And then like what have you done too? I have always been a reporter anchor ever since I was a little girl. It was just tunnel vision, I did everything in my career as a student and college to become a news anchor so I went to school in Southern California USC and then I went to Washington, D. Then I went to Wage radio in Leesburg, Virginia, the sound choice of loud and county, and my voice was so tight the first time I went on the air, I must have sounded like Minnie Mouse, it was bad then I kept pounding on the door of the CPS affiliate in radio in Washington, D.
Then in Savannah, Georgia, I was a reporter until I want to say when the flooding hit in Savannah and as a night side reporter I was flooded in my station and the morning anchor was flooded out, and the assistant news director who was still there at night, said congratulations, you are going to get your shot at anchoring, you had better get some rest so I did the morning show that morning and then they gave me the weekend anchor job in Savannah, from there I went to Tuson, Arizona as a morning anchor reporter and then went to San Diego as a morning anchor report, and then I am here as morning anchor.
What are some things you like about your job? So that is one thing I like about the job. I probably would say those are the big things that I really enjoy about the career. I like getting dressed up too. Do you have any dislikes? The hour that I have to get up for work. Having said that there is no good shift in news. But on the normal day I get up for work at about 2 in the morning so it would be the hours.
Yeah, it can burn. What else was the rest of that question? How has it influenced your career? Have you had any struggles throughout being your career? Yes, being a woman in this career, it is a double edged sword, it really is because you are looked at so differently than men. Men on TV, have you noticed? Can gain weight, they can have residing? Men age much better or are allowed to age much better in this industry than women. There are only but a few women maybe past their fifties on TV these days.
Sometimes smaller markets do allow it but I also find viewers are much more critical of women, I mean hugely critical of what we wear, if we gain a pound, I brought this email for all of you to share. My point for you all today. Thanks as it is a much better and it is a step getting back to our much better California glam girl. Do you think there is more equality in employment opportunities for women? I, especially in this station, we are very female driven, we are very heavy on female anchors so there are a lot of opportunities I think for women in this particular industry, absolutely.
Is there anything that you wish you could have done differently with your professional life, or with your personal life? Professional life, I like to say, woulda, coulda, shoulda, I was in Savannah, Georgia and that was market number at the time and I had a job offer from Atlanta, Georgia, which was market 10, they wanted me as a reporter but I was at the stage where I was a weaken anchor?
Personally, now you are all in high school right? Personally in high school I would have treated my mother better. The most populated areas, so New York is number one, that is where there is the most revenue when you sell commercials in that market. Number ten being Atlanta, to just think of the market are the population size on down. Have you observed any discrimination against women? I have salary wise. Have you seen an improvement in the way they are treated in the workplace, maybe not salary wise but in general?
You know it is really market specific. It was always the men, yet when I moved from that market I got so many emails: But I really think that is market specific. I think it really depends on where you are. What are the biggest differences in the ways that women are treated today compared to when you were growing up?
I will say going back to that question now, women, we want to be seen as equal right? Well that means we need to be equal on every single front so we wanted to be treated with respect, we need to act respectfully, we wanted to be treated as intelligent women instead of just Barbie dolls, we need to read we need to go out and report before we sit on the anchor desk, I think there again, women need to remember that we have to, and we have to continue, to earn where we are able to be, where a lot of women were not back in the day.
So in that way, I meant to bring that one up. How have family structures and the role a woman in the family changed since you were growing up? I am not bitter. What are some important life lessons that you would like younger generations of women to be aware of?
Who has inspired you the most? I have been blessed with so many inspirational people through the years. But she knew that she had to see more of the world, and do more, and try something new and break out and I look back now and I realize that I have some of that strength maybe in my genes but I think it was because of my mother saying you can do this.
So I would say that. Oh and one funny thing, is the reason I got into television news was Ion zeering sp? Always tell anyone you meet what you want to do with your life, why you are in, for example, why I was at the party, why I even lived next door in L.
