New year, new me...

That's kind of a cliche title, isn't it? Ah, who cares. If you've followed me for more than a year now, you know how challenging 2015 was for me. 

After losing a job I adored, I transitioned over to a competing station. At first, it was difficult - having to learn a new system, new co-workers and dealing with a new flow.

All the while, I was still damaged by the loss of a job I worked at for 5.5 years. To be completely honest, I went through a period of depression. Anyone who's dealt with depression knows how tough of an obstacle it can be.

While dealing with it, I lashed out and reacted in a way I shouldn't have. I acted immaturely and battered some relationships. I regret that and I apologize.

Sadly, the longest relationships I've had are with TV stations. So when the job loss happened, it was a lot like being broken up with by someone you were in love with for years.

Fortunately, in the months that followed the 'moving on' process began. I quickly fell in love with my new station, co-workers, managers and the way we tell stories at FOX.

Transitioning over to FOX made me a better Reporter. Not only was I telling the signature long-form feature stories I was known for at Channel 9, but I was getting back into the groove of General Assignment Reporting.

GA Reporting is what I initially fell in love with when I became a reporter. Getting the chance to jump back into that field, as well as applying storytelling techniques to every day stories, made me fall back in love with my career.

I'm grateful for the opportunity I've been given at FOX. I can't say this enough: I'm really, really, really happy there. Quite frankly, it's the happiest I've been at work in years.

My managers and co-workers challenge me to be the best journalist I can be - and I absolutely love them for it.

At the same time, I'm also grateful for the time I was given at Channel 9. I learned so much from so many talented people there. 

If I've said anything to offend anyone at my old station over the last year, I apologize. At the time, I was hurting (although that's no excuse). 

Channel 9 is a terrific station full of talented people. 

But deep down, I'm grateful for the way things unfolded. I love working at FOX and this is where I'm meant to be. I love being a part of what we're doing there - and the great journalism we're producing for our community. 

Every day I walk into work with a big smile on my face, knowing I get to make a difference at a station that is changing people's lives. And that's pretty cool!

Here's the 2016!

- Kevin

More change in my life. Farewell old home!

So much for the days of five minute walks to work and quick jogs to the 16th Street Mall in Downtown Denver. After living in the same condo for five and a half years I decided it was time for change. After all, I had never experienced so much change in my life at once.

I moved to Denver in 2009 to take a job at Channel 9. A friend of mine told me to check out the Capitol Hill section of the city since it would be close to work and downtown. After browsing a few listings on Craigslist there was one condo in particular I fell in love with.

After checking it out in person, I knew it was the place I wanted to be. It felt like home. And for a fella who had just packed up his life in New York and left the only home he knew, nothing felt more comfortable.

As the years went on, the condo continued to grow on me. As tiny as it was, it served as a home for not only me, but my ex and his dog. The four of us (me, my ex, his dog and Maggie) lived together for a year and a half.

It was a place of comfort for me during break-ups, bad news and good news. After the Aurora Theater shooting I remember going home, sinking into my bed and crying into my pillow until I passed out.

I also remember my apartment smelling of burnt wood after covering countless Colorado wildfires. That smell would linger for days, if not weeks.

During the holidays my apartment beamed with Christmas lights and decorations. It always brought a smile to my face and warmed my heart.

It was the place where friends would gather on Sunday nights to watch HBO. In fact, my apartment probably hosted more movie nights than some cinemas.

In recent months, it brought me more comfort. In February, the person I had dated for about ten months broke up with me. I was heartbroken, but felt at ease whenever I cuddled up on my comfy couch. Exactly one week after the breakup, I dealt with another loss: the loss of my job at Channel 9. Fifteen minutes after the station decided to part ways, I found myself back on my comfy couch in my cozy apartment, seeking comfort.

I remember thinking to myself, “What if there aren’t any job openings in Denver? I’m going to have to move to a different city. I’m going to have to leave my friends and my apartment behind”. I looked around and thought long and hard about that for quite some time.

