting people that live here in the Coachella Valley. We interview former Presidents of the United States, Hollywood celebrities and sports legends, as well as visiting dignitaries who choose Palm Springs for rest and relaxation. But we also head right into the neighborhoods for those stories that hit home.