She’s been to the Kentucky Derby, the Daytona 500, Whitney Houston’s Newark church, and this weekend she’ll be covering the Belmont Stakes. Six months into her new job at Fox News Network in New York, former “Fox News Rising” host Anna Kooiman says her post-Charlotte life is very, very good.
“I still pinch myself each day when I walk down Sixth Avenue,” says Kooiman, 28, a Charlotte native who worked for Fox Charlotte three years before joining the news network in January.
Kooiman, who graduated from UNC Wilmington and started her career at Wilmington’s WWAY-TV, says the perks in major league broadcasting are enjoyable. In Wilmington, she’d have to do everything from shooting video to writing her own scripts.
At Fox, she sometimes goes out on stories with a photographer, an audio specialist and a producer.
In Charlotte, the station would pay for hair appointments and makeup. In New York, there’s a wardrobe department and hair and makeup artists.
“They take care of making you look good ... These people are experts. We call it getting ‘Foxified.’”
One friend she’s made at the network is Charlotte native Heather Childers, former anchor at News 14 Carolina. They never met in Charlotte, although their paths crossed invisibly: they’d both attended Sharon Elementary and Myers Park High School, though more than a decade apart.
Kooiman’s family still lives in Charlotte and runs the Peppermint Forest Christmas Shop in Pineville, where she had her first job at 14, pricing ornaments in the warehouse.
Her title at Fox is general assignment correspondent, but she also does some health and fitness features. Her stories may land on FoxNews.com, Fox News Radio or on the news or business channels.
Kooiman didn’t go alone to New York – she took along her 100-pound Labrador, Baxter, who has traded dominion over a backyard for long walks in Central Park. Kooiman pays for a dog-walking service to keep Baxter occupied when she’s working.
She says covering the Kentucky Derby was the best assignment she ever had. She got to wear one of those big fashionable hats and a fancy dress. A producer had her hurdle over a fence as part of a live story, and the dress split.
“My hits for the rest of the day were from the waist up,” Kooiman says.
Miss anything about Charlotte? Sure.
“New York has some good food, but I miss my Bojangles’ and Flying Biscuit.”
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