The Roanoker - July/August 2019 - 87

A JOURNALIST NO MORE

intensely personal battle with ovarian of my time connecting journalists-local,
cancer was shared publicly, but once the regional, national and international-with
cancer was clear "I realized I needed a Virginia Tech researchers and faculty
change. At that point, I didn't know what experts. In short, we still get to tell stories
it was. She quickly took a job at NBC12 that make a difference."
in Richmond, but ultimately wound up
CHUCK LIONBERGER has been a WSLS
as the communications/brand advisor editor, producer and News Operations
for Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Manager, Media General Interactive
Media Site Production Coordinator
Center.
"I'm really enjoying myself," she says. and he has been with VDOT public
"I've found the skills which were so vital in information and Roanoke County Schools.
television reporting-time management, He calls his move into public information
constantly meeting deadlines, talking to "coming to the light side."
people/asking the right questions and
He worked his way up from the bottom
writing-translate to this world, as well. of the TV news business to a position of
I worked weekends for 10 years. Now, I'm considerable authority and "with 9/11, I
pretty much Monday through Friday, 8 realized the importance" of news, but in
a.m.- 4:30 p.m.
2007 he left the news business and when
"As a journalist, I interviewed everyone he joined the school system "it felt like
from celebrities, would-be presidential coming home."
candidates and state leadership to
He was at Virginia Tech during the
convicted murderers. Once you do that, mass shooting and while watching the
you can talk to anyone. My skills as a influx of national and international
journalist translate to most every area of journalists, "I saw a loss for journalism.
The locals were there to tell a story, but
my life."
Ultimately, she says, "It's a dangerous the nationals came in with guns blazing
time to be a journalist. ... Throughout the and I started equating a news conference
country reporters are required to do more with a feeding frenzy."
and more with less and less resources.
In his view, journalism has become a
That's sad to me. It affects the reporter, "churn and burn industry with so much
the quality of the story she is telling and to do. There comes a point when you need
in turn, the folks at home."
a steady 9 to 5 job, allowing for family,
increasing pay. If reporters are a dime a
MICHAEL STOWE is the former
managing editor of The Roanoke Times dozen, it's because that's how they're paid.
and is now media relations director One of the reasons I left [journalism]
Virginia Tech. He left The Roanoke is that it was not the same journalism
Times after 23 years in journalism as when I started. Time had created
"because I was ready for a new challenge something different."
and chapter in my career. I also wanted to
KAREN MCNEW was a WSLS news
stay in Southwest Virginia, particularly in anchor, reporter and director before
Blacksburg, where I have lived with my moving to Carilion Public Information.
An Emmy-winning journalist, McNew
family since 2000.
"Virginia Tech was a natural fit for saw four news directors and five general
my experience and interests. Like many managers in her time at Channel 10. "It
people, I got into journalism to make was always changing," she says.
a positive impact and solve important
To "tell a good story" was always the
problems, and because I liked to write and goal, she says, "and at the end of the
tell stories. I knew if I was going to leave day, I felt good about what I had done.
journalism it would be to work somewhere In the course of her 15 years at WSLS,
else with a strong mission of community she "covered every shift " and health
coverage "became my favorite part."
service and problem solving."
Tech provided that. "I get to work That background helped her segue into
with a talented team of passionate and the Carilion job, where she uses the
dedicated colleagues - quite similar to same skills she developed in TV news
a newsroom. I still start my day with a to produce videos, among other things,
daily news meeting and I spend the bulk in a setting "that gives me time to plan.
TheRoanoker.com

I'm doing the same things with the same
results" in an organization with nearly 50
PR employees.
"I don't miss [journalism]," she says.
"Everything has its time and I still get to
do everything I love the most."
JOHN CARLIN has been WSLS anchor,
Access public relations VP, opened his
own PR company The Carlin Agency
and then gone back to WSLS. That's a
full circle for one of the most popular
anchors in Roanoke TV history. His first
gig at WSLS lasted 21 years and there was
a gasp when he left for a PR job. But he
didn't do that for a long time, easing his
way back into news with "John Carlin's
Virginia" on Fox and then settling back
into an anchor chair eventually. "I never
really left," he says, even though "I never
intended to come back."
It was in his blood. "I had never done
anything else when Access came to me
with an offer of becoming a senior VP.
You gotta try it when something like that
is offered." A year later "I was right back
involved. I never realized how much I
missed it until I took a look at what was
important without it. That crystallized
when the opportunity to come back to
WSLS became available."
Television news, he says, "is a very
stressful business. Anchoring is not so
stressful in itself, but the business is." That
stress has intensified "because we're under
more scrutiny ... Now, we are everywhere
all the time. The pressure is more public.
We used to be the people who put others
under the microscope. Now we are under
the microscope."
His news day includes half-hour shows
at 5, 5:30, 6 and 11 p.m. In the future,
there's only going to be more, he says. And
that can't be good for the industry. I

F OR A N E XTE NSIV E
LI S T O F MORE LOC AL
JO URN A LI S TS N OW OFF ON
A NE W A DVE NTURE, V IS IT
T HEROAN O K ER .C OM/
J O U R N ALI S T S

JULY/AUGUST 2019

87


http://www.THEROANOKER.COM/journalists http://www.TheRoanoker.com

The Roanoker - July/August 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Roanoker - July/August 2019

The Roanoker - July/August 2019 - Intro
The Roanoker - July/August 2019 - Cover1
The Roanoker - July/August 2019 - Cover2
The Roanoker - July/August 2019 - 3
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The Roanoker - July/August 2019 - V1
The Roanoker - July/August 2019 - V2
The Roanoker - July/August 2019 - V3
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The Roanoker - July/August 2019 - V11
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The Roanoker - July/August 2019 - Cover3
The Roanoker - July/August 2019 - Cover4
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