Alisyn Camerota, Cohost of CNN's New Day

Sunday, December 10th

Sue Tabb interviews Alisyn Camerota, cohost of CNN’s morning show New Day about her new fictional book, “Amanda Wakes Up.” Prior to joining CNN, Alisyn was cohost of FOX News Channel’s morning show FOX + Friends Weekend. She has been a national correspondent for NBC’s morning magazine show Real Life and the crime show America’s Most Wanted


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Good morning everyone glad to have you along with us today's edition of exceptional women on NAFTA when a six point seven times to tab and happy to welcome a special guests of the show this morning. She's seen and journalist Allison came around and who is now adding author to her impressive resume she just released. Her very first novel. That gives readers a behind the scenes look into the world of TV news' good morning Alice then. I know great to be radio have you you know it. It's funny you're book is called Amanda wakes up and it take fictional story about young journalist and all the crazy thing she asked to navigate back. Obviously you know a little bit about this topics on assuming that some of your real world experience is back. Is not all of the pages here. Well lucky it you know as they say YouTube for your first book you write what you know pastel by experiences in TV news are. Eerily similar I'd do. Amanda. In fact there's been a funny first scene in the book that. People think I've made up and it's about Amanda it's up breaking news that you know how breaking news it has been. We even when you're not ready for you could be sleeping you know you can beat. I mean Christmas morning you know and could be in debt your boyfriend. As that's what happened to Amanda and she ends up having to Russia opt to. A very accurate breaking news story. Without being dressed for the occasion in which he has not brought to hand. On her. Very quick little vacation acted pose a problem. That was a problem and in fact I could relate to that that. Was the I had that experience only. Kidding. That helped me kind of lodged the plot and you know what I lied to how I want to capture some of my experience in the book. Yeah talk a bit about the plot I know the main theme of the book it's sort of swirls around balancing ambition at your own personal integrity. A little bit about it's Amanda gala she sure she's your main character in the book and it sort of takes her through you know got going from a small little TV news station to 22 bigger places talk a little bit about. The overall story line. Well I really did want to peel back the curtain on some of the interesting. And kind of you know. Intriguing thing that happened behind and that any TV news station because people always ask me. You know I get them and questions what time do you wake the do they do your parents make ask what's your relationship like with your co anchor so I want to take. Bring people and to that showed that a kind of you know behind the scenes tour of that and then. L a larger issue I just wanted to talk about. The struggle for everybody in is certainly young women. But certainly everybody in worked with the bank can relate to at what you do when. Your own ambition might run up against. Your bosses when you have a different idea of how to cover story or how to do your job and what your boss wants. And when your own interpersonal relationships with your boyfriend. Or your mom. Or who you know your best friend and up coloring. Your view of your job and in this case amended you have the news and then how her. Reporting on the news and up affecting her personal relationships that her mom and her boyfriend her best friend so. I just thought that all of that was kind of brush material to show the readers. And gosh absolutely it she encounters a lot of challenges to not just juggling her personal life and her. You know just staying true to herself and on app which just challenges that she faces as a woman how do you have those challenges and and why was that an important piece of the story. Well I mean I think that I've certainly worked places I'm happy to report its CNN did not them but I'd certainly workplaces. In the past where. That TV isn't visual medium and it can be very appearance focused and there could be a lot of emphasis put on your hair. And your make up and your wardrobe. And you know what look you're trying to effect and here. Secure blank and all of that stuff so I can I can totally relate to that end. I think that there are some places where that is empathize sadly over journals. And I want it to. That that it would amend experiences you know there's a whole bunch of relationship that she adds with the hair and makeup people. And the wardrobe stylists. And you know that's that's real at some stations that's real and TV news. But you know I I do feel the tide slowly turning to be. A little less sexist to me and certainly at some places. Again I have never had the experiences at CNN. Did you know all those appearances things would try to journalism it's the opposite and add so I hope that that's you know the waves. Sure and it's funny is this book does give you behind the scenes and I think everybody likes to feel like they're getting a little backstage kind of a look at something and it's funny. If anybody's even just visited a