Chic Spotlight: News 5’s Sheree Paolello
Cincy Chic: If you could have dinner with any five people, dead or alive, who would they be and why?
- Tom Brokaw. I loved him. I think he’s such a smart man. It would be so interesting to have dinner with him and hear about all of his experiences covering the news.
- Tim Russert. I met him during the Democratic Debate in Cleveland. He was so informed, so fair and such a respected journalist. Now that he’s passed away, I’d like to get his insight into the political pulse of the our country and the world.
- Senators John McCain and Barak Obama. I would love to chat with them without a camera or a notepad and just get a really good sense of who they are outside of politics. This is such a big election year and like so many of you, I’m really not sure who the next president should be.
- The Pope. I’m Catholic but I don’t agree with the way Catholic Church has handled the sex abuse scandal. I’d really like to hear an honest answer about why the church had not taken a tougher stance against priests who’ve abused children.
- Now, to someone fun! I don’t know maybe, Kelly Ripa. I think she’s adorable. I bet she’d be fun to have a play date with the kids or go have a drink.
Cincy Chic: What are your five favorite Channel 5 on-air moments/bloopers?
Paolello: When you do four live newscasts a day, there’s a lot of opportunity for errors. So, I’ve certainly had my share! These are just a few that I can remember…
- Getting the giggle’s in the middle of a newscast a few months ago. I was laughing so hard that my co-anchor had to take over. Thank goodness it was a Friday night.
- When talking about a Reds game, instead of saying, “First pitch starts at 7.” I said, “The bitches start at 7.” Oops!
- Almost getting hit by a car, live on tape, while I was trying to get an interview along Columbia Parkway. Not too smart!
- Getting caught live on the air, during Tall Stacks, getting mad. When there wasn’t music in my story about the music at Tall Stacks I yelled, “UGH! What’s going on?!” I had no idea we were live.
- But my most embarrassing moment happened during my first reporting gig in South Bend, Indiana. I was interviewing a choir live and I fell off the risers! The people I was interviewing were scared to death and were trying to help me back up. It was so embarrassing!
Cincy Chic: Your viewers get a chance to learn about the “real” Sheree in your blog, Beyond the Desk with Sheree Paolello. What are your five favorite posts/topics?
- I love talking about my kids. I have two young boys who keep me busy whenever I’m not at work. They also keep me very amused. So, they make for fun topics. I think it’s important for people to know that when I’m not at work, my life if just as crazy as everyone else’s.
- My dogs. I call them my furry babies. Who doesn’t love animal stories?!
- Stories about being a working mom. I think we all get overwhelmed at times, whether we stay at home with our kids or go to work. So, talking about the good, bad or crazy moments in my life.
- Behind the scenes at News 5. I think people want to know what it’s really like. So, if we’ve had a rough night or something funny happens that maybe the viewers didn’t know about, I talk about it.
- Interesting stories or benefits that I cover. I do a lot of community work. So it’s fun to talk about the people I meet or things I do that inspire or concern me.
Cincy Chic: In your opinion, who are the five local people your viewers should know about?
Paolello: This is a tough one. I think it’s all about what interests you. There are amazing doctors, leaders and community workers who are making a difference. I don’t think I could pick just five.
Cincy Chic: You are involved with a lot of local charities, particularly animal and child-oriented ones. Which causes make your top five?
Paolello: I love being involved in the community. We do so many negative or sad stories in news that it’s nice to meet people and feel like there are good causes or great people making a difference in our community. Here are five causes I participate in year after year:
- The Susan G. Komen for the Cure – Greater Cincinnati
- The National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Ohio Valley Chapter
- The Humanitarian League of Northern Kentucky. I love animals. So I love to help our local animal shelters or charities.
- StarFire, is an organization that helps young adults with disabilities get out in the community and participate in fun activities.
- Northern Kentucky University (NKU). I graduated from NKU and I love to do things to support the University and Journalism students.
Cincy Chic: You and Sandra Ali made local TV news history as the first female anchor duo for the 5 o’clock broadcast. List five reasons what this distinction means to you?
Paolello: For me it wasn’t about being the first female team, it was about fulfilling my dream. So, I didn’t look at it that way until so many people asked me about it. I guess because Katie Couric had already started anchoring the nightly news it didn’t seem like a big deal to me.
- But it means we’re really growing as women. Maybe race and gender really will be just another quality and not a defining one.
- I hope it means I’m a role model for young girls. I wasn’t the smartest kid in my class. I was an average student who really had to study. But I just worked hard. So I hope young girls will look at me and say, if she can do it, maybe I can, too.
- It means my sons will grow up respecting my job as much as my husband’s. I want them to know that not only can women be loving caring moms but tough strong workers, too.
- It means maybe our society and the image that Cincinnati is conservative, is changing and growing.
- It means men are really taking women seriously and can look beyond a person’s sex and see credibility.
Cincy Chic: What are your top five advice pointers/tips for women trying to pursue a career in the media?
- Work hard. The only reason I’m where I am today is because I worked harder than other students and co-workers. I didn’t out-smart them. I just out-worked them.
- Be persistent. I sent out more than 100 resume tapes when I was first out of college trying to be a reporter. Not one News Director called me back. But I didn’t give up. I made another resume tape that was better than the first and kept pushing for the “first big break.”
