How Alex Holley landed a job in a top 4 market working for free

Alex Holley (Photo by Lucy Polly)
Alex Holley Photo credit: Lucy Polly

“One the benefits of being the co-host and anchor of ‘Good Day Philadelphia’ [FOX 29] is that we cover a wide range of stories. We start with hard news to start your day, then we branch out and tell you the stories you’d like to know. This could be anything from Philadelphia being one of the first major U.S. cities to pass a soda tax, to Kevin Hart stopping by to tell us why he loves his hometown, or playing the game ‘Operation’ with Doctor Oz. In the future, I see our show expanding to tell even more stories about the community, and a segment that highlights some of the great things our kids are doing. They don’t get enough positive attention.”

“Recently, the death of Amy Francis Joyner – a 16-year-old girl in Wilmington, Delaware who died after three girls allegedly beat her to death in her high school bathroom. It’s a horrific story that affects kids, so it instantly had a social media presence. It’s one that really developed on social media as well. The #RIPAmy hashtag started trending in our area, and then quickly started trending nationally. But there were so many questions surrounding what happened in that bathroom, how the school handled it, and how the charges came down on the other teenagers involved. I was able to use the hashtag to figure out what the kids at school knew about what happened, plus what questions people had. I used this information to pointedly question school officials and legal analysts in live interviews, to understand what happened and why the charges were what they were.”

The Path

“My interest in broadcasting started when I was in grade school. My distinctive voice would always get me in trouble for talking during class…even if I wasn’t the only one talking. I started to realize you could easily pick out my voice in a crowd. When I got to high school, I was selected to do the school announcements. I always knew I had an adventurous and outgoing spirit, but through working on the school news, I discovered I also loved meeting new people and going out to events and sharing what made them special. I grew up watching the faces of the news. I wanted to be one of the journalists who told the stories that showcased people who looked like me in a positive light.”

“Experience is greatly valued in this business, and I wanted to get out there and learn as much as I could. I went to The University of Missouri, where instead of sitting in a classroom and learning about journalism, we actually worked reporting shifts for an NBC affiliated station in Mid-Missouri. Rather than going out for the paid internship at a fancy top market station during the summer, I decided to stay in Missouri to do extra reporting/anchoring shifts to gain more experience. By the time I graduated, I felt I was ready to climb the success ladder. Dave Ramsey says: ‘You have to live like no one else, so later you can truly live like no one else.’ For the young journalists out there, that means you have to be willing to put the work in and do what no one else is willing to do, to have it pay off later as you meet your goals. Yes, sometimes that means working for free. I wouldn’t be in a top four market now, if it weren’t for that mentality.”

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