‘From Hack to Flack’: Richard Piatt

Roll Call interviews former KSL-TV reporter Richard Piatt about his switch in careers from broadcast journalism to communications director for Rep. Mia Love.

Reports Nicole Puglise:

Piatt covered Love’s unsuccessful 2012 race and her victorious campaign in 2014. He interviewed Love in Washington shortly after her election, and she asked him to be her communications director while he was setting up his equipment for the interview.

The reporter said he wasn’t easy to convince. The incoming freshman followed up, and he eventually had dinner with Love and her husband to discuss the opportunity.

“She told me a story that she tells in stump speeches a lot. … One of her kids had the opportunity to go up in a hot air balloon and passed because he was afraid,” Piatt said. “So she went up anyway without him. And when they landed he said, ‘Oh, that looks like a lot of fun, now I want a turn.’ But by then the conditions had changed and they weren’t able to go back up again. Then she told me, ‘This is a lesson to you. Opportunities come and go. Windows open and close. This is a unique opportunity for you, and I hope you’ll take it.’”

After conferring with friends from both political parties, he finally agreed.

For Piatt, the offer of a new job came at the right time. He was frustrated with journalism after taking a pay cut, losing his Sunday morning talk show and being placed back on a general assignment, rather than the politics, beat.

“I got in the hot air balloon. Now let’s see where it’ll carry me,” he said with a laugh.