newsroom and here in the ring I work in radio and it's not as visual of course but. It's the same thing it's seems much Berkeley reports that they're really ends. I mean if you even visited a newsroom right outside the camera shot you're gonna see like make up food anchors are wearing sneakers under the desk. Boxes that are like a meteorologist who might be short is gonna stand on a box. It's not as it appears. Then though true I wanted to peel back the curtain not Matt that's it appears glamorous like YouTube and the idea every morning news the year will go off to. Talking Heads an anchor people again speaking to you but behind at the end it is. Gritty and purity and funny and there's a lot of smoke and mirrors my mom dad a box you know in real life. Don't think it is the height difference between Chris Cuomo and made a pure about the camera you know they would feel bad so so I just thought it was time. Did bring the viewers and readers into a few of those secrets now. Yet I feel to like people don't understand like you are journalist your out there getting the news writing the news editing menus and delivering the news like. Most of us in the media are sort of wearing all the hats for not just handed a piece of paper. And need to be you know a pre your handsome looking looking head it's hard work. Other audience and I didn't want. Look there is a very breathless quality to our job it as broadcast journalists the clock is always taking and then sometimes you encounter. All sorts of challenges certainly in the field. Amanda you know I I wanted. To capture that there's weather throughout the night that the colts sometimes it's excruciatingly hot sometimes it's windy. You know sometimes you're not dressed to the occasion and you still have to get the story and don't. You know it is it is not the certainly I would not put glamour. And they top five adjective of what it's like you know to be it TV. Reporter even though people think that but is the truth is that it could be really. Grueling you know physically grueling hours are grueling. And you have to go long period of time without eating and elk being on your feet and all that stuff and I thought that it would be good for you know regular people to see that and I understand it. For those of you just joining us good morning and welcome to exceptional women on magic when a six point seven times to tab and today. We're chatting with journalist Allison camera about her debut novel. It's called Amanda wakes up and is not surprisingly about navigating to crazy field of TV news. Let's get backtrack conversation I wanna talk teach about the reviews this is your very first novel it's your debut piece of work in its getting really good reviews. That must feel pretty good I sell one review they describe the novelist devil wears Prada meets newsroom which is pretty funny. And so here's some humor in the book and I'm assuming as well which which kind of makes it a really engaging read I think. Yeah I tried to add humor because you know new terms are funny places there's a lot of gallows humor in newsrooms because we do end up dealing with a split in death. Situations and often such tragedy and just with the news of the day it's all the different natural disasters could debate over the past couple of weeks. So in order to survive I think. I think to journalists often inject humor into. Really that were really trying. Situations. So I try to capture that and I did I do think that there are some but not what I know I was laughing out loud at some of the things that I. I tried to capture for everybody. I'm really. Really heartened by that get reviewed it they're better than I ever expected you know I knew the people and our business I hope to the people at Arabic would like it and I. Had a feeling they would because you know I think that it's fun to read about TV news. If you're on the inside. But I just haven't dropped that regular people not in TV news would also like to get something out of it so the different views that didn't really. I feel really lucky and have been a bit of a surprise. To me and I'm just glad that it's resonating with people. Yeah and I ask you to and this is your first spoken Osce name but again Amanda wakes up now did you always have that ambition like I wanna write a book or did it just like you had a story to tell and while they're being more and will it be a man Alec what does that. Is this the beginning of something more for us. Well. I really like the process of writing even more than I ever expected it was found it kind of his thing. And relaxing you know all my job is so. Breslin benefits such quick pace is not a lot of time to just kind of gather my thoughts and collect them so sitting with my laptop and having to lower it down because. Writing happens that you know palatial page. There was something kind of relaxing and feeling about that so I'd like to process more than I. Ever expected but in terms of you know why I wanted to do that I did feel compelled to write this story this story it was kind of burning a hole. In my brain in because. I want disorderly accurate reading it. Oh about five years ago that's how long it takes to. I've realized it right and have a book published at I was frustrated at that time five years ago by. The thing that I was seeing in the news business