28th time is the charm

By Jonathan Black

It’s a rare occurrence for me to see a celebrity speak. It’s an even rarer occurrence when that celebrity plays Get Low at the beginning of their speech, but that’s exactly what Hoda Kotb did.

Kotb, a broadcast journalist who is currently a correspondent on Dateline and co-host of the Today Show’s fourth hour, was warm, vivacious and funny — everything yesterday’s keynote speaker lacked.

Kotb, relieved some of the memorable moments of her life, from the early stages of her career, her bout with breast cancer and her coverage of events in Baghdad, Pakistan and the 2004 tsunami.

I know Kotb as the wine-guzzling woman who is forced sit next to Kathy-Lee Gifford for one hour every, so I was surprised to read and hear about how much hard news she has covered prior to the Today Show.

Her resume is impressive to say the least and it both nerved and calmed me to hear about the journey she had to take to get her first job. Kotb traveled for 10 days and was rejected 27 times before she was finally hired by the news director in a small Mississippi town station.

From there, Kotb traveled from city to city over her career, and as she later said, “fell in love with everywhere I lived.”

The one aspect of Kotb’s speech I disagreed with was her stance on self-promotion. Kotb said she believes there are ways to do it without being aggressive. While I agree that you do not always have to promote yourself, there are times where you have to step up to get the job you want.

Overall, Kotb came across as having both thick skin and incredible enthusiasm. Traits I think are vital to prosper as a journalist.


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