Meet the anchor: Fox 4’s Jenny Anchondo

Posted 4:54pm on Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014

Jenny Anchondo came to KDFW/Channel 4 in December 2013 with a resume that includes stops in Washington State, Indianapolis and Tucson -- and happened to be hiking near Tucson when she called in to “I’m just here on vacation,” says Anchondo, who anchors Fox 4’s Saturday and Sunday Good Day newscasts. “I try to take my weekdays as my days off because the weekends are my main deal.” Anchondo, who also contributes to the weekday Good Days, talked with us about her career and what she does off the air.

Where she’s from: Anchondo grew up in Idaho, where according to her station bio, she would use a “brush microphone” and pretend to be Bob Vila of This Old House, getting the title wrong (”Hello, I’m Bob Vila, and THIS IS and old house.”) And yes, she pointed out the features of her family’s house. “My poor parents,” Anchondo says. “We were always broadcasting something in some form or another in our house.”

On whether she’s a morning person: “Yes [laughs]. But does a 1:30 a.m. alarm clock qualify as a morning person? I think I’m a little bit night person. But I’ve always been a morning person. I love morning shows. ... Even on vacation, I’m up at 7, and that’s totally sleeping in.”

Coffee regimen: “I don’t drink coffee. Every morning that I anchor I drink green tea or something warm. Early in my career, I had so many complaints about my voice, so I studied every possible technique there was to help your voice sound more resonant and a little more authoritative and a little bit more natural. One of those things was to have something warm to open your vocal cords. But when I’m out reporting, there’s no time for it. It’s just so crazy in the morning.”

On whether she got into broadcast journalism accidentally or on purpose: “Journalism, on purpose. Broadcasting, a little bit by accident. I studied print journalism in school and then did a bunch of internships in radio and TV, and just kind of fell in love with it. There really isn’t a whole lot of [available] work in this field, so you’d better have a backup plan. So journalism was definitely something I wanted to do, so I studied all aspects of it so I’d be able to do this.”

Non-journalism jobs: “I worked as a fitness instructor and personal trainer for probably 12 years. It’s not really a backup plan, it’s just another passion. My few months in Dallas have been the first time in 12 years that I haven’t had a regular class that I’m teaching or regular clients that I’m training or been writing articles on fitness. My first [broadcasting] job, I had the nightside shift, so I’d work 2:30 to 11:30 [p.m.]. So I’d teach classes in the morning. The last seven or eight years, I’ve been doing morning jobs, so I’d get off at noon and teach a couple of classes in the afternoon or train somebody and then go to bed at 5.”

First time on the air: “My first live shot was in Tri-Cities, Wash., and was doing a story on Locks of Love [which provides hairpieces to children who have suffered hair loss for medical reasons] I’d come in from college, and my hair was way too long, and they said, ‘We’ve got to just revamp everything about you.’ So the first thing I dealt with was my hair, so I decided I would make a donation and do a story about it. You have to have 10 or 12 inches for a wig donation, so I did a story interviewing people who had received hairpieces during their cancer treatment as a way to inspire people to donate if they’re able to. During the live shot ... I got my hair cut, ran the story, and by the end, my hair was chopped off.”

Most memorable story: “Unfortunately, some of the biggest stories are some of the biggest tragedies, so I would hate to count those as some of my proudest career moments. I’m just the device to get the information to people. [But] I’ve had some fun things -- broadcasting from the Super Bowl in Indianapolis, that was amazing and special and wonderful and something that I had dreamed of doing. There’s a group of Native Americans that harvest saguaros -- they’re protected out here in Arizona -- and it’s something that’s really sacred and special to them, and we were able to come out and talk to them about their traditions.”

Any Rob Burgundy moments? “The person I would most liken to Ron Burgundy, and I say it with love, is my former co-anchor in Indianapolis. We would just tease him. He was very Ron Burgundy in the most wonderful way. I would like to think that if somebody tricks me in the prompter, I won’t read it, like if there’s a question mark after my name. I think I can say my own name with a straight face [laughs]. But we’ve all had our embarrassing moments.”

Here’s a look at Anchondo’s farewell video from her Indianapolis station:

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