Job Shadow: Kathryn Phernetton, Anchor News 18

By Carly Swisher

After seeing a post on Facebook for an anchoring position, while she had been reporting at just one station for five years, Kathryn Phernetton, is now the morning anchor for WQOW News 18. 

Job shadow

Katie Phernetton prepares for the morning show by looking over different stories and her script. ©2019 Carly Swisher

Phernetton said that she always wanted to be a news anchor growing up. She was one of those kids that got excited while watching the news. She would often take her dad’s video recorder when she was younger and pretend to interview her favorite boy band NSYNC.

“I set it all up, hit record and started off with this little voice saying, ‘hi guys…!’” Phernetton said. “I watched a lot of MTV’s TRL as a kid and was convinced I was going to be like Carson Daly.”

Later in life, Phernetton earned her degree in communications with an emphasis in electronic journalism at UW-Green Bay. In 2013, when she was a senior in college, she started working for the local Fox affiliate station as a live and feature reporter.

After working there for about 5 years, Phernetton knew she still wanted to become an anchor, but she felt it wasn’t the right location for it.

“Once you get to a mid-sized market and bigger markets, the main anchors stay in those positions for a long time … if not until they retire,” Phernetton said.

Phernetton started looking elsewhere for a potential anchor job and luckily, the opportunity popped up with the click of a button.

Thanks to an all-female journalist Facebook group that opportunity soon became a reality for Phernetton. Bridget Curran, an anchor at News 18 at the time had posted about a job opening for a co-anchor at the station in Eau Claire, about 3 hours from Green Bay … not too far from home for Phernetton.

Phernetton saw the opportunity and took it. Now she has been anchoring at the station for a little over a year.

As the morning anchor, Phernetton has a lot of responsibilities before the show even starts. Her responsibilities include checking emails for missed stories or press releases, reading through or changing the scripts and checking production queues for the show the day.

Depending on the day it takes about half an hour to an hour, according to Phernetton, and by then it’s crunch time.

An important piece of anchoring is looking the part and it isn’t an easy task at 4 a.m.

“I can do my hair and makeup in 15-20 minutes. I’ve learned to get speedy and efficient,” Phernetton said. “It is so hard when I’m sleepy…. but a fresh face of makeup can really wake me up.”

Even though the job requires Phernetton to be at work by 3 a.m. on top of a confusing sleep schedule, Phernetton said she’s not looking to leave this job anytime soon. 

“My favorite part about being on air is being able to connect with everyone that’s watching and be someone that they are familiar with, that they trust,” Phernetton said.

This entry was posted in Blog Post, Broadcast Journalism, CJ222, Journalism, Profile, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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