Sunday, September 11, 2016

It's a milestone day for me. Thanks for your support, 15 years at HLN!

It's been 15 years since I first came on the air at HLN. Thanks to all the viewers who joined me then and who have come on board since.

Yes, my first day at work was 9/11... go to this page to see an interview.

The NY Post did a nice write up that summarizes my time.

Robin Meade’s first day on the air at CNN Headline News was Sept. 11, 2001.

“I remember calling my husband [Tim Yeager] who lived in downtown Chicago and asking him to please drive out to the suburbs for the day,” says Meade, 47. “I remember people gathering in the newsroom, concerned about the trains running under CNN [in Atlanta], wondering if someone wanted to make a statement.”

In the years since, CNN Headline News has been through several name changes — it’s now HLN — but with one constant presence: Meade, who hosts “Morning Express with Robin Meade” (6-10 a.m.) and is now TV’s longest-running (national) morning female anchor.



“I was assigned to the morning show two weeks after [Sept. 11] and we went right from the terrorist attacks to understanding what it was to anthrax [attacks] to the war in Afghanistan to the war in Iraq. Sometime before the start of the Afghanistan war, the show got its personality,” says Meade. “When ‘Saturday Night Live’ finally came back on the air and said, ‘Is it OK to laugh?,’ we found our footing — when it’s appropriate to laugh, and when it’s not.

“The show’s title has changed — there was a time it was called ‘Robin & Co.’ — but the format has largely remained the same,” says Meade. “But even though the [show’s] name has changed, in large part the feel and authenticity of the show hasn’t [changed]. It’s a lot like the human dynamic, which doesn’t stay on the same level for hours at a time. You might go to a funeral and mourn and show your respect, then wonder what’s for lunch. I like to say our show is a lot like a dinner: There’s meat, a side of veggies and some dessert.”

‘I like to say our show is a lot like a dinner: There’s meat, a side of veggies and some dessert.’
- Robin Meade
Meade says she’s acutely aware of how social media and technology have impacted the way in which people get their news — and how that affects her show. “I think everyone is well aware that they don’t have to turn their TV on in the morning to get information. I can just look at my phone. People tune in to our show for a reason, and it’s generally not for information they can get anywhere.

“They’re looking for someone to hold their hand and guide them through the morning. I take my role as an emotional guardian in the morning very seriously and I’m really protective of our viewers,” she says. “My feeling is ‘Don’t give me death, death, death and expect me to say “Good morning, sunshine!”’ We have something internally here we call ‘The Cereal Test,’ and it goes like this: If you give me details of a story and it make me spit out my cereal, it probably shouldn’t be on [the air] until noon.”

In addition to her TV life, Meade wrote the 2009 bestseller “Morning Sunshine! How to Radiate Confidence and Feel It Too” and has recorded two country music albums, “Brand New Day” and “Count On Me.”

But, she says, television remains her main professional focus.

“The music is more than a hobby but I could never do it full-time,” she says. “I love my job as a storyteller and journalist and I love what I do on TV and with our morning viewers.”