Every newscast has one person that sets them apart and attracts a crowd unlike any they had seen before. For WJET news, that journalist is Craig Smylie. He is becoming one of the most beloved broadcast journalists in Erie, reporting on sports from the high school to professional level. He continues to bring news watchers in Erie quality, professional stories about athletic events happening in and around the community.
Smylie was born June 20, 1982, in Solon, Ohio, just outside of Cleveland. He attended Solon High School, where he got his original calling to become a journalist. During his time, he participated in drama and music courses and then realized these subjects mixed well into journalism.
After high school, Smylie went to Ohio University and got his degree in broadcast journalism with a minor in psychology. He worked in Lima, Ohio, as a news reporter for a year before going coming to Erie in August 2007 and remaining here still today.
Smylie has really found his home here in Erie. He gets to report to thousands of people throughout the community on one of his true loves, sports. He gets to have the privilege of getting close to the playing field in areas where people pay thousands of dollars in tickets for free. He loves being the play-by-play guy and attends as many sporting events as he can.
Being a journalist can have its own stresses, however. Trying to decide what games to attend can be a daily struggle that he has to deal with. Getting quality game clips as well as adding commentary can be tough, especially on a time crunch. Delayed games as well as hard-nosed interviewees are just a few of the things Smylie has to work with. A lot of how he works through it is the experience he has gotten ever since he started working in Erie. Managing time is a huge part of it, but he has gotten used to it over the years.
Smylie was the first person in his family to get into the journalism business. He said a huge part of it is getting involved early on in his life. “Join all the clubs and other extracurriculars you can, also looking for internships and other jobs,” he said.
Once he became a journalist he knew he was happy with his career choice. One of the best moments for him was meeting Joe Tate, the voice of the Cleveland Cavaliers and one of his role models. Just getting to meet some of these incredible athletes makes it worth it for Craig, especially working in the Erie community and watching them grow.
Journalism has the potential to be an extremely stressful, tough job. Smylie, however, is able to use his extensive experience and knowledge to handle it. “There is nothing better than getting recognized for your hard work at the games and other athletic events,” said Smylie. He continues to work tirelessly to bring sports news to the citizens in Erie.