Hey, Spike! highlights TV sports anchor Cristina Tuso
Special to the Daily
In print journalism, you need the ability to put together short, complete sentences, clearly telling a story, then hoping your ego can stand up to whatever comes your way.
With radio, the same applies, but you can still have that “face for the sight-unseen airwaves.”
In television broadcasting, you need all the same abilities, plus a face — and, let’s face it, even more.
This is true for women and men. You must have the complete TV package.
Without exception anyone reading this column — Spike!’s #418 — watches TV, and often has made little living room judgments about those we pay to be invited into our homes.
Local Frisco girl gone out into the big, bad world of television news, Cristina Tuso recently moved from the sweet southern city of Savannah, Georgia, to another CBS affiliate in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Cristina covers all those presentation quality requirements.
And to make things even tougher, Cristina is in sports, which means playing to a much more difficult audience.
At 28, Cristina is the daughter of very longtime restaurateur-entrepreneur John and interior designer (former Frisco mayor) Dede Tuso.
Rounding out the family is Cristina’s brother, John Paul, aka “JP,” who played defensive lineman for the University of Colorado Buffaloes, before graduating and now works in oil and gas. He’s 24 and a whopping 6-3, 270 pounds.
Cristina is a 2010 graduate of Denver University, with a degree in mass communications and marketing.
She attended Summit High for a couple of years before moving down to Denver to concentrate on her love for competitive figure ice skating, while completing her education in a more private setting.
The Tuso kids didn’t just waltz into successful collegiate and professional careers.
In her animated, colorful expressive style, this is Cristina’s back story:
“The same can be said for John Paul and football and me with broadcasting. There are simply no handouts. We just busted our butts. He was told ‘no’ by college coaches and I was told ‘no’ by a hundred news directors across the country. We have heard it all: ‘You’re too small, you’re not fast enough, you’re inexperienced, and your hair is too big.’ But you find fuel in that.”
“So, JP walked on to a football team and I pushed my way into a newsroom — it’s that grit and that resilience that will show people you are worth an investment. Don’t say you want it more than anyone; show them. That right there is what we call ‘The Tuso Way.’ It’s the ‘I’ll show you kind of attitude’ that mom and dad gave us.”
It is paying off for the siblings.
Tall, blonde, with a sparkling personality that just knocks your socks off, Cristina spent six years in Savannah at the CBS affiliate WTOC channel 11.
“I did the South the right way,” she remarks. “Savannah will forever have my heart. It has mastered the art and charm of a traditional old southern city, yet is surprisingly progressive.”
Starting as a production assistant, she moved up the ladder to covering high school, collegiate and professional sports as a reporter and anchor.
“My station in Savannah — WTOC — was the market leader in every time slot,” her enthusiasm attests. “Legacy station, baby.”
Cristina covered prep sports, working her way up the roster to college level, and then into the pros.
Her Georgia assignments included four Masters tournaments, the PGA Tour, NASCAR’s Daytona 500, the Southeast Conference Championship, lots of Atlantic Coast Conference games and other SEC athletics, the NCAA Tournament, minor league baseball and high school football.
Among the sports stars Cristina interviewed included Tiger Woods, Evander Holyfield, Steve Spurrier, Bobby Bowden, Jason Day, Davis Love III, Herschel Walker, Eric Thames, Nick Faldo and Gary Player.
“Far and away, Steve Spurrier. The guy has no filter and I found it to be the most refreshing part of the job. Anything he said is a good sound bite. If the South Carolina Gamecocks had a bad practice or a game, you were going to hear about it. Impeccable sense of humor without trying too hard. He has the most horrendous golf swing I have ever seen, but somehow gets it to land in the fairway. The guy is so well respected no matter where he goes in the SEC. All hail the Old Ball Coach.”
Spurrier is now coaching the University of Florida Gators, where he was the quarterback.
Now in Milwaukee, Cristina is still with CBS, WDTJ channel 58, which is an even larger market.
Cristina’s continuing her career upward mobility.
In her position as a sports anchor and reporter, Cristina arrived at her new assignment just in time to cover the U.S. Open at Erin Hills.
Cristina is getting to see the Green Bay Packers up close: “Packers, Packers and oh yeah, the Packers. They have some of the most loyal fans I have ever seen for any sports up here.”
Other sports assignments are the Major League Baseball’s Milwaukee Brewers.
“They are so hot right now — first in the division; playing with the heart of a Little League team. Young, power hitting and speed are what come to mind when I think about this team.”
And don’t forget the National Basketball League’s Milwaukee Bucks and those University of Wisconsin Badgers.
Her initial Milwaukee impressions go like this: “These are the absolute best people here in Milwaukee. People just want you to feel like you belong here. They want you to be comfortable and at ease. This is ‘The Good Land,’ and these are good people. They are loyal to this state, proud to call it home and they live and breathe for their sports teams. Everything they say about beer, cheese and brats is 100 percent true.”
Miles F. Porter IV, nicknamed “Spike,” a Coloradan since 1949, is an Army veteran, former hardrock miner, graduate of Adams State College, and a local since 1982. An award-winning investigative reporter, he and wife Mary E. Staby owned newspapers here for 20 years. Email your social info to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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