I was privileged to be interviewed by the journalist Allison Haunss last year, for her upcoming show “Working Woman Report”. At the time, she wasn’t sure about the format of the show, or when it would be ready to launch, but her passion for sharing women’s experiences and assisting other women pursue their dreams was clear from the beginning and it felt great to contribute.
Allison grew up on Long Island, however she left New York to attend Duke University where she pursued her degrees in Political Science and Drama. During her time as an undergraduate, Allison says she was not sure what her profession would be. She always had a curious nature and interest in telling stories. Journalism seemed a natural fit, and with that in mind, she pursued several internships in journalism. Those internships included stints at Nightline, The David Letterman Show and the ABC News Program 20/20. Once she caught the journalism bug, Allison pursued her career in journalism by enrolling in the Master’s degree Broadcast Journalism Program at Northwestern University’s prestigious Medill School of Journalism. It was at Medill where she learned how to write, how to present, how to navigate legal and privacy issues and the proper way to tell a story. During her last semester she moved to Washington DC to be the MEDILL DC correspondent for KNOE, a CBS affiliate in Monroe, Louisiana.
Once out of grad school, Allison moved on to work in several TV markets, including Sioux Falls South Dakota and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She came back to New York to freelance for News 12 Long Island and Westchester, before becoming one of the main weeknight anchors at News 12 Connecticut, the Cablevision affiliate based in Norwalk. It was at News 12 where Allison befriended a woman living in Stamford, CT who had dual citizenship in Israel. Half of the year she lived in Netanya, Israel, where she served as a civilian guard. Allison was so moved by her story that she decided to travel to Israel and film her in action, patrolling the streets, shooting a weapon, and sharing her story for a segment called “Grandma Guard”. It was worth it, several months later Allison won an EMMY award for her work.
In 2007 Allison moved to New York to be a freelance reporter and anchor for WPIX. She worked every shift, covering snowstorms at 2am, shootings in the toughest neighborhoods in the City, and major historic events such as the Pope’s visit to NY in 2008, and the mid-air plane/tourist chopper collision over the Hudson River.
About a year ago, Allison started interviewing women who inspired her. She wanted to know how women were balancing their lives. She quickly learned (from her own experience as well) that it’s an illusion that women can have it all. However, she also discovered that there is a way to have a balanced life. In her pursuit for answers on how to do it, she met incredible women who have found a way to have a life that works for them and their families. The women Allison is drawn to have lives that are satisfying both personally and professionally.
Allison shared that “no one has given us a path to have a life that is full, meaningful and peaceful”. She realized that in order to create the program she wanted, Allison had to start her own production company, so she launched ALH Media Group to produce Working Woman Report. Her goal is to have the show broadcast in every TV market in the country and the world. More importantly her dream is to inspire women to move through their fears AND realize their dreams.
The advice which was shared with Allison by the women she met along the way has inspired her to confront what she was taught growing up. Her favorite line “Never take a ‘no’ from someone who doesn’t have the authority to give you a ‘yes’” has inspired Allison to ask for what she wants. It sounds simple but to Allison asking for the best meant being mean and impolite, She says she has now learned how to be assertive without feeling bad about it. This is an important lesson that many women still confront and have to deal with every day. The first episode of the Working Woman Report was shown on WPIX on September 30th, 2012. You can watch it every Sunday at 4:30am. For more information about Allison Haunss, the Working Woman Report, and the women she features, please visit workingwomanreport.com.