Senior Producer, Brand and Marketing, WKYC Cleveland

David Hrvatin | Journalism | Class of 2014

Watch: David discusses how his job has changed during COVID-19:

Behind the scenes of every television newscast that airs, there’s a team of professionals who work on everything from technical production to the station’s brand.

Kent State alumnus David Hrvatin, ’14, is part of that team for Cleveland’s NBC affiliate, WKYC Studios, as a Senior Producer for Brand and Marketing.

“At my job, each day brings something different,” he says. “I produce on-air spots to promote news stories or the image of the station. I also edit commercials for several local businesses that are clients of WKYC. Every day includes writing, video editing, graphic design, animating and exporting.”

Brand and marketing can be an often-overlooked part of television news, but it’s a niche David initially carved out while he was a student at Kent State. Beginning with his first day on campus as a freshman, he was involved with TV2, Kent State’s independent student-run television station, as an associate producer. By the time he graduated, he had spearheaded TV2’s rebranding, going from a college TV station to a hyperlocal community channel — “Truly Portage County.”

“The more I worked with this type of marketing, the more I came to love it,” David says. He spent the summer between his junior and senior year interning in WKYC’s marketing department, working hands-on with campaigns and producing original promos.

“This internship solidified my interest in marketing and helped me apply what I learned back to KSU to take TV2’s marketing to the next level.”

Journalism Major

WKYC hired him full-time after he graduated, and since then, he’s worked on important stories like an investigation into domestic violence in Greater Akron, and the unrest in Ferguson, Mo., following the shooting of Michael Brown by a police officer.

More recently, David worked on a major rebranding project for WKYC.

“We studied every newscast in town and set up internal and external focus groups,” David says. “We identified trends, but more usefully, we identified opportunities for content we could produce that no one else was providing.”

The station eventually landed on a “life coach” approach. David describes it as, “helping our viewers live life to the fullest, be their best self, protect them from harm and be there for them when times are tough.”

He and his WKYC colleagues now incorporate that brand into everything they do, from the content they produce to the imagery they use to the words they write.

David says the experience he gained working for TV2 as a student prepared him for working in a professional newsroom.

“TV2 provided other students and me with terrific hands-on experience ... Simultaneously, we studied journalism and television production in the classrooms, and applied our knowledge in the Student Media newsroom.”

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