Anchor Andrea Finney
Andrea Finney anchors the 5, 6, and 8 a.m. hours of the FOX 19 NOW morning news. She was hired in October 2021, but her television journey started when she was just a child.
Andrea says her grandmother beat the odds but maintained her modest residence in the less affluent community of College Station, Arkansas, just outside of Little Rock. It’s where her grandmother raised her family. Andrea says she has always been inspired by the matriarch of her family, watching her grandmother become State Representative of District 65, President of the Progressive League of College Station, and a business owner. So, at a very young age, Andrea learned about the qualities of diligence, dedication, and perseverance.
In that same underprivileged community, Mt. Nebo AME Church provided Andrea with her first opportunity to begin public speaking. She says she still remembers her grandmother saying, “Speak LOUDLY ... and clearly! I want to hear you in the back of the church.” And with a bit of practice and hard work, she mastered speaking in front of an audience. It set Andrea’s foundation and gave her tools she would use later in life.
Andrea got her start in her hometown at KATV Channel 7 News. There, she hosted a popular feature, “The Morning Juice,” covering a wide range of topics from the latest in entertainment news to the controversy surrounding religious freedom laws in Arkansas and Indiana. But it wasn’t until the Charleston shooting at Mother Emanuel AME Church in South Carolina that revealed her calling to tell stories that impact the lives of everyday people.
The AME Church is already connected through areas, conferences, and districts, but Andrea says saw the connectional level at its finest as her church members from the 12th District reached out to offer love and support to those in the 7th District. Mother Emmanuel had been marred by tragedy. She says it left most AMEs across the country in distress. As her news station worked to cover the heart-wrenching blow from a local perspective, Andrea linked reporters to the 12th District’s bishop, local AME members, and even other AMEs who knew the fallen members in Charleston. It was then, she says she realized her need to do more. Gun laws once again became a hot topic and Channel 7 is where Andrea says her love for policy, government, and its impact upon the lives of everyday people was born. She says knew she wanted to be a trustworthy journalist who weeds through fiction and presents the facts, but one who also cares genuinely about people.
That message became clearer to Andrea when KTBS First News in Shreveport threw her right into the swing of general reporting just as she was hired. On her third day of work, she was sent to cover the floods of August 2016 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and she says it was an eye-opening experience. Growing up, she saw poverty-stricken conditions, but the floods completely washed away neighborhoods and businesses. She and her photographer filmed from boats as both emergency crews and everyday people worked to rescue others from their homes. Andrea heard stories from people who came from other parts of the state simply to help, but she says she also witnessed many tears as people struggled to figure out their next move after losing absolutely everything. She saw how hundreds of people slept on small cots at Red Cross shelters and people wading through water to see if anything from their businesses could be salvaged. Andrea says it made her even more grateful for the opportunity to demonstrate what was happening and motivate others to help. Andrea also often connected with her local community and its leaders as the 9 a.m. and Midday news anchor. In interviews on her shows, she strove to highlight events that benefitted residents, invited city councilmen, state leaders, and U.S. congressmen to share how new laws and policies would affect the public.
As main anchor at News Channel Five, Andrea developed investigative skills through continuing coverage of fraud in government assistance programs, shedding light on the tens of millions of dollars worth of waste, the thousands of people being removed from the program, and the overhaul of the Medicaid application process. As the Weekend Anchor at CBS 21 News, she experienced the Coronavirus pandemic and its impact on residents locally and nationally.
Andrea says she still longs to accomplish much more in her career. Thinking of her grandmother, she says she aspires to surpass her goals and never stop dreaming. With continued dedication to her craft, she says she believes she can be anything she wants to be, so Andrea’s simply getting ready.
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