around me and the things that were masquerading. As news or journalism that I didn't think really passed Muster. So. I would I just wanted to write that story that not all news is created equal and I want to do it. You know in this fictional way kind of a sign of these ethical dilemma as. To Amanda. And let her figure figured them out but you know we wrestle with these things in news. All the time to consider in the book and so so yet that was the story that I I really wanted to tell and terms of what next I mean I you know I have a couple of other stories. And again because I like the writing process so much a hope that I will be able to wrangle movement into another book. Find the time and you have a family you have these three kids. I have the rootkit that would trim twelve year old and a ten year old so yes OK Mary ethnic fault. And at a full one and you know I I just tried to right that somebody gave me good advice and they said right for five minutes. That day and I know that that's like absurd because how could ever write a book for five minutes today but what ends up happening is if you just commit to act. Sometimes it ends up being ten minutes a day sometimes it ends up being at how are you end up eking out somehow. And even if it's not even if it's just five minutes today that actually is enough to keep that the red. Of this story alive in your brain and you know after five hit earth yeah. It. You know it's funny you say that 'cause I'm working on a book with a with a girlfriend of mine and we're doing the same thing where tech were really trying to stay we have a lack talent but it. It's one of those things where it's so it just seems like such a big goal confronting you when it's hard to go how able we have or can't gamble. I had to wait you mean like. The goalposts keep moving. I was so frustrated at that I'd. I think that I had had a really good day and then I'd written a lot and I just looked like how flora had yet to ago it was such a undertaking. It's daunting it's done yeah yeah hitting a bigger than I ever expect yeah. So in your role models in the business. Well when I was not. Younger I would always watch. Phil Donohue looked on TV I've loved. He was sort of what I think planted the seed for me becoming your broadcast journalist because. I loved that he was talking to real people and that he was telling their story that he was asking. You know compelling questions and that who's running around the studio audience in getting that interactive. Greeted the news makers and that just really are riveted you know what I used to watch it on his show. And then in the news business eight. Always. Was so it all of Ted Koppel and how he. Asked questions and how. He seemed to adjust to really hold powerful people speak to the fire and it turned out. Debt that was my first job I ended up working protect Koppel at my very first job out of college I could never have anticipated that I just would watch him through the screen. You're hitting your first job out of out of the gate with Ted that's. I mean now I got to the deficit and which of course is below its rock that's how we've all been. Yes sure I mean you know I would a lot of time with that logging his tapes. But that's how I learned how he conducted interviews throughout most you know so. So yes I edited I was a huge fan. How Smart he show what the men in terms of women. Obviously all the women who blazed the trail you know before me Jane Pauley and Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric and Meredith Vieira. At all of those women who broke the mold. In terms of you know have access for women how much women repaid and how long now. They were able to have careers. In a business that can't be on Egypt. And can try to put. We're men and people I think out to pasture if they think he'd gotten too old right now does Whitman. Blaze the trail for the rest of us. If you're just waking up in tuning in thanks for listening to exceptional women on magic one of six point seven times to tap in this morning we have Allison Kaymer out of the co anchor of CNN's new day. Who is talking about her brand new book Amanda wakes up it's a fictional tale about the world of broadcast journalist and rooted in Alice since three decades of experience as a reporter and anchor let's continue. -- currently the co anchor of CNN's new day and you've also been a national correspondent you've been an anchor for Fox News and NBC. You a little bit of some roots here in Boston and you worked at WH TH some years ago and was still on NBC affiliates say you've spent some time here in Boston. Oh my gosh not only and I'm about that I had a love affair with Boston Boston is my favorite city. I love high you're just saying in the eyes I had a lot of their you have and I can't begin to tell you from the minute. I know of why equipment bought I had kind of romantic notion. Of Boston because of how beautiful it is and the cobblestone streets in the gas lamps you know light in the streets. But a look of want it to work there and went I. Was offered a job in thought and I'm living in DC at the time I don't really walked around in which France for the next like five hours because they couldn't believe that my dream coming true. And when I boom there it lived up to those romantic expectation every I always say that but