13 at 65: Former sports anchor pursuing new dream in front of camera

Published: Jun. 25, 2018 at 10:25 PM CDT
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From the bright lights of the 13 NEWS studio to Hollywood, a former WIBW-TV sports director left Topeka to pursue a new passion.

J.B. Bauersfeld worked at WIBW from 2004 to 2014.

"I started out as a photographer and then I was the weekend sports anchor and sports reporter and then I was the sports director for six years," he recounts.

J.B. now lives in Los Angeles, where he's pursuing a different career in front of the camera - as an actor.

"Some days, there’s a ton going on and you might be on set for 12, 14, 16 hours; some days are shorter when you’re on set and you’re only in one scene, maybe you’re in and out pretty quickly," he said. "Other days that are more frequent than the days on set (are the days) that you’re looking for work, maybe you’re taking a class or you were doing a show or just writing."

J.B. has found some success in his first years in L.A., particularly in commercial work. He was the starting quarterback for the fictional Kentucky Buckets football team in a series of KFC ads. He also was in a memorable Southwest Airlines spot, where he mistook a long-haired dog for an attractive woman.

He also had a small role in the award-winning TV miniseries "The People vs O.J. Simpson" and did a sketch for Jimmy Kimmel.

J.B. says his time at WIBW, where everyone has varied responsibilities and multi-tasks, prepared him well for a career where self-motivation is a necessity.

As for his most memorable moment covering sports, J.B. says it has to be following KU's run to the 2008 national championship.

"Being about 30 feet from the court - from the spot, really - where Mario Chalmers hit that shot to send it into overtime.... As a kid who grew up watching games in Allen Fieldhouse and then covered the Jayhawks, that was just an amazing moment to be a part of," J.B. said. "People ask me if I miss it and I say yes every day. But there’s another dream that, with all of the sports I played growing up, was maybe a little bit on the back burner, so I am super happy to be pursuing that but my time (at WIBW) I think about it often and fondly."