It’s not every day that a TV personality walks the halls at Eastern Michigan University.
For the Eagles last week, on Thursday, Oct. 5, it was Detroit Tigers and Red Wings reporter Daniella Bruce who made her appearance in Ypsilanti, Michigan, to talk to the EMU sports writing class students.
Bruce is a New Baltimore, Michigan, native who attended Michigan State University and studied broadcasting.
After multiple internship opportunities during her time in East Lansing, including networks like HomTV, Fox 2, and even ESPN, the Anchor Bay high school grad would take her talents back home after college and join State Champs! Network, a media outlet that covers high school sports throughout Michigan.
“I didn’t even have a job lined up right out of college, a lot of my friends took the local news station route,” Bruce said. “That just wasn’t for me.”
After her experience with State Champs! Network, Bruce told the class that she auditioned for a gig with the Detroit Red Wings but didn’t get the job she sought.
“It’s always one of the biggest stories I tell. They told me they wanted to keep me around and to stick with them so that they could create something for me,” Bruce said. “At that point, it’s a professional sports team in my hometown. Of course, I was going to stick this one out.”
The team came up with a short pre-game and intermission show that ran at Little Caesars Arena.
Bruce said she ran with it, leading her into a role as a color analyst on the radio show, marking her as the first woman to ever do so.
“I started working with Ken Kal and one day he decided he needed a radio color analyst, and his first thought was me,” Bruce told the class. “It’s something I’m super proud of, especially being the first woman to do so.”
Bruce has also found a way with her interviewing style by just being herself and keeping it conversational. That way, she’s able to connect with athletes and find unique answers out of them.
Sometimes it is a challenge for both Bruce and the athlete, as balancing everything that comes with both professions can cause draining days on occasions, she shared with the class.
“You just have to be yourself in interviews…don’t let a bad interview cause you to think you’re the problem,” Bruce said.
One of Bruce’s most prolific interviews came recently with Detroit Tigers legend Miguel Cabrera, as he was getting ready to hang up the cleats and explore retirement.
In that interview Bruce talked with Cabrera about his baseball journey. She shared with the class that she also aged him a little bit as she told him she was a freshman in college when he secured his prized triple crown award. The moment was just so surreal for Bruce.
“He actually doesn't always love the camera or love to do media,” Bruce said of Cabrera. “But when you sit down with him one-on-one, it’s incredible just the things he knows and his experiences he’s had, just talking baseball with him is something special.”
Bruce now serves as the reporter for the Tigers broadcast on the radio, which she just finished her first season, and will now do the same with the Red Wings for the upcoming 2023-24 season.
Some advice and words of wisdom Bruce left with the class were her touching on networking in college, as well as being focused on the class curriculum.
“I made some great connections within the industry by just sending connection requests with a message on LinkedIn,” Bruce shared. “I also wish I knew how impactful the classes I was taking [in college] would be on my career…that can put you a step ahead,” she added.