John Mercer has been a news anchor for KTVN Channel 2 for the last six years. Mercer, 37, grew up in Seattle and graduated from Washington State University. He is married and has 19-month-old twin daughters.
I was working in Medford, Ore., when I received a job offer here in Reno. My wife and I actually got married here, so I thought, “Hey, why not?” I’ve been loving it ever since.
What is the best part of being a news anchor?
The best part is getting a chance to meet people in the community and getting a chance to talk to them [about] what is important to them, their families and lives, getting to know the people and community. That’s the part that I really enjoy.
What challenges do you face in your career?
I think it is always a challenge to make sure the story is correct. You want to be accurate in your reporting. That is always the No. 1 challenge. The second challenge would be to find story ideas. It’s a struggle sometimes in Reno. The stories are out there; sometimes you just have to dig a little more to find them.
Do you watch yourself on television?
Not as much as I should, but I do. It’s hard to watch yourself sometimes. People think that since you are in [the] television [business], that you love to watch yourself, but it is hard. I notice all the annoying things that I do. I find myself being more critical of myself.
What happens when you have a bad hair day?
Lots of hair spray. That is the only thing to do. I have a bad hair day at least twice a week. It sounds egotistical, but hair is important. You know what? We all have bad hair days. You just have to live with it.
Do you have control of your wardrobe?
Yes, we have a clothing allowance. It sounds good, but it is not as much as we would like. Really, it is good that we have the allowance and that we can purchase our own clothes.
Do you mind the makeup?
No, but I have no idea how to put makeup on. We don’t have makeup people, so I just do the best I can. My wife will tell me if I look really bad.
What is your ultimate career goal?
To be in a job that I like, [to] be happy and to make enough money to support my family. Right now, Reno seems to be doing pretty well for me. I enjoy the community and the people here. I don’t know what the future holds, but I like Reno. I’m not one of those types of guys who has to be in New York or be the main news anchor. I think it is more important to relate to a community, spend time there and enjoy it.