On Wednesdays, as you know, we always have Humpdays with Hal Sparks (and he knows I adore him). But between him and the regular mooks, the testosterone level in the studio invariably goes right through the roof. Ick, too many boy cooties!
You can only imagine, then, my pure joy when newswoman extraordinaire Jacki Schechner joined our happy little family and finally gave me the broadcasting sister I’ve always wanted. She’s the Ethel to my Lucy, the Shirley to my Laverne, the Thelma to my Louise, the Lacey to my Cagney, the Turner to my Hooch, the Tenspeed to my Brown Shoe … OK, let’s stop now.
I thought you’d like to know a little bit more about her, since she is so modest and self-effacing — just like me.
Jacki started her on-air TV career as a sports reporter in Hagerstown, Md., where she was a one-woman band — shooting, writing, editing and working the teleprompter with her foot.
In 1999, Jacki moved to New York and joined Pseudo.com — the world’s first interactive TV network. There she hosted three to five hours of live programming daily, interviewing everyone from Arianna Huffington and Dick Morris to the Coyote Ugly bartenders and The Baroness — NYC’s queen of latex. After Pseudo fell victim to the dot-com bust, Jacki stayed in New York, hosting a digital culture and technology series for Discovery International, a pilot for the History Channel and a pilot for the Travel Channel.
In 2004, Jacki took a job with Kuma and made news reports for their reality-based video games. A year later, CNN called, and on Valentine’s Day 2005, she moved to Washington, D.C., to become the first-ever Internet correspondent in cable news. In her almost three years with CNN, Jacki appeared on television multiple times every day, winning awards for her work, including a Peabody Award for her participation in the network’s coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and an Emmy Award for being part of CNN’s midterm-election coverage in 2006.
Then Jacki decided it was time to fight for something she strongly believed in. In June 2008, she became the director of National Communications for Health Care for America Now — the nation’s largest health care reform campaign. In that capacity, Jacki spearheaded communications for a coalition of more than 1,100 organizations with field operations in 46 states.
After health reform passed in March 2010, Jacki moved to Miami — her hometown — and set up shop as a consultant, before joining Current TV in 2012 and moving to Los Angeles with her cat, Emmy (apparently the Emmy Award itself was not enough for her).
Welcome to the fort, sister! We’re pulling up the rope now, no one else in!