“Forget the stereotypes. We’re in a time now where everybody’s breaking molds, whether it’s race, religion or sexual preference. This is a time where stereotypes are being pushed out the window.”
rownwood High School graduate Caroline Lockwood, whose two career choices since her graduation from Texas Christian University are far from what was once expected of a woman.
Lockwood first spent more than four years as a sports reporter for KMID-TV— the ABC affiliate based in Midland — and recently began working as a landman as the oil boom continues in the Permian Basin.
“I’ve chosen two professions where a woman is definitely in the minority,” Lockwood said. “In TV, women in sports broadcasting is starting to become really popular. The most difficult thing I had to deal with was girls who didn’t know a thing about sports but they were gorgeous and had all the assets and they would get jobs, and that was really frustrating. That’s not why I wanted to get a job and that was really difficult. In college, I had quite a few people tell me I had no right covering sports, but I was lucky enough when I came out here to KMID that my boss was very open to hiring a woman and gave me total control. I was sports reporter for a year and then was promoted to sports director. He gave me total control of that sports department and I could tell he never doubted my knowledge and how I covered things, so that made it a lot easier. But there would be Facebook messages or emails sometimes that would say something about being a girl and not knowing what you’re talking about, but you just hope you can prove them wrong with your work.
“As a landman, it’s not as open a discussion, but I know some guys that when a woman walks into the courthouse you get looks like ‘why is she here?’ because a woman’s supposed to be a clerk in the office, or a secretary. That’s another profession where a lot of women are coming in and I know a lot of female brokers who are very successful. That’s something you try not to think about, don’t keep it in the front of your mind, push it to the back and just do your work and prove you’re better.”
Lockwood’s career in television she attributed to her father, Charles, and his love for sports, which transitioned to the youngest of his three daughters.
“I was the closest thing my dad had to a boy, so of the three girls I was the one he brainwashed to love sports, particularly football,” Lockwood said. “My parents have season tickets to the Dallas Cowboys games, so in the womb I was going to those games. I just became obsessed. I’d watch the NFL draft with my dad when I was 5-years-old with the newspaper out crossing out names. From there I’d watch FOX with Pam Oliver and I knew I wanted to do what she does. I was just one of those people that knew what I wanted to do since I was very young. You take all those aptitude tests in high school that tell you what you want to do and all mine told me I wanted a career in media, so it felt like the perfect fit. From there I went to TCU and majored in broadcast journalism and got my first job as a sports reporter in Midland.”
With Brownwood High School’s storied tradition in the sport, it’s no surprise Lockwood’s greatest enjoyment at KMID was covering high school football.
“The coolest thing about coming out to Midland is this is the home of ‘Friday Night Lights’ and West Texas football, and that was very appealing, and it’s fairly close to home,” Lockwood said. “Football season by far was a lot more enjoyable than the rest of the year, because that’s what people care the most about. It was really fun going to those games and covering them, talking with the kids and the coaches.”
Lockwood’s most memorable moment in television, however, came when the Texas League All-Star Game was played in Midland in 2010.
“Covering football here was a lot of fun for sure, but I also had a good time covering the minor league baseball team here, the Midland Rockhounds,” Lockwood said. “They’re the double-A affiliate of the Oakland A’s, and one of the greatest things I got to cover was the Texas League All-Star Game. (Oakland general manager) Billy Beane came in for it, I got to meet Rickey Henderson, Nolan Ryan was there, at the time Roger Clemens’ son, Koby, played for the Corpus Christi Hooks, so he was there and I got to interview him. I shot a bunch of material that ended up airing on SportsCenter that night.”
But the introduction of Lockwood’s fiancé, Dustin Petraitis, into her life led the Brownwood graduate to reevaluate her career path.
“I did TV for 4 1/2 years and enjoyed it. When I moved to Midland in 2009 I said I would not meet a guy and would not stay in Midland, and a guy would not get in the way of my career, but that exact thing happened,” Lockwood said. “I met my now fiancé out here, he’s a drilling engineer, and I got sick of the TV thing. It’s a not a lot of money, the hours are not ideal, so I told myself if I was going to stay out in Midland I was probably going to do something where I have a better quality of life.
“I didn’t know what I wanted to do, I thought I wanted to do some type of PR thing, but there’s not a lot of that out here. He suggested I try and be a landman, you don’t need experience, but I told him that sounded awful. He convinced me to try it and I’m only six months in, but I absolutely love it and I never thought I would.”
When describing her new job as a landman, Lockwood stated, “Most people know that Midland is going through a giant boom right now. A lot of people have minerals of land but they don’t know what their working interest in minerals are or how much they owe, etc. My job is to basically find out the mineral rights for certain companies or independent people. It sounds pretty mundane and boring, but it’s actually pretty interesting. You go to the county courthouse and look through records starting from the beginning, which would be 1900 up until present day. It’s almost like connecting a giant puzzle piece. There’s so many landmen out here, but they don’t have enough because things are so out of control right now.”
Since Lockwood has started her new career, the only time she’s felt the television itch occurred during the holidays, though it quickly subsided.
“I haven’t missed it too much, but the one time I really missed it was around Christmas time when I was driving home to Brownwood,” Lockwood said. “I was listening to ESPN Radio and breaking news came on and said Tony Romo was out the rest of the year. I immediately started writing my copy in my head. I have a love-hate relationship with the Cowboys, and when it came to the Cowboys I was always a smart alec on air about them, because it’s easy to be. I thought to myself I would love to just get in front of the camera and voice how I feel about this, but then I had the immediate thought following that if I was still on TV, I probably wouldn’t be driving home right now to visit my family. There are aspects that I still miss, and I’m glad I did it, but I’m happy it’s behind me now.”
Looking ahead, Lockwood would one day like to own her own landman business as she doesn’t envision leaving the Midland area any time soon.
“Right now I’m a contract landman, so they pay me when I work and when I don’t work I don’t get paid,” Lockwood said. “I don’t have a problem with that right now because things are so busy out here, but I would eventually like to become an in-house landman and some day have my own group, be my own broker and have my own employees. That’s the ultimate goal, but I don’t know if that can happen in five years, but maybe 10 years down the road.
“I think we’ll be in Midland a while, or some other place where oil is king. I would eventually like to wind up in either Houston or Denver. I really enjoyed living in Fort Worth for four years and miss the big city, but you can’t leave Midland right now, even if I wanted to.”