Carley Shimkus '09

The early bird may catch the worm, but Carley Shimkus '09 is not looking for worms when she arrives at Fox Business Network in Manhattan between 3:30 and 4 a.m. weekdays.

Instead, she awaits the arrival of her boss, Don Imus, whose syndicated "Imus in the Morning" radio show is simultaneously televised on FBN. Shimkus escorts him to makeup, grabs him black coffee with two shots of espresso, and anything else he needs including background info on guests. It's all part of her job as associate producer.

The journalism major began as a production assistant with the infamous Imus when Fox picked up his show in Fall 2009. An internship with Fox News in Washington, D.C., during her junior year led to Fox Business hiring her after graduation.

"I am learning a lot from Imus. He's an expert interviewer who listens to his guests when they talk and asks questions others might miss," she said. Shimkus also admires Connell McShane and Dagan McDowell, the show's news anchor and business correspondent, respectively, who treat her like a younger sister.

During the live broadcast, Shimkus works in the studio and control room. Some of her duties include serving as a WABC radio liaison, collecting graphics to make the show visually interesting and helping editors assemble weekend "Best of Imus" shows. Recently, she was field producer for the program's new "Man on the Street" segment.

One of her favorite roles is shaping the experience for guests who appear on the program, from makeup and green room to post-interview. "I find out if there is anything specific they want to talk about. Sometimes they are nervous, but they usually leave beaming because they had a great time talking to Imus, and it's nice to be a part of that process," she said.

On Imus.com, some of her behind-the-scenes interviews are posted with Bill O'Reilly, Gov. Chris Christie, Hulk Hogan, Ron White, Neil Cavuto and Tony Danza.

"I feel lucky because I get to laugh out loud every day, and I often hear great bands performing in studio while I'm plugging away," she said.

This story was adapted from the Spring 2013 issue of the Quinnipiac Magazine.

 

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