Abby Eden used to tell us goodnight in Kansas City, but now she’s switched slots and is waking us up! A Nebraska native turned KC girl, Abby Eden is on quite the roller-coaster called life. From President of the National Honors Society to tanning salon receptionist to now news anchor on Fox 4 KC News, Abby Eden has done it all. I got the chance to ask Abby some personal questions and below are her real, raw answers. Trust me, she’s going to inspire you!
Where are you from?
What were you involved in growing up?
I was involved in everything! I sang in multiple choirs, acted in school plays, played the piano; I participated in cross country, basketball, and I was the President of the National Honors Society. I also participated in several pageants. I believed strongly in trying everything I could possibly try!
Did you get involved in the school news programs?
I wasn’t heavily involved in the school news programs, we didn’t have all that much besides the school paper and yearbook at the time. I did, however, make it into the communications academy at school, which were a series of classes we could take as juniors and seniors in high school.
Did you always have a calling to tell stories?
I did. I was an avid reader growing up, and that made me into an avid writer. I would sit and write short stories for hours in my free time. It was what I did for fun growing up. I was always working on a “story.”
Have you always wanted to be a news anchor?
I wanted to be an actress, but my Dad nudged me to look into other avenues (excellent advice for me!). So at about age five, I decided to be a news anchor. I haven’t wavered much since then. We always had the news on in our house, and I was fascinated by the number of interesting things reporters were able to do. The news played an important role in our house, so it was a natural interest for me. My parents have always been so supportive of my career choice, even when I was really struggling. I credit them with encouraging me to stick with it.
Before becoming a news anchor, what other jobs did you have?
I’ve done it all! I was a “sandwich artist” at Blimpie’s, a server for about six different restaurants I believe, an intern for a non-profit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, a tanning salon receptionist, and a substitute teacher (I did those last two, plus serving at a country club while I worked as a reporter in Tyler, TX).
Who is your number one anchor idol?
I’ve always loved Barbara Walters, but currently I enjoy watching Lester Holt. My favorite reporter of all time is Steve Hartman. He’s incredible.
How did you end up in Kansas City?
I tried to get a job in Kansas City for about two years. I finally got an interview after through a reporter who knew the dad of a friend of my friend. (That chain is supposed to be difficult to follow- it shows it’s not always WHAT you know, but WHO you know…or kind of know.)
How did you know Fox 4 was your fit?
I was told by multiple friends living in Kansas City that I should work at Fox 4. I sent my resume to multiple other stations in the area, but Fox 4 was the first to express interest while also having a position open. I knew it was the right fit, though, when I came to visit and everyone just treated me like I’d been here forever. I also loved that the station had an in-house charity- the Love Fund for Kids.
What is your warm-up routine before going live?
I always play music when I put my makeup on. We have a little makeup room, and I’ve been known to blast anything from Michael Jackson to Miranda Lambert.
Besides reporting, what are your other hobbies?
I love to run, cycle, do Pilates, and really almost any other physical activity. My husband and I are currently in the process of some DIY projects at home (mainly him, but I help!), so that takes some time. Much of our weekends are spent either with family, friends, or promoting some charitable organizations around the metro. I have a passion to help whenever I can.
What is your staple fashion item (clothing, jewelry, or shoes)?
Can I say all of the above? It depends- if I’m fluctuating in size a lot, I prefer jewelry or shoes- because they never change sizes in those! I’m not a handbag person, though, so I stick to whatever is basic and doesn’t frustrate me when it comes to purses.
What does a normal day look like for you?
With my schedule change, my day is never much of a routine. I wake up at 2:30 a.m., and try to get into work between 3 and 3:15 a.m. I’m on the air from 4:30 until at least 9 a.m. Then I try to work on catching up on emails, setting up stories, or figuring out schedules for upcoming fundraisers. When I leave, I try to stay away from phone and email as much as possible. I try to either go to the gym, see some friends, or run errands until bed time around 8:00 at night!
What is your guilty pleasure?
I love pedicures and non-serious television shows- although it usually takes me about 4 days to watch a one-hour show…I don’t sit down very often.
What is your favorite go-to restaurant in Kansas City?
We have so many- we love Longboards, The Mixx, Blue Koi, The Drunken Worm, and Room 39. But really- that’s just a small sampling of all our faves.
Could you give us some dos and don’ts while on camera?
Dos- sit up straight, and wear color on your lips and eyes if nothing else! Dont’s- don’t wear too many colors that are close to your skin tone, and if you’re wearing a microphone- never say something you’d be embarrassed to have your mom hear.
What’s the funniest moment that has happened to you on live TV?
I’ve had several times where I couldn’t keep my giggles in as well as moments where I really had to cough or sneeze, and had tears running down my face trying to hold it in.
What’s the most embarrassing moment that has happened to you while on live TV?
Oh gosh, I’ve had so many! It’s hard to choose!
Has the prompter ever betrayed you? If so, how did you handle the situation?
Yes, the prompter has stopped working before, and at my old TV station, the prompter operators used to fall asleep because we had early morning newscasts! We always have back up scripts, so as long as we’re following along, we just look down at our back-up scripts.
Is there a quote or saying you live by?
I live by three: “Treat others how you want to be treated.” “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” and “Now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1Cor 13:13
What advice would you give to someone who aspires to be a news anchor like yourself?
I would say hard work, eagerness to work in multiple different roles, and experience are the best ways to get your foot in the door. The best way to keep your job is to learn how to become a good story teller and keep solid ethics.