University of Miami School of Communication alumnus Dave Aizer spoke with students on Oct. 14 about his experience in the media industry. He has worked at Nickelodeon, American Idol, WE, The Onion News Network, Spike TV, TruTv and is now at The CW.
Aizer got his start in the industry right after graduation as a host for Disney’s ESPN Club. He said that while he was there, he heard about an audition that Nickelodeon was having at Universal Studios. However, his agent did not believe in him and did not get him an audition. After begging the casting director to see him, he was allowed to read the script. The next day he got a call from the casting director saying that Nickelodeon was flying him to New York for some open auditions. When he got back to Florida, he was offered a job in Orlando to host a TV show called Slime Time Live.
“Next thing I know I’m hosting this 10-week project that lasted six years. It was the best thing that had ever happened to me,” Aizer said.
From there, Aizer moved to Los Angeles where he worked for American Idol and then Spike TV. He was also a part of Groundlings, an improv comedy troupe.
Aizer has been working at The CW since 2009. When he started there, he hosted The Morning Show. Aizer said that this was one of the best, yet most challenging jobs he has had. While he did get to host four hours of live television, he was also going to bed at 6 p.m. and waking up at 2 a.m. for it. Now he hosts, writes, and produces several shows on the channel including Inside South Florida and Eye Opener.
While a student at UM, Aizer was the sports director and a play-by-play announcer for WVUM, the university’s radio station. He also wrote for The Miami Hurricane and was a sports anchor at UMTV.
Aizer noted how important all of the writing classes he took were. He said that even for a career in television and being on air, writing is important because it helps you become a better storyteller. He said that while on air, you have to grab your audience with the opening sentences of a story and you have to be compelling and that these skills become easier if you are a good writer. Aizer encouraged students to learn as much as possible while at UM and to be versatile.
“I learned as much as I could in all facets of broadcasting,” Aizer said.
Aizer’s biggest piece of advice to students was to get experience. Whether it is through organizations on campus or internships, be involved in as much hands-on practice as possible.
“You can study in a classroom all you want, but actually going out and doing it is what helps,” Aizer said.