Anchor of Good Day New York
Some guys have all the luck. The first time I sat on the Good Day New York couch will be a moment I’ll never forget it. Partially because her co-anchor Greg Kelly scared me, and partially because I think I fell (just a bit) in love with Rosanna Scotto. Don’t worry – my wife is well aware of my infatuation. I remember Rosanna being welcoming, warm and at ease in her own skin. It struck me that she wasn’t a TV personality. That she is a professional reporter who happens to be on television. I think there are a select few who have that “it” factor. That ease of personality while on air. Oprah comes to mind. It’s about 4 or 5 years since that first appearance. Greg still sorta scares me, and my infatuation with Rosanna has shifted to full on awe. She’s the type of woman you want your daughters to look up to, and the type of role model that New Yorker’s can be proud of. She’s a joy to be around, and a true New York success story. For my fourth “Success” interview, please welcome – New York legend, Rosanna Scotto.
Chris Dessi: Rosanna, I didn’t grow up there, but I was born in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. You grew up there. I’ve lived in Belgium and London, and even after I tell people I didn’t grow up there – all they want to know about is Brooklyn. Hollywood loves Brooklyn too. What is it about Brooklyn that you think people are so drawn to?
Rosanna Scotto: I think Brooklyn has the great American story…rags to riches.. from Barbra Streisand to Jay- Z. Plus, the people who grew up there have a genuine authenticity with no tolerance for BS.
Chris Dessi: The first time we met was on the “Good Day New York” set. I remember it well. When asked by friends and family what you were like all I could remember was being gobsmacked by your beauty. You’re a gorgeous woman, in a male dominated environment (media). How has this shaped your career? I mean this seriously. Do you feel it helped you starting out? Has it hindered you? Do you find yourself cringing when you see News Anchors that look more like models than journalists?
Rosanna Scotto: You are way too kind with the compliments. When I was starting off in the business I was told to concentrate on the content, not my looks. I wanted to find that exclusive story. I made my name by reporting the big stories. My suggestion is that if you want longevity in this business you better back up that beauty with hard work.
Chris Dessi: I have a great deal of respect for what you and Greg do every day on “Good Day New York.” Why do you think that combination works? How much of that dynamic combo was luck?
Rosanna Scotto: Greg and I didn’t know one another when we were assigned to “Good Day New York.” It really took months of getting to know each other on and off the air. We both gave each other room to grow. Our roles have since evolved, as we’ve worked together for three hours a day, five times a week, and 40-something weeks a year. We have so much fun that we can forget that we are on the air. It may have been luck that brought us together, but it sparked a great chemistry.
Chris Dessi: More than anyone I’ve seen on TV (other than your co-host Greg Kelly) people who see you on TV get the sense that they know you. You have a way of fully being yourself on air. Many are drawn to you. Does that come naturally to you? Or did you learn that somewhere along the line? What I mean is – when did you first say, “I just need to be myself” and this whole thing will click.
Rosanna Scotto: My bosses always told me to be myself. That is actually one of the hardest things to do. It took me years to be comfortable with myself, and to be willing to show the good, the bad, and the ugly. I was afraid to make mistakes and afraid to really let the Brooklyn accent come through. It wasn’t until I let loose did I actually see a change in the way people respond to me on the street. They like that I’m not perfect. Thank GOD!
Chris Dessi: Have you ever felt that you’ve burnt out? That you no longer want to be on air? If so, what else would you do, and why? I guess I’m asking – what else are you passionate about?
Rosanna Scotto: I’m so lucky that I have a job that is so different every day. We cover news, politics, and lifestyle. I have a front row seat to history, because I get to interview the people everyone talks about. In fact, some of our interviews get people talking! I’m allowed to explore my passions by booking some of those people on our show. Whether we’re talking with Donald Trump or interviewing the chef from a neighborhood restaurant, I’m learning something new everyday and that is so exciting.
