James spent most of his life growing up in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. He came to La Crosse in 2007 to attend UW-L, originally with hopes to work as a chiropractor. A quick realization in his first semester, and he knew the sciences were not for him. Somehow he ended up as a Communication Studies Major, with an emphasis in Broadcast and Digital Media Management, and never looked back. James earned his degree in May of 2011, but had already started down his career path before crossing the stage.
James has worked his way up at News 8, filling a variety of roles. He started as a sports intern in the summer of 2010 and was hired as a part time sports photographer after. From there, he spent some time in news, and then took a job as a producer. James has produced every show at News 8 at some point, except for News 8 at Noon, though he admits his favorites are what he focuses on now – News 8 at 6 & 10. James has had a number of great memories at the station, and looks forward to many more through the years.
My favorite band is Jack's Mannequin. They're an alternative-rock band from California and have really powerful lyrics, especially when you learn the story about the lead vocalist, Andrew McMahon.
My favorite book is 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.' I was never an avid reader, but was totally drawn into the Harry Potter series and loved the books as they became darker and darker. I don't count the epilogue in this selection.
My best day at News 8 was the day?
I got to do his first Highlight Zone. It was such an incredible feeling getting the assignment and being trusted to go out and get the footage, then hurry back and help with other behind the scene work as the team scrambled to be ready on time.
If you could interview one person, living or deceased, who would that be?
An inspiration to my everyday life is Gandhi. The way he lived his life and fought for what he believed in without actually fighting makes I believe the world isn't the scary place we are so often led to think it is. It also makes me believe that I can make a difference in the world.
What sports team are you a big fan of?
I am a proud Denver Broncos fan and look forward to another winning season - eventually. I can't say I'll apologize for Super Bowl 32, but since I do cheer for the Packers every chance I get I do feel a little bad.
What are you bad at and wish you could do better?
I wish he could run for longer periods of time. Growing up, I always played sports that required quick bursts of speed, like tennis and baseball. I ran my first 5k last summer, but want to be faster and avoid the feeling that I need to crash for the rest of the day.
Do you have a hobby or collect anything special to you?
I collect obscure and strange board games, especially those involving epic combat. My favorites include Heroscape, Settlers of Catan, and Pit.
What do you like about your job?
I love the people I work with. It has been a privilege to work with everyone here at News 8 as I continue to grow into this role and grow as a person. I know I wouldn't be where I am now without all of their support and encouragement.