Q&A: DeAngelis talks about joining Fox Business and her career
Jackie DeAngelis just wrapped up her first week on the job at Fox Business Network, which she joined as a correspondent.
DeAngelis previously was an anchor at Yahoo Finance and before that spent 13 years at CNBC.
At CNBC, she was the network’s chief energy correspondent as well as the anchor of online commodities program, “Futures Now.” From 2010 to 2011, DeAngelis was stationed in the Middle East where she interviewed business people such as OPEC Secretary General Abdalla El-Badri and Saudi Arabian Finance Minister Ibrahi Al-Assaf for CNBC International.
DeAngelis spoke with Talking Biz News by email earlier this week about joining Fox Business and her career. What follows is an edited transcript.
Why did you decide to join Fox Business?
Joining Fox Business seemed like the natural next step for me as a business journalist. The economy is such an important part of America’s story right now and I wanted an opportunity to be able to speak to that and help viewers better understand what’s happening.
Being a part of the Fox Business team has allowed me to expand my focus and break down complex issues in a more relatable way.
What kind of stories do you plan to focus on at FBN?
Uncertainty plagues investors, I want to tell stories that bring clarity to the market conversation so people can make more informed investment choices. I think there’s an opportunity right now to discuss business within the backdrop of politics so Americans can better understand how the two are working hand in hand.
My previous focus was energy and commodities with a concentration on oil; I hope to apply the skills I used covering those areas to tell a wider range of stories.
What was attractive to Yahoo Finance during your short time there?
Yahoo Finance allowed me to experience media in a different way. The product was fully digital, which is an important part of how media will be consumed, and programming to viewers online is a little different than television – so it was interesting to compare and contrast those experiences.
Also, the platform was new so it was a ‘start-up’ like experience in the tech space and having first-hand knowledge of what that looks like and how it feels contributed to my perspective as a journalist.
How did you first get interested in covering business topics?
I started my career on Wall Street working for one of Oaktree Capital’s funds covering technology, so business journalism seemed like a natural fit with my background. My first job in television was at CNBC, doing research and writing for Jim Cramer shortly after he launched his show “Mad Money.”
It was there that I fell in love with the idea of being able to explain complicated subjects and stories to viewers with varying ranges of market knowledge. Understanding business can be intimidating; I liked the idea of making it more accessible.
What attracted you to covering energy and commodities?
My first assignment as a reporter for CNBC was overseas. Stationed in Bahrain, I was one of four people launching our bureau there and it was our job to tell business stories from the Middle East. I didn’t know when I accepted the assignment that it would change my life.
Shortly after I arrived, the Arab Spring began and I was one of the only foreign journalists remaining in Bahrain who was reporting live for viewers in the U.S. When dealing with conflict in the Middle East, the oil story is always in focus and hence that is where my passion for energy developed.
What’s been the biggest lesson you’ve learned about covering business news?
I can’t stress enough the importance of being accurate. When you take on this role, you are everyone’s eyes and ears and that’s a tremendous responsibility to take on. It’s so important, especially with business stories, to have a solid grasp of the facts, figures and happenings before you go on the air – your voice can influence people’s investment decisions and that’s not something to be taken lightly.
Since TV is a visual medium, how does that impact how you report stories?
For me it’s all about pairing the story to the pictures. You’re telling people’s what’s happening, but you’re also trying to show them as well. Being a reporter means you get to see things others may never have the chance to see, so you explain what you see and you try to show it with the best visuals possible.
I covered Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Florence using the camera and my live shot to show viewers the force of the storms and the damage it was causing as well as the aftermath, which was so crucial.
What shows will you most likely be appearing on throughout the day?
I will report across all Fox Business shows, which allows me to reach different viewers at different times and to offer different angles on stories throughout business day programming.
What do you like most about your job?
I love to travel, seeing and experiencing new places has provided me so much perspective in my reporting and personal life. I love the places my job takes me, places that I’d probably never get to see if it wasn’t for my work.
How does your law degree and your experience on Wall Street help you do your job?
Both are crucial. As a lawyer I’ve been trained to analyze issues from both sides, anticipating the arguments of each. It’s also helped me to be concise; journalists, like lawyers, don’t always have a plethora of time to lay out a case.
My Wall Street background has also been key; I analyzed companies, built financial models, interviewed management teams all to make informed investment decisions. When I look at a company now, I use many of those skills to help tell the story and inform viewers.