Bulldawg Illustrated continues its series, featuring long-time UGA personalities of the Fourth Estate. There are many who are published authors along with network television superstars. Our fifth installment spotlights Grady alumna Amy Robach, who despite her TV fame remains grounded being a mother, while remaining one of the best in the business.
Most mornings, even with an early rising routine, I, at some point, monitor the news and features of “Good Morning America,” mainly because of the sprightly contributions of Amy Robach, a distinguished University of Georgia graduate.
Versatile and introspective, Amy began producing news for the Grady College of Journalism when she was a precocious student who sensed that the real-life studio out there was a far cry from the campus—except for one thing. One professor, actually.
David Hazinski knew what it would be like for his students if they were fortunate to make it in the television world. It was cutthroat, it was dog eat dog and it was demanding and unrelenting.
None of that fazed her. She enjoyed the hassle and the unforgiving atmosphere which hovered over her each day as she produced news stories which were far from a diet of pablum, even in a collegiate learning environment. Such as interviewing the father of a student who had come to her dorm to gather her belongings after the daughter had committed suicide.
Her route to preeminence had her doing news in small markets followed by a stint at WTTG in Washington, D. C. No assignment was too meaningless for her, she was willing to get her hands dirty and before you knew it, she moved to MSNBC in 2003. She then became co-anchor of Weekend Today where she worked for five years before joining ABC News.
Initially, she appeared on “Good Morning America,” as a correspondent and became the show’s news anchor in 2014. In 2018, Robach became the new co-anchor of ABC’s 20/20. She has an important role in the lives of millions of Americans and there is no reluctance to remind everybody she is a proud graduate of UGA.
After bragging on Georgia winning the national championship following the defeat of Alabama in Indianapolis, a colleague remarked on air, “Thanks Amy for that objective report.” Whenever and wherever she can speak up for Georgia and the “Dawgs,” she has no reluctance. She’ll give you a broadside.
There has always been an unabated curiosity about those who climb the mountain, how they function and how they view life from an elevated station. It is always inspiring to interact with those who are the best at what they do.
At schools of Journalism across the country, there are countless young women with the beauty of Aphrodite and the intellect of Athena. Many aspire for lofty network status, but few, however, are chosen. Amy is one who has made it big.
You observe Amy’s smiling countenance on “Good Morning America,” and you see talent, poise and comportment that confirms she performs before the camera as effortlessly as a brick mason who has been at his craft for decades; a concert pianist who is flawless on the keyboard at Carnegie Hall; a pilot landing a jetliner for the 300th time at Heathrow.
There is a savory regard and seasoned respect for her on the air presence and compelling stories for the network. She is good at what she does, very good, but when her workday is done, she takes time to be a homemaker and a mother. In some ways, she is an everyday mom as much as anything. Her work is important. Her homemaking responsibilities are equally important.
Born in Michigan, Amy spent her teenage years in Gwinnett County and was educated at the Henry Grady College of Journalism at the University of Georgia. It was in Athens that she came to appreciate the beauty of the campus, the fun Between the Hedges of Sanford Stadium on Saturday afternoon and the intellectual motivation of a journalism faculty which underscored a noteworthy blueprint for success—principally to use your brain for the ultimate achievement in life and roll up your sleeves and go to work expecting no free lunch.
There is fervid praise for her alma mater in that while her undergraduate days were an over-the-top experience, she was also the beneficiary of “a phenomenal education.” She majored in broadcast journalism with a minor in political science. “I felt that I walked away (from campus) after those four wonderful years with what I needed to go out in the real world and succeed.
“I can’t speak highly enough about the journalism school at the University of Georgia and how it exposed me to the ethics involved, how to manage media law, and all the things you need to know when you’re writing a story–and making sure you’re being objective as much as you can. I felt like I had street smarts to be successful when I walked into my first newsroom as the result of the education and experience, I got at the University of Georgia.”
She is a cancer survivor who underwent a mammogram, as a favor to her colleague Robin Roberts, on national television. She discovered that she had cancer. Her amazing story has resulted in countless women becoming proactive by scheduling a mammogram, post haste. They write her every day about her influence. Her story has made them reach out to their doctor for an appointment without delay.
The result is that Amy is saving lives every day and simply says, “The reaction has been overwhelming.” With abundant humility and gratefulness, she is keenly aware that the most important life she saved was her own.