- Don’t be afraid to mess up. I’ve made my share of mistakes but I’ve learned from them, too.
- Be confident. It’s taken me a long time to get to this point. But when I started believing in myself, I grew professionally and personally.
- I know this will sound strange coming from someone who works on TV, but don’t worry too much about what you look like. Appearance isn’t everything. You don’t have to be beautiful or perfect to do a great job.
Cincy Chic: Who are the five people that have inspired/influenced you?
- My husband has been my biggest cheerleader. He’s stood by me when I was broke and working nights and weekends. And now he’s my support system when work is tough or when I feel guilty about being a working mom.
- My dad. He taught me to have a strong work ethic. I was never allowed to quit. If I started something, I had to finish.
- My mom. She’s always encouraged me to be a strong woman and to do things for myself. When she was young, women were often times defined by the man in their life. She encouraged me to go for my dreams and stand on my own.
- My grandmother. She’s my biggest fan. She’d be proud of me no matter what I did.
- I’ve had three amazing bosses in my career. These are people who not only were great leaders, and good people but who really helped me believe in myself. I’ve learned so much from them about news and about life.
Cincy Chic: What five things can you not live without?
- Coffee! I admit it. I drink way too much coffee. I work late and my kids are up early. So, coffee is a must for me to function. I even drink it driving home from work at night. And I can go right to sleep when I get home!
- Chocolate. When I’m happy, sad, mad, you name it! I need some form of chocolate at least once a day.
- A hair dryer! I have naturally curly hair. If I didn’t have a hair dryer, I’d look like a blonde Annie.
- High heels. I’m five foot tall. So, I unless I’m hanging out with my kids, you’ll see me in 3-4 inch heals.
- Sun block. I really abused my skin in the sun when I was young. I used to think, the tanner the better. Well, now I’m paying for it! So now, I always, always wear sunscreen on my face.
Cincy Chic: What are the top five memorable stories you’ve covered in your career? And why?
- 9/11 was the hardest story I’ve ever covered. I was a young reporter in North Carolina when I was called to go to NYC. I had no idea how overwhelmed I’d be.
- A train crash during my first reporting job in South Bend, Indiana. I had to track down a family members of people who were killed. It was the first time someone yelled at me. Until then, I thought people liked reporters. I learned then that even though you may be compassionate, many times you’re meeting people on the worst day of their life.
- A few years ago I was interviewing a local prosecutor who was being forced to step down. He was used to me being a friendly reporter covering the stories he wanted us to cover. So, when he did an interview with me and I asked him hard questions, he almost walked out. It reminded me of how important our job is; that even when it’s uncomfortable, our job is to ask the questions that matter to the community.
- Erica Baker and Carey Culberson. I covered both of these stories. We know they were both killed but there bodies have never been found. I always say, I have to know what happened.
- And so many stories about kids. I’ve spent 24-hours inside Good Sam’s N.I.C.U. and The Ronald Mc Donald House. I just did a story with a family who has 12-children. I love those stories because they really inspire me and make me remember what’s most important.
Cincy Chic: What are the top five things you just can’t seem to stop bragging about?
- My husband. I always talk about how much my husband helps me. He makes me a cup of coffee every morning. I’ll take that over jewelery any day!
- My boys. I’m always telling people about a funny or sweet story that involves “my guys.”
- A good bargain. I love a deal. And if I find one, you’ll know about it.
- If I cook. I don’t do it often, so when I do – and it’s good – I’ll tell you about it.
- Being a good mom. I love when I do something extra special for or with my kids. I think it’s part of having “guilty mom syndrome.”
Cincy Chic: Who are the top five people that you hope to interview in your lifetime?
Paolello: I really don’t have a top five. In local news, you may interview political candidates, sports stars or a celebrity here and there. But for me, I’d really just like to be the News Anchor in town that people want to tell their story to. If there’s a big story, I want the people involved to want to share their side with me.
Cincy Chic: What five things make you feel like a chic woman?
Paolello: First of all I really don’t feel “chic.” I think people think I’m chic because I’m on the news. But most of you would probably never recognize me when I’m off (the air.)
- But I feel “chic” when my husband takes me shopping and helps me pick out a couple of new outfits. He has a much better eye than I do! You always feel good when you’re wearing something new.
- Makeup! I always say, “Makeup does wonders” and it’s true! If you don’t know how to put on makeup, get someone to teach you. I didn’t used to know how to do my makeup. But the right makeup and right colors will make you look like a different person.
- New hair coloring. There’s nothing quite like getting a highlight and walking out of the salon. You feel like a new woman.
- A sassy pair of heals. I love shoes! Even if you’re wearing a black dress and you throw on a funky pair of red heals or sandals, you stand out.
- My nails after a manicure or pedicure. Since I’m a mom, I usually either don’t wear polish, or if I do, it’s chipped. So I love when I take the time to get my nails and toes done.
Cincy Chic: What five things do you love about Cincinnati?
- Skyline Chili
- Graeter’s Ice-cream
- Larosa’s Pizza
- Frisch’s Big Boy
- The actual skyline of our city. I love, love the food here and missed it when I lived in other cities. But there was nothing quite like driving out of Kentucky through the Cut in the Hill. I would get chills when I would come home. It always felt like I was “home” when I saw that skyline.