we bought that it was like this city was. Keeping my hand and like embracing me every day every owner I meant. It would be a parking spot out front and take it it's not a good read Brittany it just. Loves me and I loved it back and that did I had to move for work. He had become an anchor person you can have tipped off that he appeared India and national newscast if. To be in New York echoes territory absolutely yes I. Cried injured probably. Is unique place it's a big little CIO six and it's a low big a little city now us a little big city that's that is it's a little big city because it's very. Intimate and it's just very unique and the people who are here you know we Bostonians are Bostonians were put her outlook that's for sure. Yeah and you could walk you know all around places which I think is wonderful there and you do get to know it you know you'd do add up it's a little bit like cheers in that. You end up having your play and you know the bartender and he didn't do and I just you know I love that kind of community neighborhood thing about it. What's best advice. Alison that anyone gave you about the TV news business or being in the media business it's not an easy business let's be honest. You know you've had some great success. And worked in major markets and such but a lot of people can out there working out tiny little markets making almost no money and in this climate that weren today not only the news cycle and everything that's been not hurricanes and everything but the sort of divisive political climate that we're Rand. It's not an easy job and it's not an easy business. Anything that you we do wish your younger self in new or or or really good advice somebody gave you early on. Look it's the same basic and advice in every business you know show up before everybody else state later than everybody else you're never gonna get beat. Wildly successful if you were just nine to five you know the hours in broadcast. TV. Our so demanding you know sometimes I really have worked 24 hours you know without. Going home without going to sleep it's just it is a demanding job that you'd love it and it means that the true obviously in every industry. You know that when you love it it's in your bloodstream and then it's work that you know my first job I made nothing and I was below poverty level. I couldn't you know feed myself on the last day of the month every month but I. It was the Romney noodles day am I was in it if I could afford them up but I would have paid them. So let me work there and so it just you know if you have. What ever you have a love not even if you know your first ten years your your slogging through it. Nine slugging it out you know it ends up being worked at all. Which your courage your own children to to get into journalism weren't media. Well yes and I think journalism is calling I'm in journalism is now of real sort of public service I believe and trying to find answers and trying to find the truth and trying to hold powerful people accountable. I believe you in journalism and you know I'm so happy in our country. Do we have this robust press you know so many countries to home and what they would pay. In Russia and North Korea that are that are to have people who can stick it to that the powerful politicians and ask them tough questions. And hold their feet to the fire you know it's. I believe in it I would be happy from from my kids if they if they believed in it and if this is what turned them on what they want to deal I would totally encouraged. And I imagine you think it's a privilege as well to tell some of the stories of some of the people that you're able to to feature into interact west. Oh my gosh yeah I companion certainly did the regular people might get to meet and tell their stories I've always. Thought it was a privilege of the accident you know I recognize that regular people don't have access to cabinet members. And secretary of state and presidents. And senators but I do. And that is a real. Position. Of luxury. And I you know tried make the benefit from people at home who want to hear those questions answered. We are RD at a time believe it or not I do wanna remind listeners that your book Amanda week's top is available in bookstores it's on Amazon. So great talking with you we wish you continued success with a book in in your career and I hope we can catch up again soon. May taste food bank of such a pleasure. Thank you Alison. I wanna think journalist and first time author Alison camera for joining me this morning your book Amanda wakes up. Is getting rave reviews and as a reminder of the challenges of juggling ambition and morality and all things personal. In the world at TV news thanks for giving us a fascinating behind the scenes look. And for making it such an enjoyable read we wish you much success with the puck. I'm Steve tab needless. In two exceptional women and magic when a six point seven Allison came router has been in the spotlight today. The remember that exceptional women are everywhere we talked to hop into women's Wear out doing great work publicly weren't. They're rethinking exceptional as that's happening inspirational story or commissioner just continue to work. You cannot let us know if you know someone like action and then join me every Sunday morning at 730 had a great day everyone.