To anyone starting out in their career, “Work hard, be respectful, and never burn a bridge,” advises David Eid, Sports Director for WGME-13. In our second posting of KMA Stakeholders, we learn how Dave motivates a team, the value of hard work, and how he has managed his decades-long career in sports journalism. Thanks, Dave, for sharing your perspective with us!
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to lead by example. I’m a one-man department and we have a lot of younger reporters that are just coming on board. My formula has always been that hard work pays off and working in the media there’s no such thing as an eight hour day. Don’t expect things to be handed to you; if you want something you have to go for it. That’s always been my leadership model.
What was the most difficult decision you’ve had to make as a leader?
A few years ago, when my wife was battling cancer, I was getting ready to cover the Spring State Championships. I had my mother in law coming to the house to watch over Lisa while I went to work. I was Lisa’s full-time caretaker while working and anchoring from home – first because of covid, and then to be with my wife for her final days. Before leaving the house that day Lisa asked me if I would stay home and be by her side so that’s exactly what I did. Lisa passed away less than a month later.
How do you motivate and inspire a team?
I believe being a positive influence can be the best motivator. Some people need a pat on the back, and I’ve always been that guy. I love giving compliments. Younger people really need this, especially when they’re new, to build confidence and feel good about what they’re doing. For me, confidence is the key to everything. A lot of times, you hear what you didn’t do as opposed to what you did do right. You have to be optimistic and positive, and that can go a long way to inspire a team.
What’s one challenge – internal or external – that you’re anticipating and preparing for in the next year?
One of the biggest challenges every year is the High School state tournament in late February. It’s always a challenge since it’s just me, and I try to do the best I can to get as much content as I can. Sometimes it’s 12-14 hour days, but at the end of it you feel great because you gave it your all.
What advice would you offer someone just starting out in your field?
The best advice I can give is work hard, be respectful and never burn a bridge. Starting out in any field, you really need to make your contacts and build relationships. When people trust you, rely on you, and respect you, good things will happen.
Do you have any daily practices that help you be your best personal and/or professional self?
I get up every morning and walk 3.5 miles on the treadmill, make my coffee and enjoy some downtime. I have my routine and I’m a creature of habit. I believe time management is crucial and balancing work and family is also vital.
Do you have a personal philosophy or mantra that has been a through line of your career?
Just work hard and be a good person. Try to do the right thing and be true to yourself. I try to be the same person every day, whether that’s in the grocery store or on TV. Never forget where you came from, your roots and values. Those are important things that you have to carry on in life.
What so far has been the proudest moment or achievement of your career?
Back in 2019 I had open heart surgery and was out for six weeks of recovery. And six weeks to the day, I was covering the girl’s lacrosse State Championships. I remember setting up the camera to do an interview with St. Dom’s star Avery Lutrzykowski who had 8 goals in the Saints 11-8 win over Lake Region. When I asked Avery to explain “how it felt to be a State Champion” her response was something I will never forget. Avery said…“More importantly how are you feeling?” That was a proud moment because it spoke volumes about our student athletes here in Maine. I had no idea Avery even knew that I had open heart surgery! I was just hoping to get through that day, and Avery, at the pinnacle of her high school career, wanted to know how I was doing. That was one of the proudest moments for sure. I am so privileged to cover these great young athletes each and every day.
What was the most valuable lesson you learned from a teacher or mentor?
If you want something bad enough, you have to go for it. That is something that has definitely resonated with me throughout the years, whether in high school, college, or grad school. I know those words can sound hollow, but when you do go after something and it pays off, it rings true. That’s really been my motto.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a sportscaster, believe it or not. It was a dream of mine. I knew I wasn’t going to play for the Red Sox, so that was the next best thing. I feel privileged to be able to do it for so long, and to be part of a great team at WGME.
If you could spend one week vacationing anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I’ve been to Aruba once and I want to go back.
What was the first concert you attended?
What was your first job, and what lessons did you learn in that role?
When I was 15 or 16, I was a bag boy at what’s now Shaw’s, and I had a lot of fun in that job. I’m still that same person. I try not to take things too seriously.
If you could have dinner with anyone, alive today or a historic figure, who would you choose?
Bill Belichick. I would love to have dinner with him and just pick his brain. I think he’s fascinating, and there’s so much we don’t know about the greatest coach of all time.
What’s your favorite place on earth?
As a kid, my family used to go to Cape Cod every summer and stay at a little cottage in Dennis Port. It was a special part of my childhood.
What’s one invention you think we would be better off if it didn’t exist?
I think cell phones and social media – the intentions for both are great but in many ways they can be destructive. We’re constantly on our cellphones, getting texts, checking social media etc. Cell phones never sleep unless you power them down.
Sweet or savory?
Gotta go with sweet. I have a definite sweet tooth which is why I’m on the treadmill