After a long career in broadcasting, you’ve decided to leave Tegna and 9News and leap into the unknown. Can you describe the excitement and trepidation you feel as you meet this moment?
I’ve been reacting to monumental change my entire career. My first job required typewritten scripts that were then taped together to be physically run through a teleprompter. Now there’s an app for that. There’s also a broadcast quality camera on the phone that houses that app. Instead of carrying a heavy camera with giant tapes and a tripod that weighed more than me, one can now shoot and entire TV story on a device that fits into my back pocket. Change is always scary but if there is one thing I have learned after 30 years in television is that change also breeds creativity.
What was it about these last couple of years that helped you decide to take this risk?
The pandemic has proven the need for a strong ethical media now more than ever. But it’s also changed how we live our lives. How journalists adapt to this change will determine our success in the future. I want to be a part of leading that change. On a personal note, both of my daughters graduate this year – one from high school, the other from college, so it is a good time to work on “me” and my future! 9NEWS has been supportive of my decision even as my team heads into the May ratings period. For the first time in my adult life, I will have my birthday off and will be able to spend uninterrupted time with my girl’s (whether they want to or not!).
Things are changing so rapidly in television news. Was there a turning point for you where you felt you would be better served by trying something new?
I strongly believe news is more important to our democracy than ever before, and my decision to try something new is built on that belief. So many people have asked if investigative journalism will suffer in the wake of the changes in our business. The only way to protect its future is to make it harder and harder to cut. We do that by doing a better job of being a watchdog in our communities. Luckily there seems to be a never-ending supply of stories to dig up!
You talk about betting on yourself. What does that look like as you envision your future?
I am not the first to jump. I am inspired by so many Colorado journalists reinventing the business model. Many of those people (like Vicky Collins who publishes Bucket List Community Cafe) have paved the way! I am inspired by the Colorado Sun, Colorado Public Radio, COLab, Open Media, there are too many to list. I am betting that I have something to lend to this spirit of entrepreneurship. I have often said I had the best job in the business. And, I did. I’ve had the opportunity to work with some of the best journalists in the country and I will miss my colleagues so much! But inspired by those who have jumped before, I realized I have some new ideas I’d like to explore. I finally looked around and thought, who better to jump than me!
Many people are leaving their jobs and reinventing themselves in the wake of Covid. What advice do you have for others who are considering a major transition at this time?
I am not sure I’m the best one to answer that, since my story is still being written! Call me in 6 months 😊