There are few people who embody what it means to be a television professional more than John Kuhrt. This is interesting given the fact that John was actually a music major at the University of Denver, graduating in 1981. But when he started working at Channel 9 in 1983, it was clear that video became John’s art form.
His Heartland Emmy® Awards alone are startling: 39, beginning with the chapter’s first year in 1987. He is a sports photographer and editor, gifted in both of these respects. During the football season John produces whole programs that involve the work of only a few people, like Sideline Stories with Jim Saccomano, Broncos Tonight, and the Broncos Huddle. He is a photographer and editing machine who can edit long form segments with effects and music. He’s been involved with coverage of seven Broncos Super Bowls from 1987 to 2016.
We are a nation obsessed with “Super Star Athletes.” We know them by one name only – Elway, Manning, Brady, LeBron, Jeter, and so on. At 9News and at the Denver Broncos just one journalist has earned that status: his name is Johnny – even thought his official security ID reads John Kuhrt.
Johnny is a Superstar in every way possible, in everything he touches. He is passionate, devoted, creative, tireless, fiercely competitive and demanding of excellence. He has made a sport of photojournalism, editing and storytelling. He is our MVP.
Johnny shows his unique skills in countless ways. Watch him shoot a Broncos game and you will see his athleticism on display and his knowledge of the game. Like a coach, he can sense where the game is going and where the action will be within seconds. Johnny’s passion for his work is only surpassed by his pursuit of perfection. Just like the athlete who shows up hours before the rest of the team or stays late watching film, Johnny puts in many, many extra hours to shoot, edit or gather one more element for a story or a special project.
Covering a team like the Broncos is intensively competitive in this media market with an on-site crowd of more than 50 local reporters and frequent national visitors. John’s unmatched work ethic and positive demeanor in this very demanding environment have earned the praise of his co-workers, competitors and many members of the Broncos team.
In addition to working with the Broncos, John has easily covered at least 250 University of Colorado sporting events, mainly football and basketball. If you add up the total for Colorado’s professional and collegiate teams, he has covered over 3,000 games.
John is known for his talent and dedication, someone who truly cares about his work, whether it’s standing on the sidelines in cold weather, negotiating space on a crowded basketball floor or arriving an hour ahead of a photo shoot to set the background so the mood for the piece will be just right. He has always been accommodating and easy to work with, and one you hope is assigned to your story.
John is very talented and able to bring stories to life and make them have the greatest impact. In addition, he is extremely kind and considerate to those he works with on stories. John is relentless and focused on producing excellent television, but whether he’s working with people going through difficult medical problems or highly paid professional athletes, he treats everyone with the same kind of professionalism and respect.
He practices his craft with integrity and honesty. When he does a story about a person, he genuinely cares about them and it shows in his work. He can’t and won’t do anything less than his best because he doesn’t want to let them or the viewer down. If there is a trust issue right now in journalism, it is not because of John Kuhrt. He represents the standard by which we all ought to be measured.