"Do more of what makes you happy". That's on a sign that leads to my home office. I pass by it every day, and over the past few months I have decided to make more of a priority.
I was born into the world of news media. Despite groaning and protests from my newspaperman father, I made my career in TV news, and then news talk radio. I married someone who also eats, sleeps and breathes radio and TV. Now, I have decided to part ways with the industry that I have had a love-hate relationship with for more than 25 years.
It hasn't been an easy decision, but one that has become increasingly evident over the last few years. Journalists and other media types have become the target of intense anger and hostility. Some of it is deserved. Most of it is not. It takes a good amount of thick skin to do this work, to put yourself out there, and respond civilly to all sorts of vile correspondence from listeners and viewers.
When I sat down to take inventory of what I really loved about my job, the same theme kept emerging. The ability to use this platform for good. To help people in our own community, from advocating for those whose voices aren't being heard to raising millions of dollars for kids across the Capital Region. The most rewarding aspects of my job have come through WGY Christmas Wish and the WGY Cares for Kids Radiothon, where we can see, hear and feel the difference we are making, and know that our work matters.
I started looking to make a difference in other ways. What are some of the most important issues facing our world today? What matters to people and their families? Health, safety and security, and education were among the top three I kept hearing. What are the biggest threats to those three areas? Believe it or not, cyber threats can affect all of it and more.
I will be taking on a new role in media relations for a non-profit cyber security company. I will be helping people learn to protect themselves from cyber criminals and keep their businesses and families safe around the world. From protecting companies large and small, to securing healthcare and educational institutions, to maintaining the integrity of election security, it is critically important in every aspect of our lives. I'm looking forward to this next chapter of my career, doing work that matters to all of us.
I have been incredibly fortunate have had a front row seat to the biggest news stories of the last 25 years. Perhaps more important, to have had the opportunity to work alongside the most talented folks in the businesses. I have made lasting friendships with colleagues who have become more like family than co-workers. I'm so thankful to those who not only gave me a chance, but encouraged me along the way to be better than I thought I could be.
To my longtime WGY listeners and WNYT viewers, thank you for allowing me into your homes, cars and offices over the years. I've enjoyed keeping your company on your commute and having lunch with you in your kitchen or office break room. I've enjoyed hearing from you and learning about your families. You can still find me on social media, and I will always respond.
Be safe, be kind, and do more of what makes you happy. -Kelly