What was your experience like in that newsroom?
Talk about the difference between men and women, sometimes it's not positive. Something I would really like to see changed is that I would ask every reporter if I could go out and follow them on stories, and let me tell you, way more men than women [said yes]. And it still happens all the time, the business is so cutthroat that women look over and they feel threatened. No, It takes a village. I will never forget that. Who knows what their motivations were. I don't have a #metoo story there, although there are many in my business, as you all know. Thankfully by the time the sales department had it with me, because I was always missing, I took a job at WDEF Chattanooga after about a year. I worked there as a one-man band.
So tell me about that, because that's a great story.
I was like, what do I need? Cymbals? A drum? What is this one-man band you speak of? A one-man band in the news business is someone who is a reporter who knows how to operate a camera, is able to drive the news van, shoot the story, write it, and then go back and edit it. I knew how to do not one of those three things. And yet, I applied. I dove off the cliff. I took a chance.
My mom always said fake it until you make it. I thank her every single day for that. Perception is reality. I did fake it. I was about to not make it. But what I did was I remained open to learning. I went after work every night and befriended the camera men and one woman, who was amazing by the way. I will never forget her. I learned how to operate that camera. I'm glad I took that risk, because truthfully knowing how to shoot and edit, and to record and all of those things makes me a better colleague, makes me more understanding of the crew every morning on Good Morning America and the pressure that they're under. It was the greatest gift of my career, though I would not have said it then.