Fox59 morning anchor Angela Ganote works from a busy cubicle smack-dab in the middle of the newsroom. She loves it there because that’s where she can be smack-dab in the middle of the action, within easy reach of a team of pros turning news — coming in quickly and from all directions — into something that makes sense. She deftly delivers the finished product in front of the camera, but she’s really all about rolling up her sleeves to help uncover the story.
It’s what she does, but the decision to get into the business didn’t take all that much digging. Ganote grew up an IU basketball fan, which went a long way in helping her decide on a school. But she reached her senior year unsure of what she’d do after college. She had started as an education major and switched to social work before settling on communications as a path to a job in public relations.
That’s about the time Anne Marie Tiernon — then of Channel 8 and now of 13 — showed up on campus to cover the frenzy over one of Bob Knight’s Final Four appearances. Ganote didn’t know Tiernon personally but held her in high regard for her work, so it was a matter of good fortune that she bumped into her in Bloomington and they had a conversation. At some point, Tiernon asked her what she was going to do after college, and Ganote could only reply, “I don’t know. I’ve already changed my major three times!”
But Tiernon had already sized her up. “Well, you can do what I do!” And a light came on as Ganote answered, “Wow! I can do that? How do I do that?” It was a defining moment for the senior so ripe for suggestions. “Anne Marie invited me to job-shadow her. I did it, and I loved it! It was just a matter of someone telling me I could do it. That’s all it took! And really, that one meeting is the only reason I do what I do today. Until then, this was not even on my radar. Not even close.”
The idea of a career in TV came out of the blue, but her fit for the work was natural, beginning with what she already knew about herself. “I love giving people a voice. I have always felt, even as a little girl, that I was a justice-seeker. If someone at school was being made fun of, or if something was happening that just wasn’t right, I wanted to make it right. I wanted to speak up for people and expose the injustice. And there’s more of that in me now than ever before. I can’t shut it off.”
Having a big heart helps too. Ganote has met lots of interesting people in her work at Fox59, but one of her favorites is a gentleman named Albert, a fan of the show. Albert called her at the station one day just to talk, and she encouraged him to call again … because Albert was dying of AIDS and his family had turned him away; he was alone in the world. Ganote and her husband eventually met him in person, and they brought him groceries.
In the end, when Albert lay in a hospice bed slipping in and out of consciousness, Ganote was there to offer him whatever comfort she could and before he died, he looked up at her and said, simply, “I love your smile.” It was a small thing that made a difference. And to this day, she knows that looking out for Albert wasn’t part of her job, but she wouldn’t have met him without it. “I think we all have a purpose and I know what mine is.”
Cheri – please insert pull quote here; thanks
Ganote brings that sense of advocacy and that level of compassion to her work every day, but sometimes getting the job done takes on another, very different, quality: a certain willingness to be very aggressive. She has that, too. “I’m very competitive. I don’t care if it’s Bingo. I don’t care if it’s a sack race.” And then a glint comes to her eye; “I don’t even care if it’s a Number One rating for a morning news show! I want to win everything!”
But that doesn’t mean winning at all costs because Ganote has two jobs, and she makes it clear that Job #1 is being a mom. She learned what that meant early on. When her parents looked for a place to raise their children, they “just started driving one day on the country roads and ended up in a new neighborhood known, at the time, as Northridge.” And the rest of her backstory speaks for itself: “I had a wonderful childhood in Brownsburg. We spent our days riding bikes through the woods, crossing the creek into the park and walking across a once very quiet Indiana S.R. 267 to go to the Northside Pantry to buy candy!”
Ganote has gone on to anchor a good, happy family of her own. She and her husband, Bradd, also known as Double D, have two children, Ashlyn and Brock. None of them makes a big deal of what mom does for a living, and that’s the way she wants it. “It doesn’t define us. Who I am is Bradd’s wife and Ashlyn and Brock’s mom. And they couldn’t be more supportive of me.”
She’s also grateful for the support she gets from Fox59. Ganote worked the station’s race day coverage for years, but not this year. She asked for the day off to go to Ashlyn’s volleyball tournament out of state. “They know what’s important to me, so they said OK! They want me to be happy here.” It’s a positive approach, a lot like the one she has taken in her years of reporting the news. It’s genuine. “There’s a sense in this country that we’re in trouble; that we’re more divided than ever. But are we? In Indiana, one on one, I don’t see that. We pack the food pantries. We feed the hungry. And when we ask our viewers for support, the phones light up. Hoosiers help their neighbors all the time. People really care about each other. I still believe that … I still believe that.”
Watch the video story with Angela Ganote on LifeStyle Indy.
Photo courtesy – Angela Ganote.
By Rudy Schouten. Freelance Writer