A dozen years & a few lessons learned

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The on-air talent for Good Morning Arizona. (Source: April Warnecke) The on-air talent for Good Morning Arizona. (Source: April Warnecke)
(3TV/CBS 5) -

This week marks 12 years for me at 3TV. I joined Arizona’s Family in July of 2005 after spending the first five years of my broadcasting career in the Pacific Northwest. I really never imagined I’d be here this long and love this job so much. As I reflect back on the last dozen years, I got to thinking about some of the lessons I've learned. This blog post may be a bit self-indulgent… but the boss said we can blog about whatever we want, so here goes! 

It’s good to go outside your comfort zone

I really thought I wasn’t a good fit for 3TV. I honestly never thought I’d get the job. I watched this station a lot over the years, and I thought of all the “big” personalities like Brad Perry and Tara Hitchcock. I thought that surely I did not fit the mold for what they were looking for. But my boyfriend (now husband) insisted I apply anyway. Here we are 12 years later-- both working at Arizona’s Family! Every day and every year that goes by, I continue to learn to push aside my inhibitions with this job. My latest challenge turned out to be my most fun story yet. Check out what happened when I got the chance to be a backup singer and dancer at a local night club for a story.

MOBILE/APP USERS: Click here to see the image of April as a backup singer

Thick skin is a necessity

In 12 years, I’ve only been talked to once by bosses about my clothing. I still cringe to think about that uncomfortable conversation. But now, I get pretty regular emails, Facebook comments or tweets from viewers about my appearance. Many of them are positive and encouraging, but it’s the negative ones that stick with you. I once got an email from a viewer who said it was ridiculous that I came back from a Hawaiian vacation looking so pale! Another viewer recently emailed me asking that I donate the dress I was wearing that day to charity because it was so awful. I occasionally get asked by a viewer if they spot a baby bump. NOPE. Lesson here: thick skin is the best accessory.

MOBILE/APP USERS: Click here to see the image of "viewer feedback"

Always keep learning

The monsoon is a fickle beast. It’s easily the toughest time of year to forecast weather in Arizona. Tracking barely-visible outflow boundaries on radar, detecting subtle moisture boundaries and atmospheric disturbances, plus dealing with weather models that are all over the place this time of year make for a huge challenge. I’ve learned that it’s just as important to communicate the uncertainty of the forecast on days that are tough to predict. And there are times when we’ve blown the forecast. It doesn’t happen often, but I’d say about two or three times a year, we get hit by a “surprise” of a storm. Mother Nature knows how to keep us humble! I try to go back and see what I missed that day, and how to improve for the next day. I try to learn from the more experienced meteorologists around me, like Royal Norman. Did I mention I grew up watching him? He LOVES it when I mention that! 

MOBILE/APP USERS: Click here to see the image of Royal and April

Being a working mom gets easier

I didn’t think there could be anything tougher than dealing with morning sickness while working on a morning show. And then I had a baby, then another, who wouldn’t sleep through the night. That 2 a.m. alarm for work would go off one hour after the last middle-of-the-night feeding and I wanted to cry myself back to sleep. Then there was the transition phase from the crib to the “big-boy” bed. I don’t think anyone in our house slept for three weeks straight. They say the days are long but the years are short... but those years also seemed very long to me. And then it got easier. It’s still a major juggling act, always striving for more work-family life balance. But I feel like I can do anything now with a few more hours of sleep every night! 

MOBILE/APP USERS: Click here to see the image of Olivia and April

Time flies when you’re having fun... and Arizona’s Family isn’t just a slogan. 

Two more important things I’ve learned. Family doesn’t just mean the family you’re born into. Sometimes, you find yourself surrounded by smart, funny, caring people who have become like family and you realize they’re the reason 12 years has truly flown by. 

MOBILE/APP USERS: Click here to see the image of the Good Morning Arizona crew

Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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