To most, the idea of starting a productive work day before the sun rises seems absurd. As Newscast Director at WGAL 8 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, COMMunity alum Curtis Seamen (‘19) wouldn’t have it any other way.
Each day, Seamen arrives at the TV station around 3:45 a.m. to review the upcoming program. After ensuring that everything will run as smoothly as possible, he directs the morning show from 4:30 to 7. He then helps set up the studio and manage other projects before directing the noon newscast. “My day ends at 1 p.m., so it’s not your typical schedule,” he admits.
Getting his start as a journalism major, Seamen always had his eye on careers involving sports and writing. However, during his time as an undergrad, he saw those interests expand. “When I got to college, a lot of the things that I got involved in were more TV-based,” Seaman says. “I discovered that I enjoyed doing things television-related a lot more than I enjoyed writing. So my path changed and diverted towards TV.”
Specifically, Seamen worked with Messiah’s television station, YBTV, beginning his involvement in the various parts of television production. “Even if it’s a small version of what TV’s really like, to have an idea of how that business works and operates was huge for me,” Seaman says. “I know a lot of people that have come in and didn’t have as much hands-on experience as Messiah gives you.” This involvement aided Seaman when starting his career in professional television. “That was a big confidence builder, knowing that I had some general idea and general knowledge of what I was going to be doing, instead of going in completely blind and nervous.”
In addition to his involvement on campus, Seamen interned at WGAL during his studies. A recent Messiah graduate alerted him to the position, where he got involved in every aspect of TV that he could, from camera to teleprompter to audio.
Moving from an internship, to part time, to full time, Seamen has continued working with WGAL today. During COVID, he entered his director position without much warning. Coming a long way from a timid intern, he dove into the position, gaining new experience and responsibility. Throughout his years working for WGAL, Seaman has grown in confidence and has bonded with his team, truly enjoying what he does. “Anytime I get to direct a newscast,” he says, “I’m in a happy spot, to say the least.”
-Kaitlin Merlino ‘23