Dedicated & Determined, Reaching out with News that Counts! Meet Channel 2 Action News Anchor, Wendy Corona
Q: How did your career start as a news anchor?
WC: My career in journalism began as a nosy child! I went to Journalism School at the University of Southern California and set out to be a reporter. My first job out of college was as a reporter in Yuma, Arizona … a very small market! It wasn’t until my second station in El Paso, TX where the news director who hired me to report then tapped me to fill-in anchor. That’s when I started getting experience at the anchor desk.
Q: What is a typical day like for you?
WC: I anchor the news at 4pm so most people think my day starts right before the newscast, but there’s more to it! I participate in an editorial meeting with all our reporters and producers at 9am. That’s when we throw out all our ideas for stories, we can turn that day. Assignments are made from there and I get paired up with a photographer. We then go out and shoot/report a story together, gather the interviews and supporting video then I put it together. I will log the interviews and write the story then hand it off to the photographer to edit. It’s a go-go-go kind of day. I aim to have it all done before 3pm which is when I need to be on set to do promos for the newscast. Before I sit on the set though, I take a few minutes to do my hair and make-up of which some days are better than others! I read through the newscast, plan tweets and when 4pm arrives, we’re on live. After the newscast I may present a story in the 5pm or 6pm news. If I can steal away some minutes to have lunch, it’s a good day.
Q: What was your attraction to journalism?
WC: Back to that nosy kid… I really enjoyed the idea of journalism because it blended being the first to get information and paired it with writing. I liked reading and writing as a child and I also liked knowing what everyone was up to… it seemed a great fit. It was a bonus when I learned there was not a college math requirement for journalism majors! (I’m laughing)
Q: What's the toughest part of your job?
WC: Couple of things … one, I had to leave home to give this career a go. You learn what you’re made of in those early years! I’m glad I went away and lived so many different places and met so many interesting people. I also really enjoy going back home to visit - I fall back into it very easily. The truly toughest part of the job is being present at what are the lowest points for a lot of people. Usually a person has suffered some trauma – that’s why the news is there! We don’t report all the safe uneventful landings – we report the ones that go wrong. That often means being present at some of life’s toughest, saddest, most challenging moments for people – and you’re asking them to share a piece of themselves with you. That can be tough.
Q: Have you ever had that the one embarrassing moment on TV you can share with us?
WC: One that’s somewhat mild, but shareable … the top of our anchor desk is a type of plexiglass. During one newscast I spotted a spider just hanging out on the monitor under the glass. Then it started coming at me. I thought my microphone was off, it wasn’t. I thought we were still in commercial break. We weren’t. Some viewers tweeted me right away when they heard my description of what was charging at me! I don’t like spiders.
Q: Do you have any advice you can share with those women who may want to pursue a career in broadcast journalism?
WC: Do internships! See the day to day of the life. Talk with a lot of people about it - pick their brains. Ask a lot of questions. Do your research and see if it fits into your vision of a lifestyle for yourself. It’s a changing industry that demands a lot of your time and attention. I worked with one intern who would break out in serious hives every time she would try to record herself talking in front of the camera. She quickly learned she physically wasn’t cut out for it. The internship helped her make the decision early enough that she could pivot into something else.
Q: Which woman inspires you and why?
WC: I couldn’t whittle it down to one woman. Many women inspire me on varied levels. I’m in awe of stay at home moms who manage a household. I’m in awe of my mom who started a successful business with no training, but a whole lot of hard work and grit. I’m in awe of my grandmother who while doing physical therapy for arthritis in her later years, became an accomplished painter and seamstress. I’m inspired by all the confidence my daughter carries at her young age. I’m in awe of the women who come to this country and work hard to provide something better for themselves and their children. Inspiration is all around me, every single day. I always ask God to help me be in tune to what’s around me. I don’t want to a miss a thing.
Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today?
WC: There are still those expectations set on women… Be a lady. Be a boss. Be a mother. Be involved. Be healthy. Be fun to go out with … Be everything to everyone and don’t forget to make all the meals too. I am not afraid to delegate. I know my strengths. I know my weaknesses. I also know I can’t do it all, but those things that I can do- I will do the best I can.
Q: What advice would you give to young women who want to succeed in the workplace?
WC: Do not lose your essence, know who you are and what you stand for. Avoid toxic people. Do not let them take up space in your head. Do not let others steal your joy. Let your light shine. Smile.
Q: What do you like the most about living in the Atlanta Area?
WC: I like all the trees, winding roads and nature. I finally know what season are.
Five Things About Wendy Corona
1. Do you enjoy cooking? Nope. I do not.
I do enjoy making my children their birthday cakes every year though!
2. If you were a superhero, what would your special powers be?
Invisibility… to be a fly on the wall.
3. What app can’t you live without?
The Google app… it knows everything!
4. Do you have a favorite quotation?
I find myself quoting my parents a lot! Right now, my children are likely tired of hearing it, but it’s true: “Busy hands are happy hands!”