Frankie Tovar is the Digital Content Manager/Producer for Morris Newspapers of Northern California. Before that he was the Sports Reporter/Editor for the Turlock Journal. Frankie was born and raised in Turlock, attended Turlock High School and graduated from Stanislaus State in 2011.
Q How did you first get interested in journalism?
A. My interest in journalism grew out of a love for writing that I developed sometime in JR High. Whether I was writing hip hop lyrics with friends, poetry for girls, short stories for fun or essays for school – I always put a lot of thought into my words and worked hard to be the best writer I could be since it was my dream to become an author. It wasn’t until I started attending Stanislaus State that I realized that my writing skills were applicable as a journalist. It was also around this time that I discovered journalism was more than just writing. In no time at all I was working for the campus radio station and writing for the campus newspaper.
Q. Tell us about the transition from sports reporter to digital content manager.
A. Although writing is and always has been my first passion I have always been interested in other forms of media, specifically audio production. When the Journal decided to expand its digital presence and selected me as the new Web and Content Editor, I took it upon myself to make video production a major tenant of our digital brand. The only problem was that I had never really produced any video content. The next year consisted of a lot of self-teaching and YouTube tutorials. This transitional period was extremely busy for me as I essentially juggled two full-time positions. Before long I was promoted to Digital Content Manager/Producer for Morris Newspapers of Northern California, my current position, where I am able to dedicate all my time to the multimedia department.
Q. What was your favorite experience while shooting a Studio 209 episode?
A. Studio209 is our flagship series and a project we jumped head first into, which made more a lot of learn-on-the-fly moments. Needless to say there have been a lot of laughs while filming on location and in the studio. While we’ve improved in terms of production and workflow, the funny stories and laughs have not ceased. It’s hard to choose one Studio209 moment as my favorite because I’ve been to so many different places and I’ve met so many different people, but since I need to provide an answer for this article I’ll say that my favorite experiences happened in the early stages of the show when the entire team was still figuring out what Studio209 was and working to improve from segment to segment.
Q. What other video shows have you enjoyed producing?
A. Studio209 is far from the only video series I’ve produced. Although there have been many other shows and segments under the Turlock Journal and MNC brand, by far my favorite is The Blitz. A natural extension of my experience as a sports reporter and editor, The Blitz is a high school football show that highlights local players and their accomplishments through the season. We are currently gearing up for the fifth season of The Blitz and it’s going to be bigger and better than all previous seasons combined. That’s a promise you can take to the bank!
Q. What is your favorite thing to do for fun in Turlock?
A. My favorite thing to do in Turlock is eat. Taco truck, Jura’s, Ju Ju Thai, Los Gallos and Sushi Cuisine are some of my favorite restaurants. When I’m not eating I’m usually riding my bike down Canal Drive when it’s cool outside or at Udder Place on Tuesdays for karaoke.
Q. What is the last book or TV show that captivated you?
A. I’m currently in the middle of reading “A Confederacy of Dunces,” a book I’ve been meaning to read for years but lagged on. It’s really good so far, but truth be told I am more of a TV man nowadays. Some of my favorite shows are “Westworld,” “Daredevil,” “Jessica Jones,” “The Walking Dead,” “Parks and Recreation,” but the one show that truly captivated me recently is without a doubt “The Leftovers.”
Q. What is one thing people would be surprised to learn about you?
A. I think that depends on how long people have known me. For those who grew up with me and haven’t seen me in a while, they might be surprised to learn that I no longer have long, curly hair. For those who have known me for the past five years or so, they might be surprised to learn that at one point I had long, curly hair.