Bloomington native rounds the bases from WTIU to NYC each week

Sometimes, during a few minutes of downtime during his weekend gig at the New York City-based MLB Network, a colleague will ask WTIU senior director/producer Jay Kincaid curiously, “What do you do out there, anyway?”

It’s great, the Bloomington native assures them, detailing his weekday duties at Indiana University’s public television station.

“I say, ‘It’s your typical PBS station, so we have fund drives and that sort of thing, but we have awesome studio shows with a mix of all different things, and I can also end up doing something like opera for Radio/TV Services or Big 10 swimming, so the variety is really nice,’” Kincaid said. “As a lot of people say, ‘I like steak, but not every day.’ I like baseball, but I’d get sick of it if I did it every single day.”

Jay Kincaid

Jay Kincaid.

A director/producer at WTIU since 1999, Kincaid flies to New York City nearly every weekend, where he directs “MLB Tonight,” a daily program on the Major League Baseball Network. Once the World Series is over, he shifts over to CBS and directs football shows on that network until the Super Bowl. Then he takes a few months off, enjoying weekends at home with his family before starting all over again.

Kincaid, a 1983 IU Bloomington graduate who majored in telecommunications and minored in Russian history and political science, went to work for NBC in New York City shortly after commencement. He also worked at CNBC and King World — which syndicates “Oprah” and “Jeopardy,” and also owns “Inside Edition” — before moving back to Bloomington to be closer to his mother following his father’s death.

But he hung onto his New York City-based job, meaning he spends most weekends jetting between Bloomington and the Big Apple.

Kincaid describes a typical weekend: “I usually leave here on a noon flight, get into LaGuardia, take a car to the studio, start work around 6 p.m. and wrap up my first show around 11 p.m. Then I swing into something else around midnight, finish up around 2 a.m. and then head back to the hotel and sleep for a bit. I’m back in the studio on Sunday at 11 a.m., on the air by 1 p.m., do the four-hour “’MLB Tonight,” and then catch a 9 p.m. flight that gets me home by about 12:30 or so.”

That way, he explained, he’s only away from his wife and their five children for about 36 hours, a schedule he said he couldn’t maintain without their support.

The hard work and schedule juggling is worth it, Kincaid said. He recently won his 10th Emmy Award, has worked side-by-side with famous sports broadcasters most of us have only seen on our TV screens, and directed network coverage for several Olympics, most recently in 2008 games in Beijing.

But he still feels most at home here in Bloomington, he said.

“I love the people and the variety working here at WTIU,” Kincaid said. “It’s also great working with students, who are always fun, try very hard and are always interested in what we’re doing.”

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