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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Getting To Know....Rick Sanchez

In the coming months we're going to give you a chance to get to know your favorite CNN personalities a little better. We start with Rick Sanchez, anchor of CNN Newsroom on Saturday and Sunday evenings. Rick also gives updates from the CNN en EspaƱol anchor desk on weekends with Claudia Palacios at 8:30pm.

1. What was your big break?

A WCCO/CBS scholarship to study Journalism at the University of Minnesota. My parents are immigrants who never exceeded 11,000 thousand dollars a year in annual income. Without the scholarship, I likely would not have been able to become a journalist.

2. What profession, other than your own, would you like to attempt? What one would you dislike attempting?

I love sports, would love to coach baseball or football or broadcast baseball or football. I could never see myself as a politician; I wonder how most of them can look at themselves in the mirror at the end of the day.

3. What's on your iPod? What's in your Netflix queue? What was the last book you read (or the one that you're currently reading)?

CNN just gave me an iPod, I have no idea how it works. I’ve never listened to music of any type except background noise; I think it gets in the way of thinking. Never owned a stereo, never watched music videos. No Netflix, more fun to take my kids to blockbuster a block away and roam the isles and then argue at the check-out counter about why they can't get candy. Books: "After Fidel" by Brian Latell and "Quantum Golf, the path to golf mastery" by Kyell Enhager.

4. Please tell us a little about the off camera Rick Sanchez... Your family, hobbies, favorite authors and favorite episodic television.

Four kids, a wife, a dog and two turtles. Nuff said! No seriously, like most people, my life is a balancing act between work and home. Sometimes it's the squeakiest wheel that gets the immediate attention and you just hope that everyone and everything is getting the appropriate attention. I wouldn't trade my blessings for anything, but really, I'm just a dad who spends a part of every day wondering if he's doing right by his family -- while never quite feeling quite like I've nailed it.

5. What are the essentials when traveling to cover a story?

As I sit here and write these answers, I’m sitting in the hotel lobby at the Marriott in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. I’m covering the Rios summit between Latin American presidents, yes; there are other presidents in Latin America besides castor and Chavez. The essential to traveling to cover a story is your crew: a good producer who's organized and a shooter who's technically savvy. If I don't have to think about logistics etc, I’m free to work the story.

6. What's your favorite must have gadget?

TiVo, or DVR or whatever you call it.

7. As a child what was your favorite toy, vacation place and favorite teacher?

When we first came to the U.S. from Cuba, we were so poor my parents could not afford to buy us toys. None! My brother and I found plastic toy soldiers buried in the ground one day and played with them for years, it was our first and most treasured toy collection in America.

8. Live television can be unpredictable -- can you tell us about an on air moment that didn't go quite as planned?

I once transposed a word and embarrassed myself by saying that "ling ling, the panda bear loaned to us by the Chinese republic had gone berserk and (the copy said 'mauled' it's trainer), I said balled his trainer. Oops! I think the floor crew is still rolling around on the ground laughing.

9. What's been your most difficult assignment as a journalist to date?

Covering Cuba and the Castro Revolution. It’s hard to separate the personal from the professional when it's the country you were born in.

10. If you could pick one story from history to cover, what would be your dream story be?

The McCarthy era, I wonder if I would have had the guts to say, “this is wrong.” In many ways I see comparisons to what we're living now.

11. What is your guilty pleasure?

Peanut butter milkshakes and flaming oxtail.

12. Where is your favourite place in the entire world?

Any place where I’m surrounded by my wife and kids. Preferably Christmas morning.

13. When did you decide that you wanted to be a journalist? What attracted you to this professional? If journalism wasn't your initial career goal, what was?

It was decided for me; some professors approached me and said they wanted to recommend me for a broadcast journalism scholarship at the University of Minnesota. They said I had to take a bunch or tests and interviews. They said only three students would be chosen and there were five thousand entrants. I remember telling them it was a waste of time because no body on TV in the U.S. looked like me, they were all white men. I applied, I was chosen and the rest is history.

We want to thank Rick for taking the time to share a bit of himself with us. He's one very interesting guy. I've never had the pleasure of trying flaming oxtail. But if it's a RS favorite maybe we should all give it a try?

We'll be doing this again next week with Kyra Phillips. If you have anyone you'd like to request for an interview or suggestions for questions we'd love to hear from you. ~ Phebe

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Anonymous said...

