Passion and purpose: Finding the right job

Justin Narveson

Finding a job you’re passionate about is a search that can last decades. WQOW Sports Anchor Evan Hong says he enjoys every minute of his job. He describes his immense passion for covering sports and says he takes pride in being able to bring light the accomplishments of local athletes and bringing exposure for them. Evan has been covering sports for the Chippewa Valley the last 2 years and states that his job does not feel like a job.

Hi there. My name is Evan Hong. I’m 23 years old, and I am the weekend Sports Anchor and sports reporter for WQOW News 18 in Eau Claire. It’s the ABC affiliate TV station for the area.

Sports news is the only news, I really consume. I was a news reporter for a year and being in that world is completely different than sports. I watch the news, but I mainly watch because I want to keep up on sports. You know the news about, Coronavirus or politics. That stuff just doesn’t interest me. Like it does Sports. I know it’s important and I was very thankful to like to be a part of you know news reporting like that. But I think just sports is like my favorite thing in the world. So, it’s just easy for me to go. The work that I do. It doesn’t like feel like work. I’ve never gone to work and been like, “Oh, I’m dreading going to work today, like this is going to suck.”

WQOW Sports Anchor Evan Hong describes his love for sports and the passion in covering them. © 2021 Justin Narveson

I guess I’ve known for a while that this was something that I wanted to do. I always loved sports. It was like my biggest passion, you know, growing up but I was never like on any teams, or I wasn’t like good at sports. So, I always just thought you know, like how could I work in sports and still be around it without actually playing it and I thought, you know, journalism was a good avenue for me because I always thought I was a good writer. So, I think probably around like ninth grade. I kind of realized. It was something I wanted to do and then I kind of just work towards it, and then I had an opportunity to intern with the station I work for now. WQOW. I think like my sophomore year of college or something like that. I got to see what the ins and outs of the newsroom, was like, as like a news reporter, but I think when I really realized, I really wanted to do it was in being in TV10 and just being able to go along the sidelines of football games and on and courtside at basketball and stuff. And just really be right there and feel like you’re part of the action. But you’re not like, actually competing. So that was always cool.

Something I always wanted to do was cover National Sports and I have had the opportunity to do that. I’ve been able to go to few Packer games. This weekend I’m going to the Packers Vikings game. So, I’m excited about that. I got to cover the Bucks championship game, and I got to go to the parade. All just being able to do all that cool stuff, like a dream come true, but we really focus on the local sports, more so in Eau Claire mainly prep sports so high school sports with Eau Claire Memorial, North, Regis, Chippewa all the schools locally and then the Blugolds and Stout because, you know, everybody can get their info from ESPN or Fox, or whatever you want to call it, for the Packers or whatever they want to find it. But I mean, we are the people that are providing like the local coverage. Like without us, the local teams wouldn’t get any media and it won’t get any attention. And, you know, these kids work really hard for their goals of making it to the state championship or whatever. So, it’s pretty rewarding to be able to share that and tell those stories about local kids, could be people’s daughters, sons, their relatives and, you know, seeing that news is the highlight of their day and for the accomplishments that they do. So, I take pride in just being able to cover a lot of the local sports and be kind of that voice and share that news in the Chippewa Valley.

The dream was always, just to be like an ESPN, SportsCenter anchor, and, you know, be on the big stage and cover all the big sports and get to do all that. But the more I work in smaller markets, I’ve grown. I’ve gained an appreciation for what they do. There aren’t a lot of people that are willing to do the job that we do. And just the feedback I hear from people. How thankful they are to have the coverage that they get in a small market like Eau Claire where a lot of other markets don’t have that. A lot of schools around Wisconsin, don’t have that.