Meet The “Old” WBAA Reporter
You might have read about WBAA’s new reporter, Sarah Fentem, who will be joining the staff in a few months (and not a moment too soon, might I add!) Well, with the advent of this blog I thought I’d take the opportunity to introduce myself, the “old” WBAA reporter (Note: anyone who attempts to remove the air quotes from the word “old” will face serious consequences.) Unlike Sarah, I was not an NPR baby. As a matter of fact, I had never even listened to Public Radio before moving to Indiana in 1998. Back in my home state of Connecticut, I listened exclusively to UCONN’s student-run station, WHUS. And I worked as the afternoon drive newscaster at WILI AM/FM, which had some local programming and “the hits of the 70s, 80s, and 90s” on the AM station and Top 40 on the FM. (side note: I started my illustrious news career on Sunday mornings during Virginia Seretny‘s “Polkatime” show, which ran for 33 years on WILI AM. She also worked in the Parking Violations Division of the Willimantic Police Department for 27 years, and one Sunday scolded me for an extended period of time about a number of parking tickets I had racked up. But I digress….)
Faced with mainly country, rock, classic rock, and top 40 radio stations upon moving to the Greater Lafayette area, I managed to discover WBAA and NPR, and I’ve never looked back. I’ve been the Morning Edition host for 10 years now and also cover various local government meetings and events.
One thing Sarah and I do have in common is that I never pictured myself working in radio, either. Actually, journalism wasn’t even on my radar. I did earn a bachelor’s degree in Communications, but that was mainly because as a college junior I was finally forced to pick a major and that seemed easy enough. Most of the jobs I had up to and through college involved working with kids and I just assumed that’s what I would do for a living. Long story short (it’s too late for that, isn’t it?), two weeks into my first post-college job in a childcare program I realized the last thing I wanted to do was work with children! No offense to those of you who are, have, or have been children. In 1992, the news director at WILI was looking for a female voice for the Sunday morning news. His wife suggested me for some reason I will never understand given that I had zero radio or reporting experience. He inexplicably hired me without an interview or audition, and my illustrious career in radio journalism was launched!!
When I’m not working, I’m hanging out with my husband of nearly 19 years, our two teenagers, and our incredibly adorable not spoiled at all miniature dachshund. I’m an avid, some might say rabid, UCONN women’s and men’s basketball fan. I also triple love the New York Yankees (like any self-respecting East Coast Italian should!) I watch WAY too much tv, am slightly obsessed with chocolate, and try to fit in reading and movies whenever time and our budget allows.