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Ryan Minutello '12

As a kid, Ryan Minutello ’12 sometimes would go on assignments with his dad, Rick, a news operations director in Pittsburgh, Pa.

So when it came time to “interview” a college to see if it offered the right degree for a career in TV news, he knew what he wanted to hear.

“When I toured the (Cal U) campus, I had a very nice conversation with Professor James Carter,” Minutello recalls.

“He said, ‘I can show you the latest and greatest pieces of equipment, but if you can’t do the basics, there’s no point to it.’”

That was a wrap.

“A lot of people are all about the equipment; nobody says you have to know the basics to be a photographer. That really said to me that Cal U was where I needed to go.”

As a communication studies major, Minutello got involved with CUTV, which provided hands-on experience with news and sports coverage.

“The ability to go out and learn from and be with my peers in a controlled environment was key,” he says.

He also was hired by PCN, Pennsylvania Cable News, as a freelance photographer.

“I was able to travel with them for experience while I was still in school. My professors were great. They’d say, ‘Where are you going today?’ And if I was going to cover Punxsutawney Phil, for instance, they’d make sure I had my class assignment.”

Today, Minutello is a news photographer for WPXI-TV, in Pittsburgh. He previously worked at Ohio stations WTOV-TV in Steubenville and WCMH-TV in Columbus. 

He creates video for news reports, of course, and when a reporter isn’t assigned to a story, he becomes both interviewer and cameraman.

“It’s very complicated — you have to think about the composition of the shot, what you are going to ask, the people around you if it’s a live shot. I run the camera in the news helicopter, too, and that’s a whole different set of skills.

“It takes a lot of time to come to a market like Pittsburgh,” he says.

“You have to pay your dues. You don’t automatically get hired. There is a lot of hard work and sacrifice.”

By Wendy Mackall, assistant communications director at Cal U

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