Alexa Conomos, traffic, News 8 'Daybreak'
WFAA/Channel 8 traffic reporter Alexa Conomos joined the station in 2003, and has worked as an anchor for the station's noon newscast and previously as a morning anchor for Texas Cable News. She was new to traffic when she started with News 8 Daybreak, but says she has grown to love it.
"When I first started, it was like learning a new language," Conomos says. "But when you do traffic, you learn so much about people's habits, the driving habits, the patterns. You learn so much about geography. You learn a lot about the infrastructure of a city and the history behind that infrastructure."
Conomos originally expected to be in Dallas for only a couple of years, but she met the man who would become her husband, and they now have three children -- including one born in July. Conomos is due back on air Oct. 3.
On whether she's a morning person
[Laughs] I do enjoy mornings. I've done mornings and I've done late evenings, but I think because I'm a mom, I'm a morning person. I enjoy early-morning hours, and my favorite broadcast for sure is the morning show.
I've learned that one of the tricks is you shower at night, so you don't have to shower right before work. I have two alarms set, always. I've learned the hard way that you don't want to rely on just one alarm system. So I get up about 3 o'clock, start getting camera-ready at the house. I try to race out of the house within 30 minutes, get to the station, typically finish getting camera-ready there, turn on all of my computers [and mapping systems and police scanners]. Usually when I'm driving into work, I call Dallas TxDot just to check on any problems that might be on the road. And I call our traffic source to see if there are any accidents on the way to work.
It's definitely one very large cup of coffee with a ton of cream every morning. I usually make it during the commercial breaks. It's one of the things that I really look forward to, as any coffee person would know. Between 4:45 and 5:15, during the commercial breaks, [co-anchor] Ron [Corning] and I will go in the kitchen and have a little coffee talk. Then I'll sip on my coffee for the next hour.
On how morning TV has become important
I think especially for morning TV, viewers feel that they want to be part of something. I hear from our viewers that people like to start their day with their family, whether it's their family at home or their family on TV. And what I hear from them is that they kind of feel like we're family. I think many years ago, there may have been a push on the part of some morning newscasts to be serious and watch their p's and q's, but what I love about our morning show is we get to be who we are.
What happens when the show's over
We typically get together after the show to talk about what we think went well and to plan for the next day. We continue following the traffic, weather and news for cut-ins [during Good Morning America] . My day ends at 9:30, so for me, my other job begins, and that's being a mom. Thanks to my bosses at Channel 8, I was able to stop anchoring the midday show so that I can be a parent in the classroom, at every field trip, just pretty much be a mom. The second the clock hits 9:30, I'm going to head home and take care of my baby.