Clint Yeatts moved to Tyler and married a local girl, “I was born in West Texas, when I came to Tyler this was the farthest east I had ever been in my whole life,” he recalls. That was 20 years and 3 kids ago, and he’s been on the televisions of East Texans ever since.
In the fast-paced and too often exhausting industry of television news, Clint is still energized by telling the “stories of the people behind the stories.” He regards TV news as, “just a continuation of a human tendency to want to tell stories and share what they have seen.”
After 20 years, Clint has undoubtedly seen and experienced many things. “Often it can be the same type of stories day after day, but sometimes something happens that still has the ability to surprise me,” he says.
If daily news events still have the ability to surprise this veteran, then the shifting technology of two decades is no less than shocking. When Clint first started working for KLTV the personal computer was just an idea, and without the Internet, periodicals and TV news were the only sources for current events.
“You can move information faster than I can imagine,” Clint says, “ I can’t imagine what technology will be able to do 20 years from now.”
All this speeding information in a tough job market often leaves students confused as to how to attain their goals of becoming a journalist. Clint leans back in his chair and offers these individuals some sage advice.
"Prepare yourself for anything technologically. Make sure you are well educated, make sure you are able to change and communicate effectively to others. Remember, the basic ideas of communication never change," he says.
While Clint has numerous ideas on how to achieve success, his most profound thoughts are related to his Power of Prayer series.
"I hate the phrase 'Bible Belt' when referring to this part of the country. But I do know it's largely due to the morals and values of this market that allow me to do something like the Power of Prayer series. TV stations reflect their surrounding communities, and we're here to serve."
KLTV has been serving the community for the last 50 years. Clint Yeatts has been serving the community for 20 of that number. Both have done so with a special sensitivity to the needs of East Texans and a belief that there's a person behind every story.
So when his life has finally ended, Clint wants the world to truly know the person behind his story.
"When I'm gone I don't want to be remembered for how many stories I broke or awards I won. I'd like my headstone to read: Here lies Clint Yeatts, he who loved his God, his family and enjoyed his life."
To read more about Clint Yeatts' award-winning series "Power of Prayer", click here.
Phedra Johnson, reporting