Three days later I found myself on a flight back home to New York to spend time with my family. During that trip I received the best news I’ve ever received. The woman who would eventually become my new boss at FOX31 offered me a Reporting gig. So, I booked a ticket back to Denver and returned to my little home in Cap Hill. It had never felt as comfortable as it did the moment I walked back through its door.

Good things don’t always last forever though. My lease wasn’t up until September, but my landlord called me about two months ago and said he was interested in selling the condo and wondered if he could buy me out of my lease. He offered me quite a bit of money and I would’ve been a fool to say no. After all, he was going to sell the condo sooner or later so I looked at it as a sign: it was time for more change.

I’ve lived by myself for the last couple of years and never really enjoyed being alone. I’m a social person and like to be around people.

More recently I had thought about finding a roomie situation. Fortunately, one of my best friends in Denver, Kate, told me she had an open room in her house with another good friend of ours, Rudy. Without hesitation, I said ‘I’ll take it!’.

The three of us live in the Highlands. It’s a few miles away from work, but I love the fact I’m going to get to bike in every day. I’m absolutely ecstatic about the new place and couldn’t be happier. 

After dealing with so much change over the last couple of months, it finally feels like the storm has passed and happiness is on the horizon. At this very moment, my personal life, my professional life and my home life are pretty amazing and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

While I’ll miss my old Cap Hill condo, I’m also realistic. Change is inevitable. And at this very moment, my future has never looked so bright :)

Viewing TV news through Periscope | Behind the Scenes Views

It boggles my mind when TV Reporters don't use social media. Sure, plenty of Reporters have accounts - but it seems like they only update their Twitter or Facebook pages mayyybe once a day. Once a day!? Are you kidding me?!

Viewers live on Facebook, Instagram and SnapChat (to name a few). If you're looking to reach them, interact with them and hopefully get them to watch your stories - then you need to go to where they are to get your word out.

Case in point, I was working a few Saturdays ago when a crazy May snowstorm blew into Denver. By the late evening hour, no one was out and about because the roads were slick. Instead, they were sitting at home on their laptops in front of their TVs. That night I saw maybe one or two local Reporters sending out a tweet or two teasing their stories. I wanted to bash my head up against a wall.

Mother Nature created a beautiful opportunity for all of us to attract viewers to our respective news stations for storm coverage, yet no one was doing it! I took full advantage of it and sent out about 30 tweets within an hour and about a dozen Facebook posts.

I shouldn't have wasted as much time on Twitter (I recently did some research and discovered Twitter isn't as valuable a tool for TV journalists as we originally thought). None the less, it's important for TV journalists to be more social.

If you've followed me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter for any time now - then you know I'm pretty social. Sometimes a little too social (kidding). On a recent Wednesday night I tried something different. I downloaded an app called 'Periscope' a month ago. It provides viewers and readers with a LIVE look through your cell phone. It's like the mobile version of LiveStream.

For a half hour straight, I allowed viewers a behind the scenes look into the KDVR newsroom and let them follow me as I got ready for my 9:30pm LIVE shot in studio. They got to see what the station looked like, I let them chat with our anchors and we even answered questions they had. At the end, they saw a behind the scenes look at my live shot and got to compare it with the actual TV news broadcast. It's a view viewers never get to see.

Overall, about 200 people tuned in. I would say it was a successful first night really using it. I plan to do more of them. So stay tuned!

Looking Back...

I had a difficult time falling asleep Monday night. I kept thinking about the last year. Work-wise, 2013 was amazing. I covered a lot of interesting stories, met some wonderful people and I also got to travel a lot. On top of that, I was fortunate enough to win a hand full of prestigious awards for my reporting. When it came to my career, 2013 was everything I hoped it would be.

As for my personal life, 2013 brought a tremendous amount of heart ache. The bad news didn't unfold until September, when my family learned my stepfather had been diagnosed with Stage 4 lung, liver and bone cancer. Eventually it spread to his brain. From the day he was diagnosed until the day he died, we had less than 2 months with him. I had less time with him since I was in Colorado. I was fortunate enough to make it back home for a week in between to go fishing with him one last time.

