From college to KUTV 2News, these two journalists have come up together through their careers of broadcast journalism
When they graduated from the broadcast journalism program in 2009, Mallory Minster (now Moore) and Daniel Woodruff didn’t know that their careers would be intertwined throughout the course of their lives.
On June 27, 2021, twelve years after anchoring together on BYU’s then broadcast journalism program, BYU Daily News, Moore and Woodruff found themselves once again side-by-side at the anchor desk. This time with a higher rank and viewing platform. Today they are paid television journalists working for Utah’s CBS affiliate, KUTV 2News.
“This was our first time working together since we graduated. We’ve gone our separate ways, but we’ve definitely kept in contact over the years,” Moore said.
Contemplating on his years at the Y, Woodruff revealed that he thinks about his time there “quite a bit.”
“It shaped my career,” he said. “It was very helpful in preparing me for the real world. We were able to do stories, we were able to be players in the media market. I was at press conferences with reporters from all the local stations. So coming into the field of journalism, I didn’t feel at all unprepared.”
Over the course of their careers, it hasn’t been all studio lights and teleprompters. Both Moore and Woodruff have had their stints outside the broadcast market, taking time to explore other career options and enjoy family life.
Mallory Minster Moore
Moore (then Minster) was driven to succeed. The summer following graduation, she got an offer to be the main nighttime anchor for a small station in North Dakota. Determined to be a reporter, Moore decided to move 1035 miles away and go for it.
It wasn’t three months before Moore decided this might not be for her. She broke her contract and returned to Utah. Her news director said she’d never work in news again.
Back home in the beehive state, Moore found work producing for KSL’s lifestyle show. She produced for a year and half before moving out of state with her husband.
With motherhood waiting in the wings, Moore always knew what her priorities were. “Our perspective was that we want to focus on his career. If we can make it work where I could work too, obviously that’s ideal, but I always wanted to have the option,” Moore said.
Since having kids, Moore has been on the inside and outside of the business. “People say it’s so hard to get back into it once you’ve left, but I just knew that my focus was my family and if it’s gonna work out, it’s gonna work out. And it’s always worked out along the way, but it hasn’t been the conventional way of doing it,” she said.
Moore built up her resume by working in both the Ohio and Phoenix markets. Eventually, her family made it back to Utah. She was able to snag a gig filling in for another Salt Lake station during their morning broadcast. However, not long after, she got a message she did not expect.
“The news director here [at KUTV] texted me and said, ‘Could you come talk to us about opportunities?’ I was so shocked and surprised,” Moore recalled. Moore was at channel 5 for a month before making the jump to channel 2.
After graduation in April, life took Woodruff to Indiana, where he was a one-man-band reporter for two years. This led to a three-year run as a primary anchor in Wisconsin. In 2014, Woodruff saw an opportunity to move his family back to Utah. Being a northern Utah native, the position of reporter and fill-in anchor at KUTV 2News in Salt Lake City felt like the perfect fit for him.
Woodruff was at the station just shy of four years before he got another opportunity to explore. He accepted a position doing public affairs for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “During that time I had some great experiences, but ultimately, I missed news,” he said.
Turns out, Woodruff had been missed in his absence and was able to make a comeback to channel 2.
Woodruff loved the idea of being part of the community he grew up in and raising his family with that hometown feel. The reporter doesn’t rule out the potential of a higher market someday, but ultimately says that this is where his family is grounded. “I have those moments where it’s tempting and I think, ‘Wow, that would be fun. And who knows what the future will hold,” he said.
Woodruff commented that it was easier to move around to different markets when his children were younger. But now they’ve settled in and their kids have established friendships, schools and extracurricular activities.
“As an adult, that’s what makes life what it is,” he said. “It’s harder to think about uprooting and just jumping to the next thing. Plus, KUTV has given me great opportunities and experiences. I have been able to report all over the country and even internationally,” said Woodruff.
Old Friends Reunite
It was during Woodruff’s time with the Church that Moore made her KUTV debut. When word circled that the former reporter would be returning, the station was abuzz. “Everyone told me, ‘You’re going to love Daniel!’ and I said, ‘Oh, I’ve known him longer than you have,’” Moore recounted with a smile.
Both journalists have had tremendous success in the industry, from college to present day. Both were recipients of the Arch Madsen scholarship and completed internships in Washington D.C. and New York respectively, Woodruff with CNN and Moore with NBC’s The Today Show.
Reflecting on their time in broadcasting, they had some advice to journalism students: “Whatever your career goals are, don’t feel like you have to do it by the book. Give yourself some space to figure it out along the way and if you get into a spot where it doesn’t feel right, you can always make your way back,” said Moore.
Woodruff chimed in with, “Know why you want to do it because journalism is not easy. It’s fun, it’s rewarding, it’s exhilarating, it’s front and center, but it’s not easy. Know why you want to do it and have that philosophy guide you. Allow yourself to enjoy the journey and to adapt as you go down the path.”