Jackie did not set out to be a journalist; she began her career on Wall Street and earned a law degree. Still, she credits these experiences as a fitting prelude to her current role. Breaking into broadcasting isn’t easy, but she never took no for an answer: something she would tell any young woman looking to pursue a similar career.
On a personal and critical note – and for any woman reading this column – her more valuable advice is about a mammogram. Jackie’s public discussion of her breast cancer battle literally brought me to tears. I know it helps save lives.
I spoke with Jackie about her new show, her healing journey and the new addition to her family:
Dawn Wotapka: First of all, congratulations on the new show! What was it like starting a new business program from scratch?
Jackie DeAngelis: Thanks, it was a whirlwind! Brian, Taylor and I are having so much fun figuring out what the show will focus on as well as getting to know each other better. We all bring a little something different to the table, so this show will give us a chance to combine our individual backgrounds and perspectives to offer a little something for everyone.
Dawn: What type of viewer is this program designed for?
Jackie: We hope to reach the entire Fox Business audience and then some. I think everyone from the novice to the more experienced investor will be able to benefit not only from the tangible tips we offer, but also from the context we provide on the news and how it affects the economy and investment decisions. This show is where Wall Street, Main Street and Washington converge.
It is important to understand all those aspects in order to determine the best moves based on your specific situation. Some investors will be more risk averse; some will have more capital to work with; others may look for other opportunities where they can invest in themselves.
Dawn: Unlike Taylor, you are a Fox Business veteran. How has the network changed during your time there?
Jackie: I have been with Fox Business for almost four years. I’ve seen us grow our exceptional team of anchors and reporters while simultaneously providing our viewers with the content they need to succeed. In a technology-driven, fast-paced world, our viewers are on the move. We need to get their attention, give them the markets, general news and context so they are better informed and more confident investors.
Dawn: You started your career as an analyst, something we don’t see everyday. Why did you leave that field? And how does that work help you today?
Jackie: I started my career on Wall Street, but at the end of the day I didn’t love what I was doing. It was a bit isolating for me, crunching away at my desk all day. I liked the content but wanted to be in a field where I had more interaction with people. Financial news was perfect for me because I could still cover the markets, I could still crunch the numbers, dealing with all kinds of people in news gathering. Telling those stories is the icing on the cake.
I always say that if one person walks away from a report I’ve done and says, “I just learned something I didn’t know before,” then I’ve done my job successfully. Also, since we interact on all forms of social media, I get unique feedback on what viewers have found useful and I find that rewarding.
Dawn: I also noticed that you have a JD. It’s really impressive. Why don’t you practice as law?
Jackie: It was never my intention to practice law. But going to law school and passing the bar exam helped my critical thinking skills and allowed me to be a better journalist. In law school, you are assigned one side of a conflict, so you not only make that case, but you also have to anticipate what the other side will argue and be able to make a logical rebuttal. So I find that perspective translates well in my field; you look at both sides in preparing reports to present a fair and balanced view.
Ultimately, it’s up to the viewer to decide which side they feel is more compelling. Additionally, there are countless times when breaking news has legal implications. Having general knowledge of the law allows me to add some insight if a legal expert is not immediately available.
Dawn: Which of your interviews stand out to you the most?
Jackie: I’ve covered the energy sector for a long time, so there’s nothing like interviewing an OPEC Secretary General when key decisions are pending or news is breaking in the oil patch. I was lucky enough to interview two: Abdalla Salem el-Badri and Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo. There’s also nothing like interviewing an American president and I was able to ask former President Bill Clinton a few questions in a scheduled interview at a California airport before he caught a flight. Finally, there’s nothing like interviewing a celebrity or athlete you admire, (like when) Tom Brady discussed his TB12 fitness center launch in Boston. All (were) career highlights for me.
Dawn: What advice would you give to younger women who want to get into broadcast journalism?
Jackie: Never take no for an answer. You will hear the word “no” a lot in this business. Keep moving forward until you find someone who says “yes”. Also, don’t be afraid to take risks and chances. My first job on the air was in the Middle East in Bahrain. People thought I was crazy to take that job, but I felt there was value in it. And here I am.
Dawn: I was in tears watching a clip of you and your colleagues discussing breast cancer. You have been diagnosed with Stage 1 with no family history or a known gene. How did you discover the cancer?
Jackie: I discovered this after my first mammogram. I never thought I would get cancer so it was devastating. But I chose to talk about it publicly because I want other women to realize it can happen to anyone: That’s why it’s important to follow doctors’ orders and get routine checkups. That mammogram saved my life. This allowed me to catch the cancer early and treat it before it progressed. Early detection is crucial, so I urge women to use the tools available to them to look after their health.
Dawn: Where are you in the treatment and healing journey?
Jackie: Everyone heals on their own timeline. I had a double mastectomy and reconstruction and it was a rough ride. I am 18 months out from my first surgery and just starting to feel like myself again. But the human body is an amazing machine. Given time, you heal physically and emotionally. I am also grateful to all my doctors, my physical therapist and my family who helped me heal.
Dawn: As a woman, what can I do – and what can I encourage all my friends and family to do – to reduce the chances of developing breast cancer?
Jackie: I was obsessed with finding the cause of my breast cancer. I read, I researched, I asked tons of questions. My surgeon told me that if we knew how and why it happens, no one would get it. We don’t know that yet. Don’t focus on trying to find the cause – focus on your healing and living a healthy life. So that’s what I’m trying to do now.
Dawn: On a bright note, I love all the puppy posts on your Instagram feed. Why did you adopt a dog, and how is Friday (dog’s name)?
Jackie: Friday is my heart and soul. I’ve only had her a month, but the experience has been more rewarding than I could have ever imagined. I’ve always wanted a puppy, but my schedule hasn’t allowed me to be a responsible pet owner for so long. So when I found out about “The Big Money Show” and realized I would be more focused and regulated, I decided it was time to add Friday to the mix. I also realized after cancer that if there is something you want to do, do it. Don’t wait.
Dawn Wotapka is a former Wall Street Journal reporter who loves reading and writing. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and two children. She is a slow runner and an avid Peloton user. To submit tips for her Media Movers column, you can contact her at [email protected]. Make sure connected with Dawn on LinkedIn.