On Thursday, Nischelle Turner was named the brand new co-host of celeb information present Leisure Tonight. Her promotion makes historical past, as she is the primary Black lady to host the present.
She’s going to be a part of Kevin Frazier, one other Black host, and collectively, the duo marks the primary time Leisure Tonight has been absolutely hosted by Black anchors after 40 years on air.
When Turner heard the information about her promotion, she cried.
“The tears simply fell for a lot of totally different causes,” Turner mentioned. “However I feel the largest factor is that I did not anticipate it. It shook every little thing up in one of the best ways attainable.
“My mom used to all the time say that if it is for you, it will be for you,” she mentioned.
Turner has held onto this phrase all all through her profession as a journalist for greater than 20 years.
In that point, she has had quite a lot of experiences.
Throughout Turner’s time on the Missouri College of Journalism, she was a reporter for KOMU. After graduating in 1998 with a bachelor’s diploma in broadcast information, she went on to work as a reporter and anchor in Evansville, Indiana, and later New Orleans. After that, she lined sports activities for Fox. Later, she joined she joined KTTV in Los Angeles the place she was a reporter for “Good Day LA” and anchor for “Good Day LA Weekend.”
Now, along with being a bunch for Leisure Tonight’s nightly broadcast, she additionally contributes to CNN’s leisure segments, together with “CNN Newsroom,” “New Day” and “CNN Tonight.”
Despite the fact that Turner has discovered her dwelling at Leisure Tonight since she joined as a correspondent and weekend co-host in 2014, the four-time Emmy Award-winning journalist doesn’t overlook her origins.
Turner grew up in Columbia and attended Rock Bridge Elementary, Jefferson Center College and Rock Bridge Excessive College. Though she’s had many experiences in Columbia, she finds that her schooling was one of the crucial necessary.
“My mom did not have an enormous formal schooling, and neither did my grandmother,” Turner mentioned. “However they all the time knew the significance of schooling and all the time pushed me to consider no matter I believed I might do, that may be so.”
She mentioned that angle is attribute of Columbia as an entire.
“We are the little city caught in the midst of St. Louis and Kansas Metropolis that produces a few of the greatest and brightest on this nation,” Turner mentioned. “I am so pleased with the place I come from.”
Turner’s faculty years had been a few of the most pivotal for her. At MU, she bought her first introduction to what she could be doing for the remainder of her profession.
“After I walked into KOMU on my first day, I used to be horrible,” she mentioned. “I actually wasn’t good. However Stacey Woelfel, who was the brand new director on the time and my professor, noticed one thing in me, and I stored coming again, and he put me to work.”
Together with the onerous work and dedication that launched her into her profession, Turner turned to inspiration from people who got here earlier than her, particularly Black girls journalists. All of it started when she noticed her first Black lady journalist on tv, fellow Missouri College of Journalism alumna April Eaton.
“I bear in mind after I was child (seeing her), and I believed, ‘Whoa,'” Turner mentioned. “I bear in mind to today as a result of photos matter, seeing anyone that appears such as you issues.”
Turner hopes to be that instance for different folks who come after her.
“I would like the little ladies at dwelling, whether or not she’s in central Missouri or wherever, to take a look at me and say, ‘That picture issues,'” Turner mentioned.
“Whether or not it was April Eaton, or Carole Simpson or Oprah Winfrey, I am hoping to observe in these footsteps and stand on these shoulders — and people are some broad shoulders that got here earlier than me — and be the stepping stone for another person.”
In her new function, Turner additionally hopes to pay ahead the help her group has given to her. She was introduced up in a household that believes in a lifetime of service, she mentioned, together with not forgetting the place you come from.
“I’ve had a lot help from central Missouri,” Turner mentioned. “It is overwhelming how a lot help my area people has given me. It is actually self-affirming, and it is actually particular.”