Name: Kyle Clark
Marital status: Married
Children: A daughter, nearly 1 year old
Career: Political reporter and news anchor
Hometown: Lyons, New York
Where do you call home today? Denver
Introduction: 9NEWS anchor Kyle Clark is best described as authentic. For a journalist and political reporter in today’s media and political climate, he is a welcome breath of humility, honesty and directness. Clark is one of those few political journalists who has been positively cited by the left (Maddow) and right (Hannity). He credits that to a commitment not to an ideology, but to a standard. The three-time local Emmy winner and two-time Colorado Broadcaster Association winner discussed his love of his adopted Colorado and his belief that the way to fix the current toxic political environment is to get people talking to each other rather than retreating to their own corners. I encourage Coloradans to tune into his program “Next with Kyle Clark” to check out his sport coats and stay for the discussion.
What surprises people about you?
That I am an introvert.
How do people describe you?
I think intense is frequently used and probably fair. I’m also passionate about what I do.
Who do you most admire?
I have tremendous admiration for my 93-year-old grandmother. She has remarkable perseverance.
Favorite Denver metro restaurant?
I am a huge fan of Tables in Denver, but since the baby was born, we really don’t go out much.
What was the last great book you read?
I read about six books at a time. I read the World Made by Hand series by James Kunstler. I love dystopian post-apocalyptic fiction because it reminds me that s#*t can always get worse.
What is your biggest fashion faux pas?
Courage. Or a complete and utter disregard for other people’s opinions. I wear things that I find interesting. But my unusual sport coats have become a visual handshake.
What is one thing that you absolutely can’t live without?
What was your last major purchase?
An espresso maker.
What gadget can you not live without?
I’m obsessed with tinkering with smart home gadgets.
What are your hobbies?
Fixing up the house has been the entirety of my life for the past couple of years. I also love to travel and visit Colorado’s breweries.
What is your most memorable Colorado experience?
One of the top ones right now is when the Rockies made the World Series in 2007. Unforgettable and very cool.
What one word describes Coloradans to you?
What is your favorite spot in Colorado to visit?
Are you involved with any charities?
We support nonprofit journalism, job retraining programs and animal welfare organizations and shelters.
What took you down this career path?
I grew up in a family of storytellers. I remember going to my grandfather’s farm and we’d share stories around the table. A farmer, a teacher, a naturalist, a corrections officer, all walks of life. We would share and listen to great stories.
What was the now famous “snow patio furniture rant?”
It was a thing we did off-hand as a joke several year ago. It went viral before viral was even a thing. Every time it snowed, people would send hundreds of patio furniture pictures to show how much snow they got. We went out on social media teasing people about that there is so much beauty in Colorado, and they send pictures of their patio furniture covered in snow.
Why do you think it resounded too much?
I think because everybody has been on both sides of it. Everybody has taken that picture, and everybody has also been bored by seeing the same picture over and over again.
How has social media changed the news business?
For better and worse, it has made us more reactive. It’s good when it’s responsive and transparent. However, I also find we are spending a lot of time batting down nonsense. That is not something we were spending time on 10 to 15 years ago.
Who do you like to follow on social media?
I like to follow insightful people who are not public people, because they tell us where our blind spots are and what we are missing.
Are there any social media posts you’d like to take back??
I don’t go back and look at old posts. By their very nature, old posts are out of context today and don’t mean much. While it’s a very popular form of “gotcha,” social media really exists only in the moment.
How has “Next with Kyle Clark” impacted your career?
It’s really kept me in the business. “Next” is why I am still in journalism. It is guided by the community and allows me to be responsive. It keeps us relevant and fresh. It moves us away from what I call the litany of tragedy style of newscasts. I like people to watch the news not out of fear but out of joy and curiosity.
What are the biggest challenges in your business?
Credibility and trust are the number one issues for news journalists today. It’s not necessarily a new issue, but it has gotten a larger spotlight in the political climate of today. It’s easy to find things to make you feel good but are not true. We are asking people to choose intellectual discomfort.
How did being in a small New York market prepare you for your work with 9NEWS?
It was my local market and if you did something wrong, you heard about it immediately. Working in my hometown market, you bring some institutional knowledge. I have always tried to hold on to the idea that you are talking to people’s friends and family, so be courteous and respectful and don’t sugar coat things.
Is there anything you miss about the smaller market?
You miss individual people and places, but I’ve never felt more connected to the community than I do right now. In many ways, because of the closeness of this community, Colorado feels like a small-town market.
Is there a most memorable moment for you when you were on the news?
The balloon boy day sticks out. The boy who floated away in a hot air balloon in Fort Collins. Covering the Aurora shooting also sticks out.
You had a public dust-up with Frontier Airlines. What was your main take away from it?
You will hear people complain about this airline or that. My take away is that if their executives would treat a public person like me how they did, image how they must treat people who have no platform to push back.
You have been praised by both liberal and conservative media for your reporting. How do you hold the middle?
You try to apply a single standard. It doesn’t mean you dig somebody on the left today and somebody on the right tomorrow. You simply try to apply the same standard to everyone. I think people really want a show like “Next” that doesn’t hold to a particular ideology, but tries to maintain a consistent standard.
Beer has been in the news recently. Tell me about your enthusiasm for beer?
It started with a store in Rochester, New York, Beers of the World. It was fascinating to learn about other areas of the world through beer. Now the craft market is a fun social scene in Colorado. Today we have over 300 breweries. When I started at 9News, they didn’t like my mentioning that I was a home-brewer. Now, craft beer is so ubiquitous, I can talk about it whenever I want.
How do you feel about the concept of “fake news?”
It’s an obvious attempt to sow distrust to serve a political end. It’s also important to remember that journalists are human and make errors. The question is; are we accountable for them? Never trust a news outlet that doesn’t admit and correct its errors. That said, public distrust is real and we must constantly work to earn the trust. For example, it has been grounds for dismissal at every media outlet I have worked for if a journalist simply makes something up.
Where do you hope to be in ten years?
I would love to be here and doing great journalism in Colorado.
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