Meet Kenton Hornbeck, the new LINK Media reporter

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Kenton Hornbeck is a new general assignment reporter at LINK Media, originally from Butler, Ky. And a graduate of Western Kentucky University.

As far as I can remember, I wanted to be in the media. Whether it’s sitting behind a microphone broadcasting on the radio, writing a newspaper article, or presenting live on a TV camera, my young mind has romanticized it all. The job offers the opportunity to be intimately involved in a community, while granting you the delicate responsibility of articulating the triumphs, tragedies and myths of that community.

My first dream was to be a sports presenter. I aspired to be Scott Van Pelt or Stuart Scott, two larger-than-life icons of ESPN’s flagship program Sports center. I would wake up early before elementary school to consume a full hour of ESPNews. The program only lasted half an hour but I watched it twice so as not to miss a thing. I would download the daily Forgive the interruption podcast from the iTunes Store on my iPod Nano from 6th grade. Yes, it’s true. I was the first Gen Z person to listen to a podcast.

As I got older, I started to get involved in activities related to the media in my riding. I started my long career as a PA announcer calling for high school football games. I was the play-by-play announcer for the football and basketball streams online through my school’s broadcast class. Perhaps my favorite activity was appearing on a local online sports radio show hosted by two high school football coaches.

As I broadened my horizons, multimedia superstar Bill Simmons became my hero. The way it smoothed over from high-quality reviews to podcasts, documentaries and studio shows inspired me.

These factors led me to pursue a career as a multimedia journalist.

I moved to Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green where I majored in journalism. I worked as a general sports reporter for the school newspaper, the College Heights Herald and graduated in 2019.

My real baptism in the media came when I accepted a job in the summer of 2017 with my hometown newspaper, the Falmouth Outlook. I started to cover sports and then progressed to news reporting. I am eternally grateful to Outlook for giving me a chance.

What is exciting about the modern media landscape is that the work of a journalist is an amalgamation of different skills. A journalist does not have to focus exclusively on print, photo, audio or video. They can all use them.

What attracted me to LINK Media was the opportunity to take risks. How can an organization create interactive and engaging journalism at a localized level? Lacy, Mark and Michael are a team of designers who are encouraged to think outside the box.

As a native of Northern Kentucky, I want to help give the region its own independent voice. My hope is that our team can tell the stories of the past, present and future of our region in a unique but consumable way. I have been a steadfast fan of NKY with family roots in the region for over 100 years. My connection to the community will help provide an insider perspective to the reader.

My main goal is to help optimize the way we use social media to present content. There are different platforms, each with their own positive points, to help connect news to different demographic groups within our audience. I also hope I can write cool reports on overlooked or forgotten events in NKY history.

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