Western Alumnus to Host “Impossible Shots” on the Outdoor Channel
August 22, 2012
MACOMB, IL – Western Illinois University alumnus Mike Irvine has turned his love of shooting sports and a passion for broadcasting into a career on the Outdoor Channel.
Irvine, a 2004 graduate with a bachelor's degree in broadcasting, is the new host of "Impossible Shots" on the Outdoor Channel. He has been a producer, director and segment co-host for the channel's show, "Shooting USA," for six years.
"I will begin hosting ‘Impossible Shots' at the end of this year," Irvine said. "The television program shows the skills and talents of the world's best marksmen; the men and women who do things that no one else can do. These are the people that can shoot and arrow into an arrow like Robin Hood did in the movies, and can split playing cards in half with their handguns...Truly amazing stuff."
Irvine, a Quincy native, said he has been working on getting his own television show since graduating from WIU. After getting his degree, Irvine spent two years working at KHQA-TV in Quincy, covering sports, news, and weather and working in creative services.
Irvine said a chance meeting in April 2006 with "Shooting USA" Executive Producer Jim Scoutten resulted in a move to Nashville, TN.
"I always shot but never thought much about the concept of Shooting Sports until Jim Scoutten hired me to be a field producer," Irvine said. "Now I regularly compete in the matches I cover."
Irvine said he believes the "hands-on approach" in Western's broadcasting department was the best way for him to learn.
"The fact is you really don't learn a lot about making good quality TV from a textbook," he said. "You have to get out, try it, make plenty of mistakes, learn from them and go try it again. WIU gave me the chance to get my hands on every part of broadcasting - from running cable and broadcasting football games to shooting news packages and performing on-air talent jobs like doing the TV and radio play-by-play for Leatherneck football, basketball and baseball."
Having to audition for WIU posts, such as anchoring the student news, is what Irvine believes helped prepare him for the competitive job market.
"I consider the first rejection, and the first success to be two keys is shaping me to make a long run in a very tough business," he said.
Irvine said some of his best memories of WIU are the friends he made and still stays in touch with. He also considers broadcasting Western sports to be a highlight.
"Until I got to WIU I thought God handpicked a few people to be journalists and that was it," he said. "Then I learned it was a major and that I could work and call the games and I was hooked from then on."
For more information on Irvine's shows visit shootingusa.com and outdoorchannel.com. "Shooting USA" airs every Wednesday at 3:30 p.m., 7 p.m., and 11 p.m., central time. "Impossible Shots airs each Wednesday at 2 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., central time.