For KUTV News anchor Bob Evans, life's priorities are clear.
"What I do for a living is very important to me," said the 31-year-old Tacoma, Wash., native. "But it's not nearly as important as raising healthy children and maintaining a loving marriage. Those are the things that really count in life."And those are the things that really count to Evans. Spend an hour talking to him about a variety of subjects, and you'll find that almost everything is ultimately boiled down to how it impacts him and his relationship with his wife, Diane, and their five-going-on-six children.
Why did he forsake his musical roots to study broadcast journalism at BYU? "I wanted more stability for my family than the music business can offer," he said.
Why did he then make the leap from radio to television journalism? "A professor convinced me that there would be a better opportunity to provide more security - more money - for my family in TV than in radio," he said.
What's the best thing about his job at KUTV? "After moving around so much, this is giving us a chance to settle down and sink in some roots," he said. "Finally our kids are going to have some stability in their lives."
And the worst thing? "It's frustrating not to be able to be home at night," he said. "My two oldest boys are in wrestling programs, and I haven't been able to go out and watch them wrestle yet."
And what about the future? Is a network job a possibility? "The life of a network correspondent - always on the road, always gone someplace - just isn't conducive to a stable family life," he said. "I really have no desire to do that."
You get the idea? If they handed out Emmys for family devotion, Evans would be a lock for at least as many of the gold statuettes as he has children. (Provided, of course, that the television industry as we know it lasts long enough to keep pace.)
But right behind his love for his family (admittedly, it's quite a ways behind) is Evans' long-standing fascination with television. He first noticed it as a child growing up in Tacoma. "Whenever we'd go to town we'd drive past the television station there," Evans remembers now. "Sometimes the big studio doors would be open, and I'd crane my neck to see what was going on inside."
A couple of times he even went inside to participate in shows like "Romper Room" and "Brakeman Bill."
"Television always seemed so exciting and fun," Evans said. "It was like the ultimate stage for any performer."
And performing was something that Evans understood at an early age. Both of his parents were music teachers, and he grew up with music in his house - and his soul. He sang in school choral groups. He learned to play the violin skillfully, traveling to Europe with the Tacoma Youth Orchestra. And he played the drums in a couple of rock bands.
"Going into college, music was my life," said Evans, who won a music scholarship to BYU where he played in the BYU Philharmonic and in various recording sessions.
But even though he was absorbed in his music, he couldn't help but notice the KBYU offices and studios, which are located in the same building - the Harris Fine Arts Center - that houses BYU's music department. "And I was still craning my neck to see what was going on in there," Evans said.
After a year of college Evans went on an LDS Church mission in Japan, where he decided that he needed to find a profession that would offer a little more stability than the music business. "I set a goal for myself," he admits now with a grin. "I would give myself one more semester in music, and if I wasn't a rich and famous musician by the end of the semester I'd quit and give broadcasting a try."
You've already figured out that the semester ended with Evans still poor and unknown, haven't you?
Radio was the new broadcasting student's first love. "I thought it was the only true medium," he said, laughing. "It was perfect - no tie, no make-up, just open up the mike and talk."
But that television studio kept beckoning to him, and finally he gave in. Before long he was a floor director for a KBYU-TV news anchor named Diane Chambers (no, not the one on "Cheers" - the one he later married) and, finally, a KBYU-TV news anchor himself.
Even back then, Evans said, he had an eye on working someday for KUTV. "I always like what I saw on Ch. 2," he said. "And I felt I would fit in better here than at KSL, where it looked like Dick Nourse and Bruce Lindsay would hold the anchor jobs forever."
There were stops in Boise, Spokane and Kansas City before he finally made it to KUTV. But now he's here, and he's anxious to "talk to people about the things that affect their lives."
"In its truest form TV news provides people with the information they need to make good decisions in an increasingly complex world," he said. "That's what we're trying to do here at KUTV, and I'm proud to be a part of it."
But if the truth be known, the thing Evans likes best about his job is just being able to hang around KUTV.
"Every time I walk into that studio," he said, "I still feel a little of that kick I used to feel driving by the TV studio as a child. And I figure that the day I stop feeling that is the day I'd better starting thinking about getting out."
And, no doubt, spending a little more time with the family.