Audra Lowe Transitions From News Reporter to Lifestyle Talk Show Host
Career Magazine

More Than Talk

Lowe received two bachelor’s degrees from the University of California, Santa Barbara in communications and black studies in 1993. Her intention in graduate school was to broaden her studies and fulfill her love of traveling as well, focusing on international affairs with a concentration in languages, studying Kiswahili and French. “I wanted to take my journalism [interests] to another level. I got tired of covering shootings and drive-bys. I wanted to make more of an impact on the way in which we received news and information from abroad.” However, her parents were concerned about a young, single woman working internationally, so she stayed in Los Angeles and continued to take care of her grandfather, who had diabetes and was a double amputee. She also earned a master’s in film, TV, and theater in 1998.

Aside from in-class training, Lowe interned every semester of her college career. “By the time I graduated I felt that I had already been working in the business for years. I went wherever I had to go to get that experience and figure it all out.” Lowe, who still considers herself a news junkie, started and worked in news for 13 years. “I thought that was going to be it. I didn’t plan to do lifestyle, sports, or entertainment. It all just happened. I was open to change.”

First job:
Lowe’s first job offer was in Ventura, California, at KADY-TV as an associate producer. “My first response was, ‘I don’t want to produce; I don’t know anything about producing,’ and I remember the woman saying, ‘Try it, you never know where it’s going to go.’ I got there and learned how to produce, which to this day I absolutely love.” She also learned how to write, edit, operate studio cameras, and floor direct the show she helped produce, which she says is vital experience to have in the industry. At night, after her production duties, Lowe would practice reading news scripts on camera. “I was doing that every single night when everyone had gone home–it would be midnight, 1 in the morning. I would read them over and over again–and I did that for a year.” It seemed that there was little chance of an opportunity until an on-air employee called in sick. The news director, who unbeknownst to Lowe had noticed her practicing sessions, asked her to step in. “I had given up. I [felt] I didn’t have the look, I don’t have the talent, I don’t have the background,” she recalls of her frustrations. “It was just local cut-ins, I remember that day like it was yesterday. I was so nervous. It was maybe 30 seconds, but it felt like an hour. I did it. From there he saw that I was serious and willing to put in the work necessary to do the job. I ended up doing both: producing and a little bit of reporting.”

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