Have you found it difficult for you do balance your personal life with your professional life? Can you describe some of the work you did in Africa when you were reporting on how HIV and aids affected families over there and what kind of work you did with that?
I was there to be a reporter, to document what hospice here was doing, hospice here in Fitchburg, hospice actually in American is all usually they are hospital facilities, the one in Fitchburg is beautiful they actually have beautiful rooms. It is end of life care. They got a partnership with the tiny hospice in Maru, Kenya which is on the eastern side of Kenya and it is a two room facility so they are not a hospital type situation.
They have to drive miles and hours on lava roads sometimes to just get to once patient. So my job was to document what they were doing and what I found was that I was becoming so drawn into this. There was a man, the African culture; they learned that no matter who they are the whole family comes to great you. There was a man dying of stomach cancer and we were just stunned beyond belief that they dragged this man out to great us.
It was amazing and I think, as he was looking at me, at his end of life, he was not going to make it to the end of that week, I was able to look back at him and in my own way let him know that he was going to live on because he was part of my stories and I continue to talk about Africa. There was a woman Antonina sp? Kenya and Kibira slum, if you ever watch the constant gardener that was also, it is the largest slum in sub-Saharan Africa, huts were built out of mud and dung.
Kids as young as ten sell their bodies for a coca cola. Rats are sold on sticks as food. That is when I put down my notepad and I knelt down to check if this baby was breathing. So in, now I just let it all hang out, I think it is really, I have become a better person and a better anchor just taking what I have learned from Africa just putting your heart out there, even on your worst day and just letting it all hang out because I have known this being a little feisty on the air.
Charlie and I, you know, have a fun chemistry. I say things that may cross the line but people respond to that I mean they respond to real more than your twenty one year old who is sitting straight, and I did the same thing, you know when I started in business I did not know who the heck I was but I have learned to really just let go and that is what I did in Africa and that is was Africa did for me.
What was it like to be the youngest person to be a producer for the radio that you were in Washington, D. Do you think that was challenging for you both being young and being a woman?
I was very lucky, I worked for a now deceased man his name is Jammie Brag sp? I produced all his shows, it was also called editor.
I never really thought to stop and think about it, you are just in the situation and I think in that newsroom, again, there were a lot of strong reporters, I was so much younger than them by ten or fifteen years but there was a man at the time who was the news director who believed in young talent, the right young talent but he saw in me a hunger, I kept knocking at his door and I remember when I was interviewing with him, his name is Holland Cook sp?
Even when I was young I still had that gutsy, now or never baby. So I never really thought about it until I look back and go ok alright well I did it, I did it, I did something now that I know after I was hired three or four other women my age were hired so I was an experiment that went well.
Do you find there are, when you are reporting, that there are some topics that are more difficult for you to cover or do you just approach them all in the same way? And sometimes when I told you I definitely cross the line I will say things. Do you have any addition stories or anything from Wisconsin from your work that you would like to share with us? Another one was Senator Sam Nun sp? He always answered my phone calls after that. Even to the simplest things. So I went out there and you know little miss sassy pants, we started to play this number and we got a big crowd and I said wow you should see the crowd out here and so he had to get up on the ladder and bend the vent to let the squirrel go.
So see, from big stuff, from Sam Nun sp? I got some interesting stories probably way too many than you ever want to know and there are some good ones. I mean she has a memory like, you know I have done some pretty wild things, in my day to make sure I was going to get the story or try to help someone that needed to be helped.
Do you have anything else that you would like to add for older women, younger women, any advice, anything else you would like to talk about?
I would have to say that Wisconsin, oddly enough, has really shaped who I have become. I am stunned by that and I have lived in so many cities, so many places but it has helped kind of shaped who I have become and I have grown to love this state, that is not just the what everyone is supposed to say.
There goes Bob Friedle sp? As a women you need a little encouragement, as a person in general. So I really thing Wisconsin has really helped. In fact, this is just in tune, I bought my first place at forty two years old. I finally realize where home is for me, it is Wisconsin.