We asked female media personalities in the Twin Cities what Barbara Walters has meant to them:
Kelcey Carlson, KMSP, Ch. 9
I really admire how hard she’s worked her entire career. She evolved and changed with the times, and you can tell she loves what she does. While it will often be said that she paved the way for women in television, the secret of her success had a simple foundation of hard work that we can all learn from. She was determined, she believed she could do the job and she delivered. There have been times when I, personally, thought she may have been making her guests a little too uncomfortable with her probing questions, but I’ve always liked how she had conversations with people rather than interviews. Like her or not, you have to admit the woman had guts.
Leah McLean, KSTP, Ch. 5
I grew up watching her reporting from interesting places and talking to all kinds of people. After getting into journalism myself, Walters was even more of an inspiration. I loved that it was a woman who always got the big interview. She has a way of not only asking the right questions, but really listening to the answers. I’ve tried to learn from her style. Walters has done so much for women in media. She shattered the glass ceiling so women like me wouldn’t have to overcome the same obstacles. I’ll miss watching her.
Diana Pierce, KARE, Ch. 11
Barbara Walters influenced me from the beginning. She was on “The Today Show” when I started watching her. I purchased her book “How to Talk With Practically Anybody About Practically Anything” while I was in college. Reading that taught me two things that serve me even today: 1) Do your research. 2) Listen carefully. She is an icon and I’m grateful for her continual influence.
Amelia Santaniello, WCCO, Ch. 4
Many young journalists only know Barbara Walters as being creator and co-host of “The View,” but I can’t remember a time she wasn’t on television news. She opened the door for female television reporters and anchors — many I watched while growing up. I saw them and wanted to do what they were doing. I didn’t have to think about whether or not my gender would stand in the way. I don’t know if Barbara Walters realized she was blazing a trail at the time, but I do know I’m grateful to her for doing so.
Vineeta Sawkar, Star Tribune
Ever since I was in fifth grade, I knew I wanted to be a broadcast journalist. Back then, there weren’t many female television anchors. Women like Barbara Walters were our idols. She always got the “hard-to-get” interview. She asked the questions we all wanted to know and she did it without fear of what people would think. One of the biggest things I learned from watching her is that you have to know your subject and make sure you are prepared for interviews. I have always challenged myself to ask the tough question. Barbara Walters cut to the chase. It is something we all strive to do in the broadcast industry.
Cathy Wurzer, Minnesota Public Radio
She was a woman who took the boys on, in a male-dominated profession, and despite all kinds of slights, insults and barbs, kept going. She not only survived but thrived in the very tough world of TV. She’s to be admired for that.