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Getting to know Stacey Johnson, host of UK Rewind

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UK student Stacey Johnson is the host of the weekly highlight show, UK Rewind. UK student Stacey Johnson is the host of the weekly highlight show, UK Rewind. (UK Athletics)
Stacey Johnson, a senior community communications and leadership development student from Burlington, Ky., is the regular host of UK Athletics' new highlight show, UK Rewind. The show, produced by UK Sports Video, airs each week on UK Interactive and recaps the latest in Wildcat sports with video highlights and commentary. Cat Scratches sat down with Johnson to learn more about the host and talk about the show.

Cat Scratches: How did you end up deciding to attend the University of Kentucky?

Johnson: "We're a really big UK family. We're all big Wildcat fans so I guess it was kind of ingrained in me as a little girl that UK was the college I wanted to go to. For a while, I thought about Northern Kentucky University if I wanted to stay at home, but I said 'I'm going to UK' and so I came. I fell in love with it after the first semester."

CS: How did you find out about the opportunity to host UK Rewind?

Johnson: "Derek Kirk, one of the producers, is one of my really good friends and I've worked with him on other things too. He always talks to me about the different stuff that he's doing so he asked me 'Do you want to do it?' and I said 'Sure!' I didn't even know that UK Rewind was coming up and he talked about it and said they needed an anchor."

CS: How does the weekly production of the show work?

Johnson: "Derek will email me the weekly sports overview on Monday and then I usually will read over it on Monday and start writing a script. On Tuesday, I have a break from 12 to three (in the afternoon) and I'll come in, finish the script and film."

CS: With eight UK sports in action right now, there is a lot to keep track of for the show. What do you do to prepare?

Johnson: "I'm actually a really big sports fan anyway. I'm really interested in that so I go to the games anyway. To me it's not like work, it's fun and something I love to do. It's more like playing than it is like working!"

CS: What is it like to see the finished product after all the work put into the show?

Johnson: "It's really fun. It's really exciting. I always send it to my mom. When you're up there in front of the green screen, you're just talking to a camera. When you get to see the clips being put in with what you're saying and all the graphics, it puts it all together and looks really cool."

CS: How much do you enjoy being in front of the camera?

Johnson: "I actually really like it a lot. Even though I don't want to admit it, I like being on camera. I'm a pretty outgoing person, so I don't really shy away from that kind of stuff."

CS: How has working on UK Rewind compared to your past experiences in broadcasting?

Johnson: "I love it. It's so different because I also worked UK SportsZone with Wildcat Student TV last year. I did an intramural segment with them so I had some experience coming in, but so far it's been completely different."

CS: How much has this experienced helped you improve your on-camera presence?

Johnson: "Being able to see the finished product, sometimes I see things and say 'I could have done that better' or 'That kind of sounded weird, I should work on that next time.' I think I've improved a lot, especially since last year when I was just volunteering with student TV. I can tell that I'm more comfortable in front of the camera and I'm not afraid for people to be around watching me. I was really kind of shy at first but now it doesn't bother me at all."

CS: How did your interest in broadcasting develop in the first place? Could you see yourself pursuing a career in it after college?

Johnson: "I didn't even think about broadcasting or anything like that until two years ago. I worked with ESPN as a runner when they came to do one of the football games. The producer asked me to go out with a camera man to 'tent day' for Big Blue Madness. He had me asking questions and it was really fun. I came back and I was really excited and I wondered if I should look into it some more. That's when I got connected to Wildcat Student TV.

"After talking to my parents, they said 'You really should try that out' and I might think about it. My major isn't broadcast journalism or anything like that, but I would love that be my career after college. I'll wait and see. I have some time and that probably won't be something I do right out of college, but maybe eventually."

CS: A few months ago, you did not even know about UK Rewind. How much have you enjoyed this unexpected opportunity?

Johnson: "It's been really cool to have this opportunity when it's not my major. I'm just an outgoing person and I enjoy being on camera and it's worked out for me. It's all the things that I love in one: talking to people and talking about sports."

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