Brendan Kuty is living the dream of many New Jersey sports fans. He is spending every day with the New York Yankees, chronicling their play on the field, as well as their off-the-field lives.
The Stanhope resident and Hopatcong native is entering his first season as a beat reporter covering the Bronx Bombers for NJ.com. Spending more than 40 days in Florida for spring training, calling Yankee Stadium your office, and traveling to see Derek Jeter in cities across the country sound like the perfect way to spend time to many fans and aspiring journalists.
It’s something County College of Morris (CCM) made possible.
“I wouldn’t be doing what I am today without CCM,” says Kuty, a 2007 graduate. “My time at CCM put into motion the events that led me to covering a Major League Baseball team.”
While attending CCM, then-professor and advisor to the student newspaper, The Youngtown Edition, Dr. Noel Robinson told Kuty about a part-time opening in the Daily Record sports department. Kuty jumped at the chance to work in a professional newsroom.
“I learned a lot from the reporters and editors at the Daily Record,” he says. “It gave me the chops to explore other opportunities.”
Kuty’s initial assignment for the Daily Record was to cover a local basketball camp hosted by New Jersey Nets point guard Marcus Williams. He went on to also cover professional sports while working for SNY, the television network of the New York Mets. His reports, which were on the network’s website, gave him his first taste of what makes web-based content different than print.
He also reported for a web-only audience while covering his hometown of Hopatcong for AOL’s hyperlocal set of websites, Patch. In between, he was a reporter at the New Jersey Herald in Newton, a job he took after receiving his associate degree from CCM and while finishing his bachelor’s degree at William Paterson University.
Kuty came to the NJ.com Yankees beat after covering Morris County for the news organization. He says each of his jobs prepared him to tackle the high-profile Yankees job, as he has experience covering sports, news and legal angles, and articles that are of particular interest to an online audience.
Kuty is also no stranger to baseball. He played at CCM and emphasizes the importance of becoming involved on campus.
“Doing more than just going to class was very important in my development as a person and a journalist,” says Kuty. “I became so much more comfortable interviewing people after talking to people on campus through the Youngtown."