Anthony Carlo ’15 says Iona gave him the tools to turn his dream into a reality

ABC Eyewitness News Reporter Shares How Iona University Helped Him Land Dream Job

Alumni Success

Name: Anthony Carlo
Graduation Year: 2015
Major: Media & Strategic Communication (TV/Video)
Company: WABC-TV Eyewitness News
Title: Reporter
Hometown: Yonkers, N.Y.
High School: Archbishop Stepinac

What do you love most about what you’re currently doing?
I love getting the opportunity to be a voice for the people. Now, more than ever, with the evolution of social media, people need powerful, credible platforms to tell their stories. I enjoy being the vehicle in which New Yorkers can do just that, in a creative, empowering way. I love storytelling. It started with sports and has taken me to news — and it’s in my blood. Especially broadcasting.

Why did you decide to study your particular major?
Since I was a little kid, I had a dream that I wanted to be a broadcaster on TV. I’d pretend I was announcing Yankees games in my backyard or hosting sports talk shows. When I got to college, I briefly questioned if that dream was realistic and would turn into a career. I almost gave up. I changed majors to education and bounced around a bit, all while knowing deep down inside what my true calling was.

When I first started in the field, I was pursuing sports reporting/broadcasting because of my love of sports. I quickly pivoted to learn how to do news based off the advice of a mentor at one of my internships. I realized how much I loved storytelling in general and the positive changes a journalist can help make — especially in news.

How did Iona prepare you to get where you are today?
Iona was crucial for my start in this industry because it gave me the hands-on tools I needed to learn the trade. I’ve heard stories about how students at bigger journalism schools have a difficult time even getting in front of a camera until they’re an upperclassman. At Iona, that was never an issue. As long as you wanted to put in the work, there was someone there to give you the opportunity and help you do it. Opportunities are key and without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

The first time I ever got comfortable in front of the camera doing a “live shot” was at Iona. I’d pretend I was live every time we’d shoot. I can’t put into words how beneficial that was later on in my career.

Were you involved in student groups or activities? If so, how did they shape or support your career path?
When I decided to pursue this field full throttle, one of the first things I did at Iona was sign up for any and all clubs that could help me make up for lost time.

I immediately became a member of the campus TV station ICTV (and later an Executive Producer), I joined WICR as a radio host (and later a board member) and I wrote for The Ionian, the campus newspaper.

These student groups were integral in developing my skills because a bulk of the work was done outside the classroom. You can learn a lot from industry professionals in the classroom but unless you’re going out there and putting their lessons into practice, you’re not going to excel to the best of your abilities.

What's your fondest Iona memory?
There are so many that involve the many friends I met at Iona. But there’s one night that sticks out in my head.

Professor Mike Damergis and I were covering a men’s basketball game at the Hynes Athletics Center. I was just learning how to recap the highlights of a game on-camera and I was being heckled by some fans for my inexperience. (It was warranted — I was terrible when I first started and Mike isn’t shy about admitting that.) But Mike stuck up for me and told the group of hecklers to back off.

After that, we grabbed wings at Beechmont Tavern with another journalism professor, Jack Breslin. It was snowing and I probably should have been on the road home but I couldn’t help but enjoy all the stories about the business both professors told over some wings. It was only up from there as my on-camera work covering basketball in some of the loudest gyms — and they started to get a lot better. It was moments like this that make Iona unlike any other school in my opinion.

Was there a professor, staff member, or peer who made an impact on you while you were at Iona? If so, who and why?
One of my professors, Mike Damergis, helped me foster my talent and passion once I decided to pursue this career in broadcast journalism under the major of Media & Strategic Communication at Iona. Mike stayed on campus late with me as I learned how to cover college basketball games and came in early to host shows with me in the campus TV studio. He never turned me down when I wanted to take a camera out to cover a campus news event. He was key in helping me get to where I am now.

Once you showed Mike you were whole heartedly in as a student, he would do anything to help you succeed. And that meant getting to do things through Iona that I had only dreamed about like covering the New York Mets, New York Giants and Westchester Knicks.

What advice do you have for a current Iona student who wants to follow a similar path?
My biggest piece of advice is to start early, get involved in every possible way, and go hard. That was the recipe for success for me. Make sure you understand the value of a good work ethic because this industry is demanding and requires sacrifice in order to be successful. You have to love it so much that you’ll do near anything to succeed in it. But the more you treat your student career as a professional career, you’ll be ready when you get that first job. Doing internships and getting involved in student-run groups are essential in getting a step ahead.

How would your family and friends describe you?
When describing me, especially when it comes to career, I think my family and friends would say I’m willing to be the hardest worker in the room. I may not always be, but that’s where my mind is at. I think they’d also say I’m motivated, caring and respectful. Those character traits can go a long way especially in your career.