Lexington, KY – “When I graduated from college, I was confident that I’d find a job in my chosen field [communications],” said Marilyn Clark. “Most people tried to dissuade me.”
While it took her almost six months to land her first job (a frustration that many, many college graduates know well), Clark was able to find to success in broadcast journalism, the field to which she devoted the first season of her career.
From her first job as a part-time operator at a Texas radio station at night, to her position as vice president and station manager of WLEX-TV, Clark has been around that block.
“I was lucky to have been around at a time when the business was new, fresh, fun, innovative and still very creative,” she said. The first station at which Clark worked was “owned by a survivalist who collected food, water and car parts-all collecting dust in an abandoned building on the out skirts of town,” she said. “Really interesting job…”
Clark later landed a job with KTXA, owned by Grant Communications, which she described as a very dynamic and desirable company to work for at the time. Her favorite memories include working with the Roger Staubach show (a weekly football show hosted by the former quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys) and a locally produced music video show with Tom Joyner (a well know local disc jockey who now has national acclaim).
On the surface, it might seem that Clark’s company WorkSmart, which she started in 2002 after WLEX-TV underwent a management shift, is a complete 180 from her early career. As a job training and consulting service, WorkSmart focuses on much more individualized and intimate service and attention than a news station. But she definitely feels her journalism skills have carried over.
“The good thing about having a background in journalism and in broadcast is you learn to operate at a very quick pace,” Clark said. “I take the same philosophy with designing a training program as I would with stacking a news show. … We’ve got to have something that hooks them in the beginning, we’ve got to have content, we’ve got to have good solid transitions, we’ve got to have breaks.
“Plus, as a journalist, you become accustomed to asking a lot of questions to get to the bottom of what’s going on.”