I could not be prouder to lead the I-Team, News Center 7's investigative and special reports unit. I say that with so much humbleness. During my more than 20 years working in the TV news business, I've always admired WHIO-TV, America's #1 CBS affiliate, as one of the best in the business. In early 2019, I could not resist the opportunity when WHIO-TV recruited me to join their management team as Special Projects Executive Producer. One thing I particularly love about my role is it allows me to work one-on-one with some of the business' best reporters while also continuing my first journalism love: reporting and storytelling. Therefore, I get the honor of also being a contributing I-Team reporter. You can watch my in-depth I-team reports regularly on News Center 7.
I guess you could say my journalism passion was unearthed in my hometown of Mountain Brook, AL, which is a suburb of Birmingham. Thanks to my high school's work study program, I was fortunate to be able to start my TV news career at 16, spending the next two years with WVTM-TV. More than 20 years later, my journalism journey has taken me on a path from Alabama to Alaska to Ohio, with career stops in Missouri, Kansas, North Carolina and Wisconsin along with way. That means I have the added experience of doing just about every job a TV newsroom can offer.
I am an extra proud University of Missouri School of Journalism graduate. Go Tigers! While at MU, I focused my studies on investigative journalism (the world's premier investigative journalism organization, Investigative Reporters and Editors [IRE], is located at Mizzou). I spent all four of my college years working for the university-owned NBC affiliate KOMU-TV, where I helped start the station's Target 8 consumer/investigative unit, which is still in existence today.
Ask anyone who knows me well, and they'll tell you I'm one of the most passionate folks you'll ever meet when it comes to advocating journalism's founding principal of being a government watchdog. I have a long track record of reporting on government waste, holding people in power accountable, giving those that feel they do not have one a voice an outlet and uncovering personal stories behind trends.
My move to Dayton comes after spending the last five years in Wisconsin. For the last three years I worked for News Center 7's CBS sister station in the small north central city of Wausau at WSAW-TV. I was hired to start the station's investigative unit and served for three years as WSAW's senior investigative reporter along with anchoring the 4 p.m. newscast. Our I-Team's reporting highlights included exposing a crisis and government coverup inside the state's juvenile justice system, loopholes impacting veterans' emergency care, and the lack of resources for families battling the opioid crisis, which received an Edward R. Murrow regional award of excellence for best series. I'm humbled to say numerous other stories our team put together were honored by the Midwest Broadcast Journalism Association and Wisconsin Broadcasters Association.
My first two years in Wisconsin were spent at Madison's WISC-TV, where my investigative reporting on gangs and the opioid epidemic received a regional EMMY award for Outstanding Achievement for Media Interactivity. I was also part of the investigative team honored by the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association for exposing how emergency radio failures were putting first responders' lives at risk.
Oh yeah! There's Alaska. It will always be a second home to me. I spent seven years there at KTVA-TV and later KTUU-TV, primarily as a political and investigative reporter. Yes, before you ask, this included covering Sarah Palin's administration. Prior to KTVA-TV, I worked as a general assignment reporter at KAKE-TV (ABC) in Wichita, Kansas, where among much crime news I covered the infamous BTK serial killer's reemergence and capture. My resume also includes news reporter roles at Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina's Spectrum Cable News and Montgomery, AL's WSFA-TV.
Most importantly I truly appreciate life and love those important loved ones in my life. I say that with the perspective of surviving both testicular cancer at 21 years old, and a massive "widowmaker" heart attack when I was 35 years old. I think health education and taking care of yourself is so important. I'm constantly on a mission to find healthy food that doesn't taste healthy. You'll find me working out most mornings. My husband and I love traveling, catching up on our backlog of DVR shows, and being fur dads to our three dogs. To no one's surprise I'm also a proud news junkie. We're glad to now call the Miami Valley home, and look forward to getting to know our new neighbors.
Q & A
Where were you born? Gillette, Wyoming
Where did you grow up? Mountain Brook, Alabama
What was your favorite TV show then? The local news 😊
What was the first thing you ever wanted to be? A news anchor – since I was a little kid.
How might someone have described you in high school? The news guy. I anchored our school's TV newscast, and worked for our local NBC station.
What was your first job? Intern at WVTM-TV
What was your first job in television? Promotions producer at WVTM-TV
What do you like about your job? Give those that feel they do not have one a voice an outlet, and being able to act as a check and balance on government leaders.
What do you not like about your job? Anytime someone is a victim – especially children – it deeply bothers me.
What might people be surprised to know about you? I've survived a massive heart attack. It took them a while to figure the cause out because I was healthy at the time. I have a rare genetic condition that causes my cells to be too small, leading to plaque buildup.
What is the hardest thing you ever did? Recovering from my heart attack. It sidelined me for seven months. I had to rebuild my body's strength.
What would be a perfect day for you? Getting to sleep in late. I'm always in a better mood. And any time with dogs is also a win in my book.
What advice would you have for someone wanting to go into the business?
- Have an ethical backbone! Ethical standards are key to making sure we do our jobs right daily.
- Read a lot. Make sure you are a passionate news consumer, and understand what is happening in your community and the world.
- Be a good story idea generator. This means being involved in your community and understanding the context behind issues.
- Learn best practices for storytelling. Being a great storyteller helps any topic, no matter how difficult it is to understand, easier to explain. And never forget journalism is about people and relevance to their lives.
If you could only keep one 5-minute tape from your career what would be on it? I'd make something similar to a resume reel. The stories where I think we've made a difference by exposing corruption or helping people would be the key saves on this reel.
Favorite book: Tied: To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee or The Power of One by Bryce Courtney
Favorite CBS show: 60 Minutes
Favorite dream car: Range Rover
Favorite food: Thai
Favorite hobby: Traveling
Favorite Miami Valley place: Subject to change, but so far Dayton's Oregon District.
Favorite movie: Crazy In Alabama
Favorite music: I'm eclectic. From oldies, to classic rock to Top 40. I like it all. Mostly. Not the biggest country fan. (Sorry!)