An aspiring and successful actor, Che is deeply immersed in the Rochester cultural scene. So much so, we’ve named him Che of The Town!
Exclusively for Talker, Che has solicited and is conducting interviews from about 50 Rochestarians working in a diversity of creative fields.
For the full series, see Che of The Town: Interviews
Che has profiled several Rochester journalists, including Hélène Biandudi Hofer, Jennifer Johnson, Nikki Rudd, Alexis Arnold and Norma Holland. In this highlight, Che turn ours attention to Ginny Ryan.
Getting To Know Ginny Ryan; A Prominent News Anchor In Our City
I grew up in Gates. I graduated from Cardinal Mooney High School and Buffalo State College. I’m the youngest of three kids in the family, older sister and brother. This year, my husband and I will celebrate 30 years of marriage. This is also my 30th year at channel 13. We have two kids– my son Jeff graduated from college 3 years ago and lives in Dallas, but hopes to return to Rochester! My daughter, Caroline, just graduated from college and is heading to graduate school.
What inspired you to be a journalist? Early experiences worth sharing?
I had an extraordinary teacher in third grade named– believe it or not– “Miss Ryan”. Up until this point, I didn’t like going to school. My dad died when I was in second grade and in hindsight, I think I didn’t want to leave my mom for fear of something happening to her. Miss Ryan got me to not only enjoy school but find a passion: writing. For an assignment, we had to write someone’s biography. She allowed me to tell her story– sharing personal photos and even allowing me to call her dad for an interview! I still remember what an honor it was for someone to trust you enough to share details about their life. I learned so much about her and it showed me at an early age that everyone has a story that’s much deeper than the one we see. From 3rd grade on, I wanted to be a journalist. My interest in television happened in college.
Talk about a time where you have faced adversity/conflict and have triumphed.When I got to channel 13 — after my first TV job in Elmira, NY– the news director asked me about my long term goals. I told him I someday would like to do some anchoring. He looked at me and said, “Don’t really see you as an anchor…” I was a little disappointed but even more determined to work hard and prepare myself for any and all opportunities that might arise. He left a short time after that conversation, and a short time after that, I was anchoring the morning news. This, perhaps, was more the result of a leadership change but change is opportunity and I like to think my preparations helped. As I always tell me kids, you can create your own luck, by preparing for opportunities.
What do you believe sets you apart from other journalists?
Everyone brings their own experiences and viewpoint to the job which is why diversity and varied experiences are so important in a newsroom. I think I have pretty decent news judgement and that I work hard every day. I’m hands on and like to be involved in the process of every newscast I anchor: 5, 10, and 11. I enjoy taking part in the story selection, and the writing. I care a great deal about this community. This is where I grew up. It’s truly an honor to have a job that enables to report on issues people care about and, hopefully, ones that can make this an even better place to live.
Do you have other interests or hobbies?
Summer is my season. II love the water: paddle boarding, water skiing and biking. On my “To Do” list: learning Italian and playing the piano.
Since learning that suicide is now the second leading cause of death among teens, I’ve been on a mission to learn more and report on it. Embarking on my first report in January, I thought I would end with a report about the impact of cyber-bullying, but the cause is far more complex and one, in most cases, is about mental health. It’s crucial that we not only talk about it, but learn the causes, and make sure there are the resources available for people to get the help they need. This isn’t an issue that only effects teens in middle and high schools, it impacts society, our future leaders. My managers at channel 13 have been extremely supportive of this and we are committed to do more on this issue in the coming months.
Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years?
Practicing my piano and speaking Italian in my off hours at channel 13!
First, ask yourself why you want to do it. If the answer is to be on TV or see your name in print, it might be a good time to reconsider. It’s a demanding profession that will require a lot of personal sacrifice. The pay starting out is low and when you “make it”, the hours often run counter to a home life, such as working nights, weekends and holidays. But having said all that, I still love my job and believe there is real value in the service journalists provide locally and nationally. Go for it!
How can we follow along in your journey? Social media?
hank you for asking! I’m on Facebook– Ginny Ryan and Twitter @ginnyryan. I’m a more frequent Twitter user than Facebook, but I’m working on it. Maybe in five years….