Nicole Petallides, Fox Business Network News Anchor, is co-anchoring the Annual Greek Independence Day Parade in NYC on Sunday, April 18, 2010. In addition to loving being Greek, Nicole loves her work at FBN and her family. She answered these questions for us about being a News Anchor and Reporter:
How did you get interested in being a News Anchor/Reporter?
Well, I knew acting and singing were too uncertain and I definitely did not want to go to LA, so I embraced my more realistic dream of being a news anchor in live broadcast television. Instant gratification is something I thrive on, I can grab news and get it out instantly! I love that so much! An adrenaline rush every time! Everyone said I was crazy starting in New York, the number one market, but NY is where I wanted to be.
My mother Fannie Holliday was the founder and publisher of a national English and Greek newspaper called “Proini.” My Stepdad Morton Holliday, was Managing Director in Commercial Real Estate at Sonnenblick Goldman/Cushman & Wakefield, he is also a huge news junkie too. So it was all news all the time in my house. News was a main focus of our daily lives, however, it was television news that always captured my attention. I was interested in news, but I wanted the pictures and people, sound, the excitement to go with it. Mom offered me the paper Proini, but I knew my dream was broadcast news. I studied both communications and business while playing NCAA Division 1 Women’s Soccer at The American University in Washington DC.
My first internship was at Cablevision News 12 Long Island. The assignment desk editor was so intense, it was quite the experience, but I loved it. I learned a lot from key people at News 12, CNN, Good Day NY, NY1, Dow Jones Television, CNBC, Bloomberg and now my ultimate favorite, FOX Business Network. I honestly enjoy the fast paced, crazy life of the glamorous world of television. And honestly working at FOX with a great team of people is a dream come true.
I truly enjoy delivering the news. I care about breaking news, business, our economy, our families and I know our viewers do too, so I feel a real connection to each viewer every day. It’s so great and such an opportunity for growth and excellence to have supportive executives such as Kevin Magee whom I actually knew from my CNBC days and Brian Jones. Then there is Roger Ailes, such an inspirational, cool human being. All you have to do is meet him once and you’ll know what I mean.
What are the challenges you face reporting live from the NYSE floor?
I’ve worked on the floor of the NYSE for over a decade so you could say I have the connections, a good understanding and I’m used to the fast pace of this job. But the juggle of a regular day is always a challenge.
I anchor roughly 20 reports a day from the NYSE floor where you’ll find traders, visitors, bells ringing, actors, politicians, CEOs, heads of state, athletes, supermodels and sometimes live animals too. This place is a dream come true. Good for someone like me who always needs input. Recently I’ve met Olympic Gold medalist Shaun White, Gene Simmons from Kiss, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit models, Elizabeth Hurley, Hockey great Adam Graves, Regis Philbin, Elijah Wood, the Housewives of NYC, football greats including Jets Star Curtis Martin, AK Steel CEO Jim Wainscott, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, and Hilary Duff.
I report live on the Fox Business Network all day, and often on the Fox News Channel, I do Fox News Radio twice a day for 190 cities, Sky News for our international viewers each day, and other media too, yesterday for example I did a radio segment with Steve Malzberg of the WOR Radio Network.
I just returned from NAB in Las Vegas where I hosted the Shows’ opening breakfast for the Open Mobile Video Coalition focusing on Mobile DTV, tv in the park, at the gym, at the supermarket take tv with you. Very cool.
And this Sunday I’m co anchoring the Greek Parade live with Veteran News Anchor Ernie Anastos.
What skills do you use most often in your job?
Geeez huge question, what don’t I use?
For content I scour all the morning newspapers such at the Wall Street Journal, business and news Web sites and all day I’m on Reuters and the Bloomberg terminal where I can get in-depth content for our viewers. I talk with analysts, CEOs, traders buying and selling huge blocks of stock all while trying to bring fresh news with some key perspective why we should care.
I write and research all my content for air. But I am the only person here at the NYSE for FOX Business so my job also entails turning on all my gear, camera, batteries, lighting, my graphics and I even gear up the floor guests. I book the traders to appear on camera and of course, yes, I do touch up my own hair and makeup too. It’s all good, keeps it real and I love the job in its entirety. I don’t do it all alone; the tech folks and the top notch production team on the other end at FOX uptown are the other half of this key equation and implement all that I start from down here.
And last but not least: on-air delivery, presentation, timing and appearance on TV --- that’s a big focus too of course. I try to nail all that down every time as well. Television is a visual, live experience so it better be interesting and look crisp so we can keep our viewers and get new viewers each day too!
How do you see social media and other new communication technologies changing what you do?
Twitter and Facebook, for example, have grown at record speeds. Anchors on television get a following by using these and it’s a great opportunity to keep lines of communication open. Why not communicate with viewers so you can say what you think and find out more of what the viewers want and think. We read viewer comments live as the roll in, so fast, while we are live reporting on air. It’s instant gratification for everyone!
Technology for trading stocks is interesting, it’s changed the NYSE. There are about 50% less traders and obviously more electronic trading. With upgraded technology and more of it, I get the news faster than ever before on my computer and here at the NYSE. On Fox Business we have web shows and other forms of electronic reports. It’s great that all this can complement the shows broadcasting on our network.
What advice do you have for women who are interested in a career in news media?
You must really want it, You must be passionate about news, it should be fun and exciting to you. And when you think this really is not the field for you after all because you’re tired and not making enough money, don’t give up. Look to someone who will teach you and cares about helping you because you show drive and potential.
Note your male counterparts get hair and makeup up in about one minute, while it may take you up to one hour each day, that’s just the way it is so you’ll have to get in one hour earlier.
You might want to find a very understanding and supportive spouse/significant other like my husband Dr. Nicholas Tsiolas, a NYC prosthodontist. Be ready for working a minimum of 12 hours day then following a pro around on your personal time to learn even more. Be ready for odd hours --waking up at 2am should be no big deal, double shifts and a fast paced environment where you always eat lunch at your desk, in a live truck, or on the scene. Figure out how you can learn something every day so you’re more of an asset , be able to play all the positions on the team so you can jump in … the bosses want to know you are well rounded and happy to pitch in with any job. Good luck, love it and you will get it.
Tell us about the Greek Parade.
Co-Anchoring the Greek Parade with Veteran Anchor Ernie Anastos and Senior Meteorologist Nick Gregory, I am so excited. I‘m not nervous, I just pressure myself to do a good job. I feel excited mostly; I’ve been in TV a long time and because I know Ernie is a rock-star, he has so much experience! John Catsimatidis, the parade’s Honorary chairman, and many others have set this up to be a great experience for everyone, not just those of Greek decent.
I have been studying tons of Greek fun facts such as the Greek Flag is blue and white to represent the sea and white waves that engulf Greece. I’m prepped on the parade lineup, and I plan to show up and have lots of fun on a day where we celebrate Greek Independence. Maybe Ernie and I will dance ! Though I don’t believe they will be breaking plates at this event. Fox Business Network even made cool big buttons with the FBN logo, The Greek Flag that reads “Zito H Ellas” (Long Live Greece). I plan to wear a blue dress like the Greek flag, but we made need coats.
We have special appearances: American Idol and Rock of Ages Constantine Maroulis, Frank Dicopoulos of Guiding Light, Iron Chef Cat Cora, CSI star Melina Kanakaredes and Telley Savalas’ (“Kojak”) gorgeous daughter Ariana Savalas. Sunday April 18th Channel 9 2-4 pm live form 5th Ave in NYC. Everyone should stop by and have a Souvlaki!