I said it before and I'll say it a million times again, my stepfather was a great guy. I considered him my dad. He's the first thing I think about in the morning and he's the last thing I think about at night. I think that's why I've been having a difficult time sleeping lately.

After he passed away, I heard from a lot of you. Many of you told me the pain never heals. I believe it. If I had to guess, I'd say I'll feel the same way a year from now as I feel today. There's an emptiness - and there's no way to fill it. 

Sure, 2013 was awesome in terms of work. I'm grateful for that. But if I could, I would trade all those awards, all of those amazing stories, all of the travel and everything else for one more fishing trip with my stepfather.

If there's one thing I've learned in the last year it's this: Spend as much time with the people you love as possible. Laugh a lot. Always tell the ones you love how much they mean to you. Appreciate the little moments in life. Smile. If you're away from your parents, call them at least once a day. Take lots of pictures with them. Visit them often.

2013 took one of the most important people in my life away from me... A man who taught me to work hard and to appreciate everything life gives you.


I'm Sorry...

I want to issue a public apology to one of the clerks at Berthoud Town Hall. Last week when the story about Berthoud’s Police Chief and one of his officers blew up, the town wasn’t being responsive. Town Administrator Mike Hart was the go to guy but he refused to take any questions or even comment. When something as big as your police chief and one of his officers being investigated by a different police agency happens in your community, it’s kind of a requirement for a town to address its residents and to let them know what’s going on – even if the details are tiny.

Town Administrator Mike Hart wouldn’t return our phone calls, so I showed up at his office at Berthoud Town Hall. When I walked through the door, a clerk named Cathy was sitting before me. I asked for Mr. Hart and in return she told me to call him on his cell phone. She handed me his number. I was a tad bit stressed out and I did something I never do: I got snippy. I said something along the lines of, “Well, I tried calling Mr. Hart but he won’t return our calls. Shouldn’t your town make someone available to talk about this? It’s kind of a big issue!”

Long story short, I was rude to Cathy and I shouldn’t have been. I took out my frustration on her, instead of Town Administrator Mike Hart. Since last week, I thought about how rude I was several times and felt awful. That’s not me.

If you’ve ever met me out in the field, or perhaps I’ve interviewed you for a story, you know I’m not that sort of person. I’m usually very bubbly, happy and kind. I’m not sure what came over me at that moment, but I’m chalking it up as ‘having one of those days’.

Fast-forward to today. I returned to Berthoud to follow-up on Officer Yachik’s arrest. When I walked through the door, the first person I saw was Cathy. She was on the phone so I walked over to the other clerk, who kindly told me she would page Mr. Hart once he was off the phone.

I sat in the lobby for a few minutes reading a newspaper. Once Cathy was off the phone I walked over to her and said, “Cathy, I want to apologize. Last time I was here I was rude to you and I shouldn’t have been”.

She immediately replied, “Yes you were”. I explained how I shouldn’t have directed my frustration towards her and told her how I’m not that kind of guy. She said, “That’s what I thought. I watch you on the news and you come across so happy”.

She went on to tell me how disappointed she was that day because she liked me and my stories. I felt awful and continued to apologize. She got a good chuckle out of it and forgave me. At that point everyone in the office started laughing a bit. Apparently Cathy had shared the story of my outrage with everyone in Berthoud town hall. I laughed over that.

After I apologized I went back to the live truck. Cathy’s co-worker came out and said, “Mr. Torres, I thought that was awful nice of you! Cathy’s got a big smile on her face! But you know what would make her smile even more? She’s always wanted one of those gold 9 pins you guys wear on TV”.

Each reporter is given a few of those 9 pins. Five at most. Without hesitation, I took mine off my dress coat, brought it inside, apologized once again and handed her my 9 pin. Cathy smiled from cheek to cheek. Everyone started laughing again and Cathy asked if she could get a picture with me. She told me I made her day.

There’s a moral to this story: No matter how bad of a day you’re having, never take out your frustration on someone else. Especially when that person doesn’t deserve it. Also, it’s never too late to apologize.