Storytelling with Big 10 Storyteller Ed Kengerski
He tells the stories of some of the country’s greatest college athletes. But it’s so much more than scores and stats. The stories behind these athletes can inspire and change lives. We’re diving into the life and craft of a storyteller for the University of Michigan, who made the jump from TV news in Kalamazoo.
Ed Kengerski was the Sports Director at WWMT, a CBS affiliate, where I got to know him as a guy who was passionate about telling great sports stories. Now Ed has taken his talents to the national stage in Ann Arbor. The best part of his storytelling career, according to Ed, has been telling the stories that affect a community.
“You start off in a career in broadcasting thinking that you’re going to be doing the big, big stuff. When you start working, you start realizing everybody has a story. When you’re working at a local TV station, doing a story on something or somebody local, now you’re actually touching someone’s life.“ - Ed Kengerski on telling the impactful stories
The path to storytelling is never a straight shot
Ed has taken a winding path to get to the national stage of Big 10 College Athletics. For Ed, it all started with wanting to be just like the late great Ernie Harwell. And while Ed did get the chance to call games, he found that taking the TV route provided him an opportunity to tell stories and go deeper into the sports world.
Of course, it wasn’t a simple path to get on TV. Ed started with an internship, moved to North Dakota, came back to Kalamazoo, Michigan to a top 40 TV news market, and worked for 19 years. Now he’s in Ann Arbor and traveling with U of M athletics telling great stories. For Ed, it all comes back to the story behind the sport.
“Storytelling is such an important part of captivating an audience. I started off just wanting to do games, went into TV news, and the opportunities there to tell stories are just limitless.“ - Ed Kengerski on the path to success
Oftentimes, great storytelling is all about asking and listening
One thing Ed learned over the years, is that finding great stories comes down to asking questions, connecting with people and listening for the story. Whether it’s on the sidelines of a high school football game or near the dugout of a college softball game - or even at a local coffee shop where the community gathers - being ready to hear someone’s story can lead to telling great stories.
“When you’re at a game, you talk to people… could be an administrator or a parent, just somebody with a connection… During the week you go out to practices and things and that’s your time to talk as well. You just start asking ‘Anybody with an interesting story on this team?’” -Ed Kengerski on finding great stories to tell
Connect with Ed Kengerski and U of M:
Remember to leave your rating and review if you enjoyed the show, and share this podcast with your friends, family and network. The Storytellers Network with Dan Moyle airs every Monday at 7 AM EST.