NBC Palm Springs sports host Brandy Flores aired her latest broadcast in the desert on Friday night after nearly two years of running with the station.
As they say in the sports world, the 25-year-old is bringing her talents to the Washington, DC market, where she will join DC News Now, part of the Nexstar Media Group, which owns and operates around 200 TV stations across the United States.
According to the most recent Nielsen ratings, Flores will jump from the 146th largest market in the United States in Palm Springs to the 9th largest in Washington. This is a move he said would not have been possible without his two years in the wilderness.
“I’m completely different and have grown so much here, I can’t thank this place enough,” said Flores, who was hired during the pandemic and started in September 2020. “For the loyal viewers who have watched me from the very beginning. , it is very obvious to see how much I have grown. I am much more comfortable in front of the camera. When I started playing in high school I get nervous, worried that I am not doing a good job, but now I am pretty confident and have definitely done my best. I am a much better journalist. I think people may have noticed that I have grown in this respect as well. “
He said he is enthusiastic about the change professionally. As part of a four-person sports team, he will be the main anchor on the weekends and will primarily cover the pro and college teams in the Washington area. DC News Now also produces a half hour sports show every day that he will be a part of. He said his first assignment will be at the Washington Commanders’ NFL camp when he starts on August 8.
He is also excited about the move personally as he has never lived or worked outside of Southern California. She graduated from Hemet West Valley High, earned a BA in television journalism from Cal State Fullerton, and worked at Bally Sports West in Los Angeles before coming to the desert.
“I grew up in a really traditional Mexican-American family where family is so important, so I didn’t really want to leave,” Flores said. “Not that they were holding me back. They wanted me to spread my wings. I had tremendous support from my parents all my life, but personally I was a little terrified. But now I think I’m ready for something new. I’m thrilled to live by. somewhere and immerse myself in a brand new place. “
Flores is the first Latin sports host in desert TV history, and that’s a point of pride for her. Even though her sports coverage of her stretched out into the desert, she said she definitely felt an affinity with the East Valley and was particularly fond of telling the stories of Coachella and Indio athletes.
Put simply, it reminded her of home.
“The maternal side of the family came from Imperial Valley and they were farm laborers, and when I visit Coachella or Indio it reminds me of the city my mother grew up in,” Flores said. “Whenever I have told a story over there, the way these families support each other and have supported me, I mean that I only have a soft spot in my heart for them. This is what my family is like. So, a greeting to my East Valley people. “
Experienced desert sports spectators might get a sense of déjà vu when hearing about the desert leap to DC. Coincidentally, Flores’ predecessor at NBC Palm Springs, Olivia Garvey, also made the same leap and is still working at WJLA, the ABC station in Washington, D.C. Flores said the two exchanged a lot of messages when he started working at NBC and Garvey helped her settle down. The two met in person for the first time at the MLB All-Star Game in Los Angeles.
“She’s excited for me; I’m excited to work in her own hometown,” Flores said. “She was really nice. It’s rare, especially in our industry, where everyone thinks of everyone else as a competition, but it will be nice to have someone I already know there.”
Flores’ father is a huge boxing fan and, due to the transitive property, she is too. She recently began working as a reporter in the ring for DAZN (a popular global sports streaming service in boxing) for combat cards in Fantasy Springs.
Her love of the sport led her to her most impressive project – her magnum opera, if you like – a three-part mini-documentary about desert boxer Tim Bradley. She went deep with Bradley on the 10th anniversary of his historic and much-discussed victory over Manny Pacquiao.
“That came together quickly, but I want to thank Tim for being so real and genuine and for telling his story,” Flores said. “I think of myself as a reporter before, not a TV personality, and telling compelling stories like him is what I love to do the most. I hope it happened.”
Flores said that even though his time in the desert was short, it was impactful.
“I feel like I’ve made Coachella Valley my home during my time here. I’ll be sad to leave,” he said. “I loved covering everyone I came into contact with and I want to thank everyone here who welcomed me and made me a better journalist and grow as a person.”
Shad Powers is a columnist for The Desert Sun. Reach him at [email protected]