Updated: Jul 30, 2019
Troy Wahl brags that he is a San Diego boy, “born and bred.” He grew up in Del Cerro and then Alpine and graduated from Steele Canyon High School. After getting his acceptance letter from San Diego State, he toured the campus and it was love at first sight. He lived in the dorms his freshman year and rushed SAE.
“It was the best decision I have ever made,” Troy said. He majored in communications and was active in the fraternity, holding different positions (risk manager, vice president of internal affairs and brotherhood chair). The chapter won the intramural sports championship his junior (second in football; first in basketball, fourth in softball).
As part of his communications major, he interned at KUSI in summer of his junior year.
“It was a crappy morning shift and I was up at 2 a.m. to work on the morning news,” he said. “I liked being in the newsroom and had the opportunity to do a lot of different things -- writing stories, learning to use a camera, and even moving the teleprompter for the anchors to read from. Hard work.”
Troy would go out with reporters, shoot stories and put together his own stories, which set him up for starting his career at ABC Channel 10 when he graduated from SDSU.
“I jumped straight into the news world and joined ABC10,” Troy said. “I got a writing job and was associate producer, working the first producing shift, which mean I was up at 12 a.m. every weekday morning to get ready for the 4:30 a.m. show. I did that for four months and then was promoted to produce the 4 p.m. evening news – much better for my sleeping habits. From there I was promoted to do the 11 p.m. show, which with the 6 a.m. show gets the highest ratings.”
Troy recently won an Emmy from the Television Academy for “Best Evening Newscast: Larger Market” for an 11 p.m. newscast on storms causing widespread damage in San Diego. He accepted the award on June 15 on stage in Las Vegas.
“Very exciting and rewarding,” Troy said.
For a typical day in the Channel 10 newsroom, he goes over the stories selected for the dayside reporters and consider the existing big news of the day. During a 3:30 meeting, they assign reporters to stories. Troy works with writers on the stories and talks to the reporters. The 11 p.m. show can have four to seven stories, depending on the news of day. He debriefs with the team after the anchors sign off at 11:30. But this isn’t like producing a video.
“We could have breaking news at 10:48, blow up the show and have to start over,” Troy said. “This happened recently when we got an email after 10:30 on a Friday night that a child had died after touching an animal at the SD County Fair. You normally don’t get press releases so late. So we had to immediately get a crew up to Del Mar in 20 minutes and carry a press conference live for the whole show.”
Troy said he has great mentors at Channel 10, starting with Sarah Cowan, executive producer, since day one, and two anchors, Kimberly Hunt and Steve Atkinson. He looks forward to moving up in the broadcast world at Channel 10.
As a sideline, Troy has his real estate license and works with a Century 21 office in La Mesa. He is a health coach for his parent’s company, Optavia, a dietary supplement company they started after his dad retired from the San Diego Police Department after 36 years. Troy has a twin sister, Danica, an attorney in Solana Beach, and brother, Scott, a captain in the San Diego Police Department.
For extracurricular, Troy said he loves surfing, playing the drums, and touring America’s Finest city and its assortment of craft beer establishments (Swinging Friar, by the Padres and Ballast Point, is his favorite).
He enjoys travel, including around the country (Chicago, Dallas, New York and Miami). Last September, he visited Ireland and Scotland. The Emerald Isle is one of the favorite places he’s ever been.
He recently rejuvenated his interest in the fraternity after going to a luncheon at the San Diego Yacht Club.
“I now want to be as involved as I can because this fraternity gave me so much and changed my life for the better,” Troy said. “My friends from the fraternity are still my best friends to this day and will eventually attend my wedding when I find the right woman. I attend SDSU football and basketball games regularly and keep my love for the Aztecs strong.
His biggest short-term goals?
“Becoming more active in SAE and getting a down payment to purchase my first property,” Troy said.
Best of success with both, plus advancing the career at Channel 10.