She’s talented, she’s intelligent, she’s beautiful and she’s undoubtedly Snellville’s most famous former citizen these days.
She’s Amy Robach, the 1991 Brookwood High School graduate who, in June became a co-host and national correspondent on NBC’s Today Show. Whether she’s interviewing the editor of Prevention Magazine about their favorite cover story, “Getting Rid of Belly Fat” or hitting tennis balls as part of her interview with the legendary Pete Sampras, Robach does a superb job as a Today Show journalist.
Robach credits the Brookwood theatre program and her involvement in productions such as Evita with much of her success today. “I think you have to have a little bit of theatre in you to pull it off,” she said, referring to not just the interviews, but her own participation when working on a story, such as the Sampras interview and swimming along side Dara Torres, the Olympic medalist who is hoping, at 41, to be competitive in the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Robach was a cheerleader at Brookwood before deciding she preferred performing arts so she dropped cheerleading to make room in her busy schedule for theatre.
Her aunt is Lori Lindahl, who with her husband, Ken heads up Brookwood’s outstanding theatre program. “They give their all to the program,” Robach said. “I love what they do and they were a great help to me. You are always better served to communicate with people if you have had theatre experience.”
After graduation from Brookwood, Robach, a former Miss Gwinnett County and 4th runner-up to Miss Georgia in 1994, headed to UGA where she majored in journalism. “UGA has a phenomenal broadcast program and was a huge springboard to what I do now,” she said. She speaks highly of the program director, David Hazinski and he speaks highly of her, saying that she fits into the “natural” category because of her drive and curiosity.
“The path she has taken can be grueling-- much more so than people realize, so you really have to want to do it,” he explained. “You have to be devoted and directed. Amy is both. She also possesses the other characteristic necessary to do well in journalism: curiosity. She gets a kick out of finding out how things work, how people think and how systems function. She also gets a lot of satisfaction out of telling others about it.
“Amy is smart and quick-witted and shows that on the air every day. These are all the characteristics of a good broadcast journalist. Her success is no surprise.”
Robach started her broadcasting career in Athens, GA as a student. After graduation she spent four years at WCBD-TV in Charleston as a reporter and then headed for Washington, DC, where she was the early morning and noon anchor for WTTG-TV and covered stories such as the aftermath of 9/11 and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Her work obviously impressed NBC officials, and in 2003 she joined MSNBC anchoring coverage of major news events including the War in Iraq, Hurricane Katrina, and the 2004 Presidential Election. She also was a regular on the former Imus in the Morning and was a newsreader on both Today and Weekend Today.
In her new role with NBC she is the Saturday Today Show co-host and national correspondent for the Today Show and the Nightly News.
Robach’s advice for young people interested in a broadcasting career is to get into a program at high school, such as theatre or broadcasting. “They have to realize that there is a lot of sacrifice, however,” she stated. “You have to be willing to give time away from family, including a lot of holidays. You start at $22 thousand a year with a 70-80 hour week.
“It’s hard work and you have to really love it. You can’t be a good anchor unless you learn to be a good reporter. They also must expand their horizons.”
Especially now with the new position, Robach is traveling a lot. She and her husband Tim have two daughters, five and two years, and she is thankful for his flexible job and an excellent nanny. “I bring the girls when I can and make family time when I can,” she said.
She enjoys coming home to Snellville where her parents still have a home. She will visit when she does a story on the Kangaroo Conservation Center in Dahlonega and for an interview she will be doing on Coca-Cola. She loves seeing old high school and college friends on the Plaza when Today goes outside. “It’s fun seeing old friends– they will call out to me and say ‘remember me, we went to high school together,’ ” she laughed.
Robach says she meets some amazing people and goes to some amazing places. At the time of our interview she had just learned that she will be one of the correspondents covering the Summer Olympics in Beijing.
Her ultimate goal? “My dream job is to host a national weekday morning show,” she said.
I would say she’s almost there. At any rate, good luck, Amy. Your hometown is behind you all the way.
(Pulisher's Note: 12/22/2022. This article has been updated technology wise for this platform from html. Published Gwinnett Citizen 07/08.)