Veronica Cintron: Bringing You the NewsPosted: April 18, 2011
Bay News 9 anchor, Veronica Cintron discusses beginning adversities in her media career.
By: Elise Walsh
April 6, 2011
TAMPA – Veronica Cintron worked her way from a low-income teenage Puerto Rican student to a primetime anchor at Bay News 9. It took years to be respected, but her confidence allowed her career to excel.
Monday through Friday, Cintron spends her afternoons and nights working – writing, researching, rehearsing and recording news scripts – as an evening anchor at the Bay News 9 studios in St. Petersburg, Florida.
A calm, collected professional stands before studio cameras, expertly documenting the news. But confidence and expertise didn’t come overnight. Throughout her childhood, Cintron expressed an interest in the news. She said, “[I] wanted to know what was happening in our community every day.” A fascination with current events and storytelling stemmed from a long family history of news aficionados. “From when I was very young my family was watching the news – in the morning… at noon… at five and at six… and again at night before my mom went to sleep. We would always have the news on.”
Cintron’s penchant for the news was further encouraged by an American education at the University of South Florida. She normally spoke her native Spanish tongue in the home, but she prepared with years of intensive English immersion in high school. Cintron simply “knew she could do this.” Her written English excelled during her college career, while mastering the perfect “news accent” posed problems.
Cintron’s language background called for intense analysis from potential job, who desired an accent “removed from regional biases.” Cintron practiced her audio skills in college and out; not allowing other’s to disvalue her work. She said, “It [got] better over time,” but will always be, “a work in progress.” A media broadcaster’s reliance upon audience approval persistently provokes her efforts towards voice and accent neutrality.
Though diversity initially posed a problem after graduation, it was actually a dominant factor in landing her first job. Massachusetts station WWLP, an NBC affiliate, quickly claimed her as full-time reporter. Less than four months after graduating from USF, Cintron signed a contract and moved north. Cintron fondly remembers her “first real job” and the promotion from reporter to anchor only a few months after being hired. She said, “We had to see how the audience would react to me being the first Hispanic anchor ever in the market.” Cintron’s promotion paid off for the network. Once officially manning the news desk, the small Massachusetts’s station blasted to No. 1 in the ratings.
Cintron’s story is inspiring for broadcasting hopefuls. Six years after graduation, she’s now responsible for the stories and events most western Florida communities see daily. Cintron’s dedication to the news is evident: “I can’t tell you I’m off every holiday,” with a slight grin she said, “I’m working my birthday next week… but that’s part of it. I love every second of what I do. Nothing is routine.” Cintron’s experience with the news business tells students: to fight for their careers, keep learning, and love what you do.
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