LIVE AT FIVE: INTERVIEW WITH NEWS ANCHOR, KELLY D’AMBROSIO
Kelly D’Ambrosio is currently the Evening Anchor for CBS2 News “Live at Five” and FOX28 “News at Nine” in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Previously at CBS2 and FOX28 Kelly was the morning show Anchor for CBS2 “This Morning” Fox28 “Morning Live” and CBS2 news at noon.
Before moving to Iowa, Kelly was the Morning Show Host of “Good Day” at FOX31 in Albany, GA. This was a 4 hour live morning show filled with news and entertainment.
Kelly has interviewed nationally known celebrities such as TLC’s Paige Davis, Food Network’s The Pioneer Woman, HGTV’s David Bromstad, and Six Pence None The Richer lead singer Leigh Nash.
She earned her B.S. in Broadcast Communications at Liberty University (LU) in Lynchburg, VA. During her senior year, she created a pilot for a student TV show, interviewing film students on the movies they produced. This project launched her into her first job in production at the Center for Advanced Media Productions at LU. While there, Kelly helped develop a student run TV show called “Option LU” (which is still alive to this day). She produced, directed, edited, worked with students and hosted the show.
She has twice hosted GodTV’s broadcast of the “Winterfest” music festival, worked as a sideline reporter for the Flames Sports Network at LU, and was a freelance host for several Liberty broadcast programs. She also has experience in commercials, theater, radio, music and dance.
She lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa with her wonderful husband, Tony, and their “fur kids,” Charlie and Lucy.
We got the chance to sit down with Kelly and ask her a few questions:
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
“Right now I’m a News Anchor for evening newscasts on KGAN CBS2 and KFXA FOX28 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I’ve been married to my best friend, Tony, for seven years. We have two ‘fur babies’ Charlie and Lucy. We love outdoor adventures like camping, canoeing and hiking. When I’m not working, I love to read and explore my city and the surrounding towns!”
Where are you from? Do you think where you’re from has had an impact on the person you are today?
“I grew up in Keystone Heights,Florida, and it certainly made me into the person I am today. Keystone is a really small town with one stoplight, (now days I hear there are two!). My high school was combined with the middle school and everyone knew each other. Since our school was smaller, I had the privilege of being involved in many different activities. A lot of them were performance based and helped me develop confidence to stand in front of people. I think the biggest thing Keystone gave me was a perspective of appreciation. I lived with few choices for restaurant options and retail, so I learned to be content with the few things we had (you should have felt the excitement when we got a ‘Wendy’s’ in town!). As I’ve moved to bigger cities, I’m excited by little things like having a movie theater in the same town! I see the preciousness of this and I never would have had that perspective if it weren’t for Keystone Heights.”
Where do you live currently? How do you like it?
“Right now I live in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I adore living here. Many people think I’m crazy because I enjoy the weather here. We get a pretty brutal long winter. I think it’s all perspective. I didn’t grow up in this kind of weather, so that helps me enjoy it. My husband and I have made precious friends and love the church we’re part of. Cedar Rapids is the perfect size town (so many stoplights, I can’t count them all!). The people here are really kind and have a sense of community pride that’s outstanding!”
Can you tell us a little about your career?
“The news industry is high energy and stressful.People turn to us for the facts and truth. The thought of miss-speaking by reading off the teleprompter wrong creates great stress and pressure every night for me. But it’s also a lot of fun. I love doing ‘softer’ news, the kind that makes people smile. I really enjoy interviewing people and helping them share whatever it is they are passionate about. It is a privilege for viewers to choose to watch my station and let me into their lives for a little while every day.”
What set your career path?
“My journey to the news industry was a non-traditional one. My senior year of high school I took a class on video production and we did the morning announcements on TV for the whole school. During that class I entered into a contest where I created a music video. (we actually won first place!). This is where I discovered my love for video editing. I could get lost in this for hours. That helped me decide to major in communications in college. My original plan was to be a music video editor, but I quickly learned the world of editing is lonely. Just you and the computer for hours. I knew I wanted to use my personality and entertain. I began performing in any aspect I could for promotional videos, commercials, theater, etc. I started researching how I could do this full time and found an opening for a morning show in Georgia. The rest is history.”
What does being a Renaissance Woman mean to you?
“Being a Renaissance woman means always seeking to work with purpose and ambition. A Renaissance woman knows her responsibility of being a role model for others and doesn’t take that lightly. She is uplifting to those around her. A Renaissance woman has goals and works hard to achieve them, even when the odds are against her.”
Do you think there are any double standards for men and women in your industry?
“I’m thankful to say I’ve personally never experienced a ‘double standard’ for men and women in my industry. I have been given just as many opportunities as the men I’ve worked with and never felt like I’ve been looked down on or over looked because of my gender.”
Do you have any current goals you’d like to share with our readers?
“Right now my goal in life is to be content with where I am as an individual and in my work. For many years I have felt myself longing for the next step, always pursuing whatever was around the corner. I still have goals and can’t wait to see what’s to come, but I don’t want to spend my life seeking what’s next and miss the wonderful things that happen along the way.”
What are you most thankful for?
“I’m so thankful for this past year of living in Cedar Rapids. Many things my husband and I had been praying for have been given to us and we could not feel more blessed right now. God has given us our first home, a city we enjoy living in and genuine friends. Thank you, Jesus.”
What inspires you?
“The most inspiring thing for me is to hear advice from other women in the same industry as me. I enjoy reading books or articles from women in the news industry. Having them as a kind of mentor is so valuable. Resources like ‘Renaissance Woman’ are terrific because it helps us get advice from someone who has ‘been there’ or to know you are not alone in struggles you experience. I feel most uplifted when I receive advice from others and when I can in turn offer others advice. I love to see women helping build each other up in this way!”
Do you happen to have any career or life advice that you want to throw out there?
“My advice for anyone wanting to go into the TV business in any aspect is to not get discouraged or distracted by the career journeys of those around you. I love reading books and researching people in the TV industry who I admire or those who have my ‘dream job.’
Through this I realized every person’s journey is unique. Not one person has taken the same path to get to where they are. Every person has different opportunities that come their way. It’s easy to look at others and compare yourself. I still have that personal battle. It’s good to be inspired by others, but It’s another thing to be discouraged thinking you’ll never get there. Set goals for yourself and take the opportunities that come your way. You are in the process of creating your unique journey too! If anyone has any questions about the industry, I love talking about it and would be more than happy to answer questions or offer advice!”
To learn more about Kelly, visit her website: kelly-dambrosio.com