I think AC 360 will benefit greatly from MSNBC'c
decision to replay Countdown at 10pm.
Anderson will be live and has a loyal following.
I know people who only watch MSNBC for
the doc bloc and nothing else.

Anonymous said...

Ratins Guru maybe it is just me. But I think
the changes at MSNBC have to do with problems
in the ratings. If you look at TV Newser there
are times when HLN's Beck repeat beats
Abrams in viewers and demo. Also, there
are times HLN beats MSNBC in the demo
at 6pm and at times 5pm. It will be interesting
to see how Campbell does at 8pm . She is
officially on CNN for the hour with the
Election Center with her new show coming
up.That is just MHO.

Sapphire said...

I love this "Getting To Know You" with Rick Sanchez... I really enjoy watching him so I loved reading his answers. Thanks so much Rick for taking the time to answer so great questions.

Rating Guru - thanks for the write up.

Ratingsguru said...

There is no question Dan Abrams' program at 9PM is a weak link in the MSNBC line-up. Tucker was the weakest outside of primetime, but with the promos for the new line up of David Gregory (politics) Chris Matthews (politics) Keith Olbermann (news/politics), Dan Abrams (legal) and a repeat of Keith Olbermann of news/politics - they are going right after CNN. They have beaten CNN consistently at 8PM, lose at 9PM and sometimes win at 10PM. MSNBC is looking for more branding and consistency of content as noted in their new promos about the line-up.
As we can say, the tale will be in the numbers...Campbell Brown will have her work cut out for her to beat Olbermann, but it's doable. Beating O'Reilly, well that's a different story - he has a very loyal and old audience - very tough to erode that away with a new program on CNN.
And the 10PM rebroadcast - well if AC360 keeps posting the numbers it has been in the last two weeks, it will be tough to beat.
Unfair or not, HLN is a force to be reckoned with, but it just isn't thought of as in the league of the "big three" - Fox News, CNN and MSNBC. Commentary/information and opinion with Beck/Grace has started to work well for HLN - no question - even with later evening rebroadcasts.
Let me know what you think of the new MSNBC line-up once it's been on the air a few weeks.

Anonymous said...

Rick Sanchez is the best journalist I have seen. He is honest, sincere, and gorgeous.We need more of Sanchez.

Anonymous said...

CNN needs to hire Sanchez on a regular basis. How can we tell them?When can we tune in to hear him? He is fabulous!

Anonymous said...

I saw Rick on CNN last night. He was in Philadelphia doing a story.He was wonderful-never a dull moment!!! More! More!

Anonymous said...

I would not switch channels if CNN had Rick Sanchez as a regular.He is magnificant as a journalist.

Anonymous said...

Has CNN finally seen the light? I am thoroughly enjoying Rick Sanchez!Please keep him on this time.

Anonymous said...

Rick Sanchez is the best reporter/journalist on TV. Please let us see more of him.He is so gorgeous!!!!

Anonymous said...

I adore Rick Sanchez.He is the absolute BEST!!!!

Anonymous said...

I adore Rick Sanchez.He is the absolute BEST!!!!

Anonymous said...

I adore Rick Sanchez.He is the absolute BEST!!!!

Anonymous said...

I agree with those who like Rick Sanchez. He is super!!!I hope he does not allow negative comments from obvious idiots to offend him.He needs a thick skin,but should remember that most critics are uneducated or jealous.

Anonymous said...

My opinion of Rick Sanchez may not be important,but I think he is a fine journalist. I also admire him as a family man. What more can you say about a human being? Family is important!I do wish he could be on CNN on a daily basis. I am retired and keep my TV set on CNN all day.He is such a joy to watch.

Phebe said...

Stayed tuned anonymous commenter, it is rumored that Rick Sanchez will get his own hour in the CNN line up sometime in the Fall.

TrevorinSanJose said...

Rick Sanchez 4 Prez. Evry1 shud have a RickSanchez4Prez sign on th'r face.

Anonymous said...

Good luck spewing you rhetoric somewhere else , even CNN doesn't want you know. Kharma?

Michael Luna said...

Rich Sanchez is a gutsy-informed journalist who reflects the thinking of many. Too bad he doesn't take the more conservative-safe route and let other interviewees do his thinking for him, such as several other newscasters. Rick is courageous and I hope to see him again on some network. He would be a perfect challenge in balance for the fox network.

Anonymous said...

Rich Sanchez is gutsy, courageous and smart. Great questioning. Put him on screen more often. He would be great for a late night program.

Anonymous said...