I spent 22 years as a professional journalist. My career began in college, at Penn State University’s WPSX TV. I was an apprentice for Weather World for two-and-a-half years. During a study abroad in Manchester England, I was able to intern at Leeds TV (BBC) and London Weekend Television.
Upon graduation in 1987, I spent 6 months looking for a job. I started my first paid TV job at WMGC-TV in Binghamton, NY. I was hired as a production assistant, responsible for running all 4 studio cameras, passing out scripts, dubbing 1-and-2-inch tapes down to 3/4″ for air, and other types of jobs. But I spent my time in the newsroom, and quickly learned that if you are there–you will be used. I took on photog and editing duties, then on-air reporting and producing. (All while still doing the job I was hired to do!) I also produced, wrote, edited, shot and voiced commercials (yeah, yeah–before I really gave much thought to ethics). We had a 6pm and 11pm, Monday-Friday.
My next job began in 1990, at First State News in New Castle, Delaware. The cable station was what we now call hyper-local. The viewing area was one county in the state. I was the producer, assignment editor, editor and photog on occasion but thank God never on-air. We had a 6pm live, which we taped and re-aired at 7pm.
From Delaware I moved to WDAF-TV in Kansas City, MO in 1994. It was my first experience in a computerized newsroom! I produced the weekend morning newscasts, and was a writer during the week.
In 1995, I returned East, to WCAU-TV in Philadelphia, PA. I spent the next 14 years there as a producer. And boy did I produce–every show at one point or another, as well as investigative, consumer and feature. I was the New Jersey Bureau Chief for a year. I created a lifestyle news show from scratch. I was on the front lines (or trenches?) as we moved into a fully digital environment. On the last day of 2009, I left TV news for a new career in academia.