It started when I was 5 years old, in my family's 2 bedroom apartment in Rogers Park. I have always wanted to be in television. I dreamed of being a reporter/anchor for as long as I can remember. My mother tells the same story to this day, of how I would sit on our kitchen floor, pull items out of the cupboards and report on each item as if it was a news story.
Fast forward about 14 years and... here I am. Back home in Chicago.
Living my dream. Here is a glimpse of what I did along the way:
I was going to college and already started making connections. I ended up working in radio, as a traffic producer for the then-called "Shadow Traffic" service. The company provided radio traffic reports, I was one of the people in charge of getting the reporters accurate and up-to-date information. A couple years later, I interned with Lisa Parker at NBC 5. I worked my buns off. I somehow convinced them to hire me, and a few months later was one of the news desk assistants and field producers. It was awesome! My first television gig! I was on cloud nine. Again, I worked my buns off! I was there until I graduated Columbia College Chicago, then had enough material to make my own resume tape... (yes back then it was "tape" like VHS!) I started applying for jobs and 3 months later I was moving out of Chicago!
My first day on the air was June 11th, 2001, the day Timothy McVeigh was executed in Terre Haute, Indiana. I'll never forget that day, it was such a big story across the country. I was living in Dubuque, Iowa, working for the local FOX affiliate there. I was anchoring and producing and working with some really cool people, and believe it or not, I am still friends with 2 of them! This business sure can be small, in such a great way. I moved on from there, less than two years later, to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where I anchored and got my very first in-the-field reporting gig. I mean, I did that in Dubuque too, but not as much as I went on to do in CR. I really dabbled in a lot of things. I even got my own little segment every Friday called "Dishing with Diane," where I picked one diner each week and did live shots for the morning show and met people from all walks of life. It was such fun!
By 2005 I was really gaining some experience and ready for a bigger market. I came back closer to home, and ended up at the NBC affiliate in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I was anchoring and reporting, and stayed there for over 6 years. That was the longest place I lived on my journey. I met some incredible people there. My dear friends are still there today. But best of all, that's where I met a very handsome fireman I'd eventually marry. You'll hear/read a lot about him in my blog. He is really a cool cat. Not only does he have looks and charm, he is unbelievably kind and warm, helpful and loving. Plus, he moved all the way down to Bears country for me! Now, THAT IS LOVE!
I have ALWAYS wanted to work in my hometown. It meant the world to me to get back. There were times when the road was tough, and I would really get down on myself, but I knew I wanted to keep fighting to come back here. It was my dream, my lifelong dream! I have met so many people that grew out of loving this business and choose something else for whatever reason. I knew I couldn't live with myself if I didn't see my dream through. God has blessed me with patience (well, not always) and the willingness to work hard. And today, after freelancing for three years, I am employed full-time by my dream station, ABC 7 Chicago. Let me tell you, It was worth the wait.
Read my blog “Diane’s Diaries” and Leave a comment, it takes no time at all…
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