I hope it's alright that I call you that. I feel like I know you, even though we have never met. I am writing this letter, in the off chance that you see it, to tell you thank you.
Let me back up a bit. I am a big fan of the app TimeHop and every day, they feature some big event in history. Today... it was Today. The Today Show premiered 64 years ago today and according to the app, the show has been on the air for 23,360 days.
Let's go to the late-1990s...I distinctly remember watching the Today Show every morning before getting ready for school. Every morning. It never failed. This young girl, just staring at the TV screen. I was young, 7-8 years old. I wasn't watching the news itself. Instead, I was watching you. I was mesmerized by your work, even if I didn't understand it at the time.
I remember telling myself that I wanted to do that...whatever it was that you were doing. It wasn't until years later that I learned was "news" was. It wasn't until I was older that I realized that you and the rest of the Today Show family were keeping America informed, keeping us all aware of what was going on in the world. It wasn't until I was old enough to understand that I really saw the impact that you were making on us all and especially on me.
Although I never took it to heart until college, a part of me always knew I would find my home in the world of broadcast media and news. I remember thinking to myself, many times, that I wanted to do what you were doing. I wanted to sit at that anchor desk. I wanted to interview people from all walks of life. I wanted to be in the middle of the action. I wanted to bring people the news.
I never told anyone that. I'm not really sure why. It wasn't until my sophomore year of college that I finally took that leap and really fell in love with broadcast media.
Radio was where I ended up working throughout college and I absolutely loved it and still do. Radio is and always will be a love of mine. It wasn't until just a few months ago that I took that leap into television news. While my face isn't the one on screen, I still feel like I am part of something great. News is great, even when it isn't.
I guess I got a little off track here so let me turn this train around a bit. I am here to thank you.
I am here to say thank you for being a familiar face on the TV screen every morning throughout my childhood.
Thank you for showing me that news is more than just the bad, there is so much good out there too.
Thank you for helping me realize that my passion, my love, my dreams, all lie in broadcast media and news.
I was devastated when you announced you were leaving the Today Show. I still remember watching your last show and I think I even told myself that I would never watch the show without you on...but Matt Lauer and Al Roker are hard men to turn away from!
I have followed your career since you left Today and you have only inspired me more. Thank you for showing me that women can be just as badass as the men in news. We can be just as amazing.
I would love to get the chance to tell you this in person one day. To tell you that you have influenced my life in so many ways, just by doing something that you love.
I still watch Today as often as I can. Savannah, Natalie, Hoda, Kathie Lee and everyone else who has sat behind that anchor desk at some point has had an influence on my dreams and goals to one day sit there too.
I now find myself working at a local ABC station and loving every minute of it. I have learned so much in just a few months and have met some amazing people. And this is just the first step in my journey!
So... thank you.
And even if you never do read this letter, that's okay too.
Oh... and one more thing...
Thank you for having an equally awesome name as me.
This 23-year-old newsie,
Just me. That's all.