top of page

Walking On Air With Maggie Davis

When she steps into the LEX18 station each morning around 10 a.m., Maggie Davis is already running through story ideas in her head for BBNTonight. 

Whether she's breaking down last night's game or catching up on a new development, Davis is ready to get going.  Once she’s at her desk, joined by her “On Air” sign and reporter Barbie, Davis is researching, reading and pulling press conference sound and interview clips to piece together her story. For the next few hours, she’s hunkered down doing one of her favorite parts of the job: writing. 

“I really fell in love with all this because I like writing,” Davis said.

Davis is a Lexington native and University of Kentucky graduate who has been working with LEX18 for over three years. Although she originally started at UK as a biology major, she’s loved writing since she started working for her high school’s student newspaper, where she served as editor-in-chief. 

During her time at UK, she was involved as a writing intern for Kentucky Sports Radio (KSR) and later LEX18. It was there that she first thought about having a career in journalism.

“I love to write and I love to talk about sports, but I didn’t know how to combine it,” Davis said. 

She made the jump and switched her major to journalism as a sophomore in 2017.

“I was covering every game,” Davis said. “I was writing pregame articles, postgame articles [and] covering the press conferences. I got to interview a couple of players and after that is when I was hooked. So sophomore year I changed my major and never looked back.”

From then on, she continued writing for KSR and continuing her passion for sports reporting through the broadcast journalism program at UK. 

By her senior year, she had years of journalism experience with KSR as well as internships with LEX18 and ESPN and was ready to hit the workforce. Despite the massive wrench thrown into Davis’ last semester in spring 2020, she graduated and began looking for work during the pandemic.

“I applied everywhere. I mean, I applied for TV stations all over the country just trying to get anything, and for the most part, jobs were frozen, sports jobs specifically,” Davis said.

A few days after losing out on a job in Oklahoma, Davis was called by LEX18’s news director and offered a job where she was able to negotiate the title of production assistant and multimedia journalist. She began working at the station in October 2020. Although it was a slow start because of the pandemic, Davis was still doing what she loved.

She has worked her way up to becoming co-anchor of BBNTonight, a half-hour, weeknight sports show. This newest promotion began in July 2023 after Davis had gained experience filling in for other co-anchors on BBNTonight and BBNGameday.

Davis jumps feet-first into every new opportunity, including her new co-anchor gig, citing her ambitious nature as what motivates her.  

“I’m so competitive … When I played sports, I loved the competitive nature of them which is probably part of the reason why I’m doing this now. You just get hooked on the adrenaline of it,” she said. 

Having been a part of the competitive swim team in high school, Davis keeps her competitive nature alive when covering UK’s sports. She focuses on not only the athletic aspect of sports but the person behind the athlete as well.

“I love being able to give fans something they can’t necessarily get by themselves. The fans watch the game, right? The fans can watch Cal’s press conference if they want to or they can listen to Mark Stoops on the radio on his postgame show. What they can’t get is interviews with the players about the game, and they don’t get to know them outside of the game at all,” Davis said.

Sharing what players do when they aren’t on the court is one of Davis’ favorite parts of her job. For the 2022-23 basketball season, she had a series called “Off Days” where she would follow and talk to players on a random day off. Specifically recalling her experience with Oscar Tshiebwe, one of that team’s stars, she loved being able to show BBN his passion for photography and how he used his photographs to keep up with his mom.

“The whole point of these ‘Off Day’ interviews was to take them out of the Joe Craft Center and off the court at Rupp Arena and just talk to them as people,” Davis said. 

Covering sports on television can come with its challenges, however, especially as a woman. Nevertheless, Davis said being a female sports reporter has not tainted her experiences. 

Thanks to seeing women like Laura Rutledge and Erin Andrews on TV growing up, she grew up knowing the potential of being a woman in sports. 

“I genuinely feel like it [being a woman] has helped me,” Davis said, “I know that it’s not everyone’s experience and I don’t know that it will always be my experience … I’ve been really lucky to have people let me get a foot in the door and then who haven’t kicked me out.”

She even mentioned a few pros of being one of the only women in the room. Davis said her voice stands out more when fighting to ask players questions in press conferences and that if players only see one woman reporter a week, which they often do, they may recognize her more than her male counterparts. 

“To me, it’s so much about looking at what being a woman in sports can do for you as a positive,” she said.

Although Davis has a shiny outlook, she said she does feel frustrated with being criticized for a slightly wrinkled dress or frizzy hair, wishing the viewers could focus more on the content of her shows rather than how she looks presenting them. 

“For me, I love the writing and I love the show and I love the interviews. I don’t love blow-drying my hair,” Davis said.

Rather than focusing on the less fun parts of her job, she shared just how much she loved doing every aspect of broadcast reporting, from writing and editing to producing and anchoring.

Davis hopes to have the opportunity to work in more long-form journalism like ESPN’s 30 for 30 show. Her focus on the real people behind the players, coupled with her motivation to improve, has led her to aspire to big things and continue working toward becoming a regional or national sports reporter. 

“To stand there, just you and a camera on, you have no idea who’s watching or who’s listening … and then that red light goes on and you just have to tuck into your job and hope and know that you’ve prepared enough. I’m obsessed with that feeling,” Davis said.


bottom of page