Your Turn

Your Turn/Matt Schmidt

Matt Schmidt
Posted: Oct. 6, 2019 12:01 am

With MATT SCHMIDT

When I was a kid, I wanted to be ... the play-by-play announcer for the Chicago Cubs. I always wanted to have Harry Caray's job, so I went to college to do sports broadcasting and ended up doing news.

What would you rather be doing right now? Binge watching something on my DVR or reading presidential biographies. I'm currently on James K. Polk.

Shhhhhh! Don't tell anyone that ... I'm really an introvert. It's hard to believe after interacting with people for 20 years in the news, but I really prefer to sit in the background and just listen.

Other than your wedding day and/or the birth of your children, what was your proudest moment? I was hired as a 19-year-old junior in college to produce a newscast for the ABC station in southern Illinois. That started a 20-year career in broadcasting before I even graduated.

It really stinks when ... people use Facebook to post rude comments and opinions about people they don't even know.

What word in the dictionary would your face be next to? Laid-back. For the most part, I'm pretty calm and don't get too stressed out about much.

I always laugh when ... I'm at work. I have some very funny coworkers with great attitudes. We love what we do, and not a day goes by where we don't have a good time.

Invite any three people, living or dead, to dinner. Who are they? My mom. She died two years ago, and I miss her every day. We loved going out to eat, and I miss our dinners together. Second would be my dad who died in 2010. Our relationship was really starting to take off after I became a dad. I would love to catch him up on his grandkids. The third would be my mentor, Terry Caldwell. He was the first news anchor I ever worked with, and he taught me everything I knew. He died of cancer shortly after I came back to Quincy in 1996. I think he would be really proud of the career I had in TV, and hopefully he would recognize some of his style in what I did.

At the end of a really long day at work, I like to ... kick back in my chair and watch my favorite TV shows. (There are too many to list.)

People who knew me in high school thought I was ... smart and maybe a bit of a goody-two-shoes. I wasn't much of a rule breaker and pretty much got along with everyone.

My most unforgettable brush with greatness was ... After a career of interviewing politicians, athletes and celebrities, I would have to say I consider my time with Honor Flight as my brush with greatness. It was rewarding to get to know many of these WWII veterans very personally and experience living history. These men who were at Pearl Harbor, Iwo Jima, the Battle of the Bulge and had met General Patton or Admiral Nimitz just left me in awe.

I would drop all my plans tonight if I had the chance to ... go to the movies with my kids. They love seeing movies in the theater, and it's one thing we all usually can do together.

If someone gave me a million dollars, there is STILL no way I would ... quit working. I would probably go stir crazy without having something to do everyday.

America should be more concerned about ... giving back. Whether it's your time or your money, I think everyone needs to find something they're passionate about and give to that cause. It's one thing to talk about the problems in our community, but it takes action to make change.

I'm OK if there's ever a national shortage of ... "Star Trek" paraphernalia. As a Trekker, I have plenty of books, DVDs, Christmas ornaments and more.

When I'm on the internet, I always go to ... ESPN and Yahoo to check on my Fantasy Football teams.

What is the most useful piece of advice you have ever received? I don't know if it was advice or just a strong example, but my dad (who worked in construction) always believed in giving a job or project everything he had. You respect other people by being honest with them, and you give every job you do your best effort every day.

When I'm cruising down the road, I'm likely listening to ... talk radio, especially Dave Ramsey.

I always get sentimental when ... I watch "This Is Us" or any sappy moment on TV. As I've gotten older, it doesn't take much for me to tear up.

The older I get, the more I realize ... my facial hair is really gray if I don't shave for a couple of days.

If I had one "do-over," I would ... not consider it. I had an opportunity in college to be the play-by-play voice for the SIU women's basketball team, and I turned it down to focus on my news job. I always wonder where that would have led in sports broadcasting, but I also like the way things turned out for me, so I don't think I'd take a do-over.

My favorite item of clothing is ... my 2016 Chicago Cubs World Series championship shirt. Hopefully I'll be able to update it in the next few years.

If I've learned anything at all ... it's not to take things too seriously. Why get worked up over something that won't matter next week, or even tomorrow? Just let it go!

 

Matt Schmidt, 44, is the assistant development director for the Quincy and Hannibal Salvation Army. He's been with the Salvation Army for five years after spending 18 years as a news anchor for KHQA and then WGEM. Schmidt grew up in Golden and attended Central High School and college at SIU-Carbondale. He has three children -- Carter, 15, McKenzie, 15, and Mason, 12. He serves on the Liberty School Board, Adams County CEO Board, College for Life advisory board and is a member of the Optimist Club of Quincy and Knights of Columbus.