By Samantha Clawson
Kim Staudinger, a part-time sports writer at the Havre Daily News, was promoted Monday afternoon to the position of sports editor.
Staudinger is a Havre native and a member of the Havre High School class of 1999.
She replaces sports editor Jason Shoot, who left the staff to become a sports writer in Panama City, Fla. Staudinger was chosen after the Daily News launched a national search for a new sports editor.
"It quickly became apparent to us that the best person for the job was already on the staff in Kim Staudinger," Daily News publisher Harvey Brock said. "The fact that she has ties to the community is icing on the cake.
"The Havre Daily News is looking forward to working with Kim to improve our coverage of area sports," he said.
Staudinger has worked in sports in Great Falls for the last two years.
"I worked at KRTV in Great Falls for two years and I also worked for K99 radio doing color commentary for Bison girls basketball," Staudinger said.
Working for a newspaper has proven to be much more challenging for Staudinger.
"It's been a real learning experience because it's so different from TV. TV is a lot easier and there's not as much pressure. Here everyone can read your stuff and re-read your stuff and share their opinion," she said.
She is glad to be back home.
"I'm back in Havre where I can watch the Havre Blue Ponies," she said.
She also expects to see some familiar faces in her new position. One of the things she looks forward to is "working with my old high school coaches and people from home," she said.
Staudinger first began to look at sports journalism while she was in high school. Her old high school basketball coach gave her the confidence to pursue the sports journalism field.
Coach Dennis Murphy inspired Staudinger to take risks, she said.
"He told me to go for it and that I had a future in the field," Staudinger said.
Her father was also a big influence in her love of sports.
"My dad was the one who got me into sports. He's the one who took me, grudgingly, to my first baseball game," Staudinger said.
In high school Staudinger was active in softball, intramural volleyball and running. She joined the Havre Daily News on May 21 as a part-time sports writer, covering baseball.
Staudinger is a little nervous about her new position but is ready to tackle her duties. She is currently focusing on one major job. "The fall sports preview tab. That's the big project now."
Staudinger said even though she may have difficulties, her colleagues will be able to help her. She is grateful for the confidence Brock and managing editor Karen Datko have in her abilities.
"I know I have their support," Staudinger said.
Staudinger, who turns 21 this weekend, is younger than most people in her field.
She anticipates that this will give her an edge in some respects.
"It's good because the players relate to me," she said.
She is also in an occupation that traditionally has been male. "There are some coaches who will look at me in a different way, but there are some who don't care who they are talking to," she said. "Sometimes I think it can be hard to be a woman in this field, but I love a good challenge and this will definately be a challenge for me."