“I interned at WREX-TV 13 in Rockford, in the fall of 1992. At the time it was an ABC affiliate. I nervously left my first semester of my senior year at the University of Illinois, and rented an apartment in Rockford. I would have never been able to afford that apartment if it weren’t for the MIP. Throughout college, I received zero financial assistance from my family. My father was unemployed and my mother worked at a cafeteria. I got by on scholarships awarded for good grades, and part-time jobs I picked up along my journey. There were two people at that station who changed my life. Dennis Horton, the news director who took me on as an intern. And Mike Robinson, the main anchor and eventual news director who would offer me my first job immediately after I finished said internship, a full a school year before I would finish earning my degree.
At WREX, I shot, edited and wrote my own stories. Back then the gear was heavy – I carried a camera on one shoulder and a large 3/4 inch tape deck on the other. On weekends, I did the weather. We had no computers. Scripts had to be typed. My experience here was invaluable because I learned how to do everything, and to this day, even as a -veteran- network correspondent, I can still edit. And I know good or bad editing or shooting when I see it.”