Katie and I met as seniors in high school at the Matrix Awards. We were both winners of New York Women in Communications scholarships. Since then, I’ve had the privilege of watching Katie work toward — and attain — her dream of being a TV news anchor (in a Top 30 market!!), and a FABULOUS one at that! Katie is a dear friend, and I’m so excited to feature her as this week’s #GirlBoss.
Tell us what you do!
I’m an anchor and reporter at FOX Connecticut.
Did you go to college? If so, where?
I went to Fordham University in the Bronx.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?
I’m a dork; I knew I wanted to be on TV since I was 12.
How did you get to where you are now? Tell us your story!
Oh gosh, here goes nothing! It really did start when I was 12. I watched Linda Cohn on ‘SportsCenter’ every morning before school, and decided I wanted to do her job. I started writing and emailing sports broadcasters I admired for their advice. Without even knowing it, I was beginning to build my network. Then, I went to sports broadcasting camp for several summers during middle school/high school. (Yes, such a thing exists! It’s called the Bruce Beck and Ian Eagle Sports Broadcasting Camp, and it changed my life.)
Later in high school, I took AP U.S. History and AP Government & Politics, and I learned about the impact the press can have on history. I decided to shift my focus from sports to news. Then, something else changed my life. I applied for a scholarship from New York Women in Communications, Inc. when I was 18, and I won. Knowing a group of admirable, successful women believed in me gave me the confidence to really pursue this crazy TV dream. I went to Fordham University, where I started out at WFUV, the NPR radio station on campus. I realized radio wasn’t really my thing, so I moved to the ‘Fordham Nightly News.’ I anchored the show for three years, and that gave me the demo reel I needed to get my first job.
I interned with WABC-TV, WNYW-TV, CBS News, Danielides Communications, Ralph Lauren, and the New Jersey Jackals (an independent-league baseball team). I spent a good chunk of my senior year (read: I didn’t study for midterms) building my own website and editing my demo reel, a roughly 10-minute montage of my best reporting and anchoring clips. I subscribed to TVjobs.com, an amazing database of all kinds of reporting/anchoring/producing jobs. I sent out 73 demo reels, both as hard copies and YouTube links. I applied everywhere. There’s 210 media markets in the U.S., with NYC being #1 and Glendive, Montana being #210. I applied up to #196, which is Casper, Wyoming. No station was too small or too far, although I secretly dreaded the thought of going far from home. I heard from over a dozen stations in places like Alexandria, Louisiana; Fargo, North Dakota; and Charleston, West Virginia. Then, I got the lucky call from my soon-to-be news director at the NBC/CBS stations in Syracuse. It was a done deal within days. Syracuse was my top-choice market (market #84 – a fabulous place to start) and a city I really, really liked.
I stayed there for two years, starting out as a reporter, and then being promoted to the weekend anchor only a few months into the job. I began shopping around for new jobs and an agent about six months before my two-year contract end date. I took a new job at FOX Connecticut in Hartford in June, and am the station’s weekend morning anchor and a weekday morning reporter.
I am my own worst enemy. After my freshman year of college, I panicked about the thought of taking a TV job in the middle of North Dakota. Like, really panicked. I decided to start pursuing PR instead – better hours, better pay, and I could stay in NYC. That’s why I interned at Danielides Communications, the New Jersey Jackals and Ralph Lauren. Then, I had a fabulous college professor who saw my work, and said I really should go into TV. I snapped out of my funk, and realized TV is where I belong.
Who is your idol?
Katie Couric – stellar journalist, even better name.
What are three personal traits/qualities that have helped you get to where you are?
Ambition, determination, and being a complete Type-A personality.
Where would you like to be in five years?
Great question! TBD. Staying in the NY/NJ/CT/PA area, for sure. You can only drag the Jersey Girl so far outside of her natural habitat.
Define “Girl Boss” in your own words.
A “Girl Boss” is someone who knows what she wants, and unapologetically goes for it. She is outspoken, confident, and fair.
Describe your style/fashion sense:
For work, I love Calvin Klein sheaths. I rarely wear pants, except in the winter when I’m reporting. Outside of work, I’m very relaxed. I love J. Crew and ripped boyfriend jeans.
I have this J. Crew necklace I love. It’s big and chunky, and matches with virtually everything.
What’s your can’t-live-without beauty product?
Go-to nail color?
OPI’s Lincoln Park After Dark.
Sophia Amoruso’s #GIRLBOSS inspired me. What book has inspired you?
All Things at Once by Mika Brzezinski. She is honest about the struggle to balance work and a personal life, and I really admire how she laid it all out – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
No Girl Boss is perfect. What’s your vice?
CHOCOLATE. Lots and lots of chocolate.
Which artist/band/DJ are you really into right now?
I’ve been listening to the new Maroon 5 album. I’ve been a big fan since ‘Songs About Jane’ came out in 2002.
What song makes you feel like a Girl Boss?
‘Empire State of Mind’ by Jay Z and Alicia Keys. That song always picks me up.
What’s a quote that inspires/motivates you?
“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” It’s attributed to the Roman philosopher Seneca, but I’m pretty sure Oprah said some version of it, too.
Best advice you’ve ever received? And who gave it to you?
Before I started my first job, Meredith Vieira told me to focus on my writing. There’s a reason she has her own TV show now; she was spot on.
Advice to future girl bosses:
NETWORK. Networking is the key.
Do you know a Girl Boss? Nominate her in the comments! And HEY — if you share this, be sure to use the hashtag #ImAGirlBoss.