Ten years after graduating from Crescenta Valley High School, Matthew Sizemore had a dream to reclaim. Dressed in a suit and tie, he took his place in line at Casino Morongo on a November morning, behind dozens of others chasing the same dream. He was one of 125 finalists whittled from thousands of applicants vying for a sports anchor spot on KTLA-TV Channel 5.
While at Glendale Community College, Sizemore took a broadcasting class that convinced him the business was for him, he said.
“People kept telling me, ‘Your voice is spectacular. You could be a sportscaster.’ One day it dawned on me. I could be a sportscaster. I’d be good at it, and I love it.”
He worked part time with FOX Sports, logging NFL and MLB games.
“That’s taught me way more about sports than I already knew,” he said. “For baseball or football, I like to think I know the ins and outs of everything.”
He graduated from Cal State Northridge and worked for Clear Channel Communications, doing radio promotions for large market stations.
He worked as a producer for an Internet show, “Smash Cuts,” voicing a character aptly named, “The Voice Guy.”
An e-mail from professor Lincoln Harrison at CSUN told him KTLA was looking for “a one-minute video of yourself doing a sports report. One winner will be a guest sportscaster.”
His college clips made him a finalist.
At Casino Morongo, the club mimicked a studio. The finalists needed to give a one-minute improvisation. He’d start with the Lakers then make fun of the Clippers. If the judges would laugh, he’d have a shot.
Some contestants cracked before the panel, unable to say the words stuck on their tongues.
“Once the camera hits, that’s a lot of pressure. Twenty eyes, looking at you, what do you got?”
Part of him watched with “an evil grin” as he put it. “It’s terrible to think that,” he said. He had been rehearsing his spiel during the three hours he’d waited in line. “Let’s do this,” he thought.
He began with the Lakers’ recent losses. “Over to Clipper news, they have Blake Griffin,” he said with a high pitched voice, goofy smile and double thumbs up, ending the sentence with more question than statement. They laughed.
He was onto the Dodgers when a judge stopped him. “Matt, by chance do you have any experience in radio? Your voice is phenomenal.” The others agreed.
“I do have radio experience, but my passion is in sports broadcast and I want to follow my dream again.”
Weeks later, several phone calls from his friends alerted Sizemore that he won the one-time guest spot when they saw the announcement on the news.
At KTLA, he worked on his script with senior sports producer, Ted Green.
“I was actually flummoxed that somebody could walk in off the street and be that polished,” Green said. “He was extremely self-assured without coming across as the least bit cocky. He was so at ease with the scripts and got along great with everybody.”
His three-minute spot (on YouTube as ‘Matthew Sizemore’s KTLA Debut’) had his co-anchor, Steve Hartman say, “I think I’m going to leave right now. This guy. Right here. You’ll see plenty more of him.”