Chris Dessi: You always have a great deal of energy on air. What’s your daily regimen like? Do you work out daily to help? Or is that just your gear? We see you on air early every morning. What’s your daily rhythm? What time are you in bed, what time do you wake up?
Rosanna Scotto: I try to have a routine…9:00 – 9:30 p.m. to bed and up at 4:30 a.m. I like to work out at least 3 times a week. I tend to be very energetic naturally, so that helps fuel this job.
Chris Dessi: You’ve managed to have one of the most successful careers in media, and you’ve raised two amazing children. How did you do it when they were younger? Where there times when you felt like you couldn’t do it? Was your husband supportive or your success? If so, do you think it’s paramount to have a supportive spouse as you make your mark in this world?
Rosanna Scotto: I’m so happy that I am married with two children, but balancing motherhood and work is challenging. My husband and I always worked at it. When my children were younger and I worked 3 p.m. – 11 p.m. I volunteered at their school and went on every school trip. I would always come home for dinner and help with homework, then get back to work around 8:15 p.m. My husband took over at that point. It’s not easy to have a family and career but at the end of the day, it’s so fulfilling.
Chris Dessi: Tell me about the rough patches? What was that like? How did you survive them? What has this journey been like for you?
Rosanna Scotto: I have worked my way up the TV news ladder. I started off as a desk assistant, moved on to researcher, field producer, reporter, then anchor. I lived in Atlanta and worked my way back to New York City and Fox 5.
I have been passed over for many job opportunities. Luckily, I have a family that believed in me and I was able to stay focused and land the anchoring job. It may look easy, but those of us who do it day- in and day-out know that you have to be dedicated to stay alive in this business.
Chris Dessi: For young female journalists starting out – what advice do you have for them?
Rosanna Scotto: Work on getting contacts and making sure that your story has information that the competition doesn’t.
Chris Dessi: Have you always wanted to be on television?
Rosanna Scotto: I wanted to be an actress when I was younger but realized TV news was more exciting. And stable.
Chris Dessi: What do you consider your biggest success thus far?
Rosanna Scotto: Greg and I took a 5th rated morning show and brought it to #1. We are the little engine that could.
Chris Dessi: What has been your favorite/most embarrassing/worst on air moment?
Rosanna Scotto: Too many embarrassing moments to talk about, but if you Google Scotto and soy, let me know what you think!
Chris Dessi: Best day of your life?
Rosanna Scotto: Giving birth to my children
Chris Dessi: Worst day of your life?
Rosanna Scotto: covering the 9/11/01 attacks
Chris Dessi: Those who read this blog know that my Father has been a huge influence on my life. Is there someone in your life that had helped to define the woman that you’ve become?
Rosanna Scotto: My parents have always been a huge source of encouragement.
Chris Dessi: How do you define success?
Rosanna Scotto: Success is feeling comfortable in being who you are, and waking up happy.
Coffee or Tea? Coffee
Katz’s or Carnegie Deli? Carnegie-they have a sandwich named after me
Favorite Restaurant (other than Scotto’s obviously) Other than Fresco by Scotto, Da Silvano
My daughters know that I hate witches. What (if anything) used the scare the hell out of you as a kid? Bozo the clown! I have a picture of me with Bozo and I was crying
Do you have a saying that is your life motto? We are not quitters
What keeps you up at night? A full stomach!
When did you first consider yourself a success? When I was invited into Billy Joel’s dressing room
Can you speak Italian? No
If you had a time machine what year would you visit, and why? I love the 40s because of the clothing and music
Godfather, or Goodfellas? Goodfellas
Best concert you’ve ever been to? Billy Joel and Paul McCartney
Hey there thanks for reading! My name is Chris Dessi. I’m the founder and CEO of Silverback Social. I’m also the founder of the Westchester Digital Summit, and the author of Your World is Exploding: How Social Media is Changing Everything and How You Need to Change With It.
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