The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Profile – NE instructor doubles as Telemundo producer

By Brandy Voirin/reporter

While thousands of Catholics gathered for Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Silao, Mexico, Alfredo Sanchez looked for a way out.

The television field producer for Telemundo needed to get medical help for his engineer. The hotel was 30 miles away. Police stopped all cars from entering and exiting. He pleaded in vain with police but soon spotted an opportunity.

Alfredo Sanchez teaches RTVF students using his Emmy-winning, international experience. Photo by Brendon James/The Collegian
Alfredo Sanchez teaches RTVF students using his Emmy-winning, international experience.
Photo by Brendon James/The Collegian

A garbage man agreed to drive his team out of the park. So they mounted the back of the oversized truck, stepping over a multitude of foreign objects.

“A ride is a ride, even if it’s in a garbage truck,” Sanchez said.

After a shower, Sanchez raced back in time to hear the pope’s speech.

“If the pope could show up at 84, I could too,” he said. “Every day, you have to show up and give the best story you can.”

Showing up has always been a part of Sanchez’s story. The husband and father of three daughters juggles multiple roles as an executive producer for Telemundo 39 while also moonlighting as a Radio/Television News Writing teacher on NE Campus.

“‘Those that can’t do, teach’ is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard,” said Sanchez, who has won eight Emmy awards. “The only advantage the teacher has over the students is experience. I’ve been exposed to interviewing presidents, amazing career opportunities, and it’s my responsibility to teach.”

Sanchez’s class is run similar to a news studio, so students receive a taste of the professional arena. Student David Powell used to hate the long Saturday classes but said Sanchez offers something exceptional.

“When Mr. Sanchez talks, I pay attention,” Powell said. “He’s encouraging and down to earth and works in the field we are all aiming for.”

Most weekday mornings, Sanchez slams down a protein shake at his Southlake home, drives his three daughters to school, then heads to his office in Fort Worth. With such a busy schedule, though, his routine isn’t always regular.

“My family and I have an understanding — Papi is like a doctor,” he said. “I don’t work traditional hours, and they understand.”

Sanchez doesn’t feel like he’s missing out on important moments as he says his job gives him lots of flexibility.

“Sometimes, I work back-to-back days, but I show up to the important stuff,” he said. “Just last week, my wife was out of town, so I drove my daughters to the math tutor, soccer practice, gymnastics and piano lessons, so I am around.”

On one spring morning, Sanchez’s drive to work is full of snow. It’s 10 a.m., and Sanchez works ferociously at his desk staring at two computer screens writing emails and talking with his assignment desk editor in English and Spanish.

“People think the ice and snow is easy. Well, day one of covering the snow is easy. You cover the snow,” he said. “But it’s day five, and every day you must learn how to reach the viewers in a new way.”

Sanchez’s team of video journalists, assignment writers and supporting staff have two editorial meetings to discuss the news of the day. In meetings, staff must be prepared for Sanchez’s brutal honesty.

“We always want to tell the best story, so don’t waste my time with bad ideas,” he said.

Sanchez didn’t always know he wanted to produce the news. Born in Costa Rica, his parents divorced when he was 2, and he lived with his father until moving to the U.S.

“I started as a radio reporter back in the 1990s following soccer teams,” Sanchez said. “I thought I would be in radio all my life.”

He dreamed of opportunities beyond the life he knew but wasn’t certain of his particular course.

It came when Sanchez won the competitive Fulbright Scholarship that allows U.S. citizens to go abroad and noncitizens to come to the U.S. to study. Speaking no English, he studied at Louisiana State University for four years and then got his master’s at Southern Methodist Uinversity.

“College opened a lot of doors,” he said. “Telling a story has always attracted my interest, and I have found television was the perfect tool for me to do what I love.”

The preparation, the coordination, the parts coming together still excite him.

“I feel like I’m conducting an orchestra every day,” he said.

Back at the studio, Sanchez deals with a lack of staff because schools let out early for the snow.

“Now that’s a story,” Sanchez smiled. “Although the roads could be treacherous, this is the third day in a row they’ve let kids out of school early, and people have to work,” he said. “Granted, today they probably do need to be out early, but the first day? No way.”

He grins and tells his staff to keep him posted while he works on a new snow angle.

“See, you have to be aware of your elements, everything going on around you, because the best story could be right in front of you,” he said.

Sanchez is known as a leader among his staff.

“He’s a very nice guy and such a hard worker,” commercial operator Moises Munoz said. “Everyone comes to him all the time because Alfredo can fix anything.”

He has been quietly training for the USA Master World Track and Field Championship in Lyon, France, this summer. Most of his staff were clueless to this.

“I run during my lunch break at the NBC gym,” He said. “I’m a man of many talents.”

With all this, Sanchez still likes teaching. He wants to share what he knows about his craft.

“I want to die empty,” he said. “To die without sharing, is just crazy. There’s no glory in that.”

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