This dynamic duo knows how to make a great impression on camera or in front of a room!
Hard as it is to believe, Austin-based Kim and Mike Barnes have each spent 30 years on the air. Now, they coach clients for on-camera impact in video and media interviews and public speaking.
Kim was an award-winning reporter and news anchor for 15 years, including more than a decade at KVUE in Austin. She also taught television news reporting at The University of Texas (her alma mater). Mike was an award-winning sportscaster at KVUE for over 29 years; he was named Best Sportscaster in Austin 17 years and Best in Texas, four times.
We chatted with this charismatic couple about the secret to not only living together, but working together in business, especially during a time that adds a whole new level of togetherness.
How did you meet?
(Kim) In a small journalism class at the University of Texas our junior year. It’s a really long story that includes seven dates over the first three years, a bad car accident and a miracle story in the hospital.
(Mike) She caught my eye on the first day of class in January of 1988. I finally worked up the nerve to ask her out in April. I called her April 13th and, before I could ask her out, she asked me. It was the start of a three-year chase and I didn’t chase very well.
When and why did you start your business?
(Kim) I started Barnes Team Media about four years ago to help people get comfortable and confident on camera. Facebook Live had just started and it was now easy for anyone with a phone to start creating their own videos, but many people are really nervous about being on camera. Since I’ve been on camera my whole career, it seemed like a perfect way for me to help.
(Mike) I helped on the side when Kim first started her business. Then, when I lost my job in March 2019, I jumped in full-time.
What have you learned about each other?
(Kim) We have very different personalities. I’m an extrovert. He’s an introvert. I like to be involved. He’s pretty easy going. I’m a perfectionist. He’s a “boom get-it-done” guy. We’ve both been this way as long as we’ve known each other but working together does sometimes make our differences more apparent. We do have to be conscious of our differences when we’re making decisions and give each other some grace since we process things differently. He often helps me take action before I’m completely ready and I slow him down sometimes before acting too fast – which makes us a good team.
(Mike) Nothing. We’ve been married for 28 years and I know her inside and out.
How are you handling the current 24/7 togetherness?
(Kim) We worked together at the same TV station when we first got married. We even anchored together for almost two years, so we were used to being around each other at work. My biggest adjustment was actually when Mike first started working with me last year. I had been used to him being at work long hours and me being home working by myself. It took me a while to get used to him being around all the time!
Since we had been adjusting over the last year, when 24/7 first started, it wasn’t really that much different, minus the time I normally spend going to networking events, meeting with clients and being in the car! We’ve actually been even busier training and coaching since everyone is on camera now with virtual meetings and presentations so there’s been a lot of good together-time. We try to stop every evening to take the dog on a walk. We also spend some alone time every day. Mike goes for a run almost every morning and that’s when I’ll do my quiet time. It’s also been nice having our college-aged daughter around.
(Mike) I’m an introvert, a homebody and I adore her, so most of the time I love just being around her.
Top tip for making a husband/wife business a success?
(Kim) Play to each other’s strengths. Don’t expect your spouse to be something they’re not. Be flexible.
(Mike) Just like making a marriage a success, it takes work. So many people think their marriage, or their business will work because they’re cute together and they get along, but it takes a lot more than that. And in business, if you have the exact same personality traits, you can’t see the whole picture. You have to be able to bounce ideas off each other.
Would you go into business together again?
(Kim) Yes. Although, I’d ask for an executive assistant next time!
(Mike) Sure. Assuming the business is good for both of us.
Cover: Kim and Mike anchored together at KVUE 1996-1998. Photo courtesy Kim and Mike Barnes
Leean Vargas is an Editorial Assistant at Texas Lifestyle Magazine and an honors graduate of Texas State University with a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations.