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Danielle Sills says WOUB prepared her for CNN
ATHENS, OH – Former WOUB student Danielle Sills, BSJ ’09, never thought she’d see the day where working from home was something that was viable in the broadcast news industry. But, as a content producer for CNN Newsource in Atlanta, she has been working from home since the Coronavirus pandemic began.
“I had no idea this could happen. Working from home didn’t really seem like something that would ever happen in the news industry,” said Sills laughing. “Who knew?”
As a CNN content producer, Sills compiles breaking news reports, big stories and feature stories for CNN Newsource to share with affiliates across the country. During these trying times, she thinks local news stations are relying on CNN Newsource more than ever.
“It’s so important to have a variety of content to share with your viewers,” said Sills. “Sometimes people just need to get away from pandemic coverage with a silly giraffe story or an interesting water cooler story that affiliates are not going to find in their local communities every day. So, we help fill that gap.”
Being a content producer is not something Sills ever saw herself doing, but she says working at WOUB prepared her for anything. She started with an early morning radio shift at WOUB and even though she hated getting up and having to climb Jeff Hill at the crack of dawn, Sills says the experience was formative.
“When I started volunteering in the WOUB Newsroom I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do in broadcasting,” said Sills. “So, I thought WOUB would be a good place to try out different kinds of broadcasting jobs. Working the early mornings with Fred Kight (WOUB’s former assistant news director) was difficult. He was hard on me and all of us, but the experience taught me so much about sticking with something, learning and growing.”
Sills worked on the radio at WOUB and ACRN, she also was a reporter and anchor for WOUB TV’s Newswatch.
“I wanted to go all in for broadcast and learn everything I could and do everything I could do,” said Sills. “I did every job at WOUB and it was great exposure. After I tried everything out, I thought I wanted to work for NPR and work on music and cultural programming. I even got an internship at the NPR station in my hometown of Cleveland. I never really thought about producing TV, but a fellow WOUBer recommended me for a producing job at her station and that started me on the producing path.”
Sills worked in Louisville, Kentucky, Cleveland, Ohio and Houston, Texas as a television producer before moving to CNN.
“I felt like I was ahead of my peers when I graduated because of everything I learned at WOUB. That was the foundation of my education,” said Sills. “The friendships and networking relationships I made at WOUB have helped me get almost every single job that I got. It was a great experience.”