Jackie didn’t set out to be a journalist; she started her career on Wall Street and earned a law degree. Still she credits these experiences as a fitting prelude for her current role. Breaking into broadcast isn’t easy but she never took no for an answer: something she’d tell any young woman looking for a similar career.
On a personal and critical note — and to any female reading this column — her more valuable advice is about getting a mammogram. Jackie’s public discussion of her breast cancer battle literally brought me to tears. I know it is helping to save lives.
I chatted with Jackie about her new show, her healing journey and the new addition to her family:
Dawn Wotapka: First, congrats on the new show! What has starting a new business program from scratch been like?
Jackie DeAngelis: Thank you, it’s been 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 show designed for?
Jackie: We’re hoping to reach the entire Fox Business audience and then some. I think everyone from the beginner to the more experienced investor will not only be able to benefit from the tangible tips we offer, but also from the context we provide on the news and how it impacts the economy and investment decisions. This show is where Wall Street, Main Street and Washington converge.
It’s important to understand all those aspects to determine the best moves based on your specific situation. Some investors will be more risk-averse; some will have more capital to put to work; others may be looking for off-the-beaten-path opportunities where they can invest in themselves.
Dawn: Unlike Taylor, you’re a Fox Business veteran. How has the network changed during your time there?
Jackie: I’ve been at Fox Business for almost four years. I’ve watched us grow our exceptional team of anchors and reporters, while at the same time providing our viewers the content they need to succeed. In a tech-driven, fast-paced world, our viewers are on the move. We have to grab their attention, giving them the markets, general news and context so they’re better informed and more confident investors.
Dawn: You started your career as an analyst, something we don’t see every day. 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 little isolating for me, number-crunching at my desk all day. I liked the content but wanted to be in a field where I interacted with people more. Financial news was perfect for me because I could still cover the markets, I could still crunch the numbers, while interacting with all types of people in news gathering. Telling those stories is the icing on the cake.
I always say that if one person walked away from a report I’ve done and says, “I just learned something I didn’t know before,” then I have done my job successfully. Also, given that we interact on all forms of social media, I get unique feedback on what viewers have found helpful and I find that rewarding.
Dawn: I also noticed that you hold a J.D. That’s really impressive. Why don’t you practice law?
Jackie: It was never my intent 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’re assigned one side of a conflict so not only do you 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. In addition, 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 isn’t immediately available.
Dawn: Which of your interviews stands 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’ve been lucky enough to interview two: Abdalla Salem el-Badri and Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo. There is also nothing like interviewing a U.S. 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, [as 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 pushing forward until you find someone who says “yes.” Also, don’t be afraid to take risks and chances. My first on-air job was in the Middle East in Bahrain. People thought I was crazy for taking that job, but I felt there was value in it. And here I am.
Dawn: I teared up when I watched a clip of you and your colleagues discussing breast cancer. You were diagnosed with Stage 1 with no family history or a known gene. How did you discover the cancer?
Jackie: I discovered it after my first mammogram. I never thought I would get cancer, so it was devastating. But I chose to speak about it publicly because I want other women to realize it can happen to anyone: That is why following doctors’ orders and getting routine screenings is key. That mammogram saved my life. It 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 care for 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’s been a rough journey. I’m 18 months out of 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’m also grateful to all my doctors, my physical therapist and my family for helping me heal.
Dawn: As a woman, what can I do – and what can I encourage all of 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 right now.
Dawn: On a bright note, I love all the puppy posts on your Instagram feed. Why did you adopt a dog, and what is Friday (the dog’s name) like?
Jackie: Friday is my heart and soul. I’ve only had her for a month but the experience has been more rewarding than I ever could imagine. I always wanted a puppy but for so long my schedule wouldn’t allow me to be a responsible pet owner. So when I found out about “The Big Money Show” and realized I’d be more focused and regimented, I decided it was time to add Friday into the mix. I also realized after having cancer that if there’s something you want to do, do it. Don’t wait.
Dawn Wotapka is a former Wall Street Journal reporter who loves to read and write. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to connect with Dawn on LinkedIn.