Soldotna High School graduate Curtis Smith, KTUU Channel 2 TV News anchor, was on the Peninsula as the salmon were running to tape a special segment on Alaska's official balladeer Hobo Jim. "I grew up around Hobo, of course after I was 21, and he was a big part of my life on the Peninsula. He is woven into the fabric here not just on the Kenai, but everywhere you go, I've covered the Iditarod sled dog race twice from tip to tail, and everywhere you go you see Hobo or you hear the famous song he recorded many years ago. He's a huge part of the last frontier, and we wanted to give proper due to a pioneer who is still alive," said Smith.
Smith first became interested in broadcasting during the long Alaskan nights when he would watch a lot of sports with his father and developed an admiration for sportscaster Bob Costa and early on decided to follow in his footsteps. "I got one F at SoHi, and that was in journalism. But, that didn't deter me, I went to college at the University of Alaska Fairbanks with the idea to be a broadcast journalist. I graduated in four years and immediately had a job afterwards in Fairbanks doing sports," said Smith.
It was a serious story that Curtis had to cover while on a sports beat that changed his direction from sports to news, "One of the University hockey players got paralyzed during practice and I had to cover that story in a very serious manner, unlike I was covering the rest of the sports at the time. I figured this is the kind of story that makes an impact, these are the stories that change lives, not just highlights. So, I decided I wanted to do news and go to Anchorage."
Smith got his first chance at Channel 13 in Anchorage, then two and a half years ago moved to Channel 2. "In our business, the next step is always something that you are looking at. In our newsroom, at least half of it is filled with people that are looking for the next biggest market. But, for me this is home, this is the market; this is where I have always wanted to be. They tell me I don't have very high goals, but my lofty goals have always been to stay in town, and be around the friends and family that I just don't get sick of," said Curtis Smith speaking about the land, "Where legends are born."
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