From Studio B to ABC
Jeremy Hubbard ’96 is co-anchor of ABC's "World News Now" and "America This Morning."
Jeremy Hubbard ’96 was familiar to WSU students and faculty in the mid-1990s. Now his face — and voice — are familiar to millions of early morning TV viewers nationwide, too.
The communication graduate’s profile has been increasing at ABC News, where earlier this year he became co-anchor of the network’s morning news programs “World News Now” and “America This Morning.” Hubbard also contributes reports to other ABC News broadcasts.
He hasn’t, however, forgotten his Shocker roots and gives Wichita State high marks for providing a storehouse of hands-on experience. “I can’t imagine my career taking the path it did had I not had all this real-world experience,” he says — experience, he adds, that “laid the groundwork for me.” Hubbard was part of Studio B, an on-air news show produced by WSU students. He also worked at a number of other jobs in south-central Kansas’ largest media market, including stints at KKRD as a disc jockey and in KFDI's newsroom.
During his senior year, he worked at KWCH-TV Channel 12, a post that proved to be his key career springboard. It was during his graduation party that then news director Gale Clevenger gave him a manila envelope containing a welcome surprise: a two-year general assignment reporter contract. It was his first full-time job in television — he was on his way.
The move to “World News Now” and “America This Morning” means some odd hours, since the shows air in the morning’s wee hours. WNN airs live in three half-hour segments starting at 2 a.m. EST Monday through Friday. Hubbard enjoys the lighter nature of WNN, which he says is “pretty loose. We have a lot of fun. It’s not a formal newscast.” Then, at 4:30 a.m. “America This Morning,” a 30-minute broadcast featuring headlines, live reports and sports, gets under way.
Hubbard readily admits the schedule is not conducive to a “normal” life for himself and his wife, Taunia Hottman ’97, also a broadcast journalist. “I’d like to go on a date with my wife on a Friday night, but a lot of times I’m sleeping,” he says.
Yet those early hours and extra effort can pay off. WNN has been the training ground for several anchors who have gone on to even bigger roles in TV news: Anderson Cooper and Aaron Brown are two examples. Working with the top names in TV news has always been a career desire of his. He grew up in western Colorado and moved to Utah and Garden City, Kan., before graduating from high school in Newton, Kan., in 1991.
Naturally, he was nervous when he started work at ABC News in New York with such network talent as Charles Gibson and Diane Sawyer, but they’ve been quite supportive, he says.
The network brass has been impressed with Hubbard’s work. Accolades have come from a number of his superiors, including ABC News President David Westin, who calls Hubbard “an inquisitive reporter who has distinguished himself time and again.” Westin gives him especially high marks for his coverage of the deadly shootings at Northern Illinois University.
Hubbard’s peers have recognized him, too, as he has been awarded several honors for his reporting, including a national Edward R. Murrow award and the national Sigma Delta Chi award from the Society of Professional Journalists. He also is the recipient of three regional Edward R. Murrow awards and regional Emmy awards for both reporting and anchoring.
While Hubbard has moved up quickly in his career, including stops in Kansas City, Mo., Denver and Chicago, he hasn’t forgotten his initial training ground, and this past summer visited WSU, where he spoke to several classes about his career and gave credit to his instructors.
The faculty at the Elliott School, especially professor Les Anderson and former WSU professor Jess Huxman, were vital to his progress, Hubbard says. “They have real-world experience, know what they’re talking about and are very supportive.
“From the very beginning, they want you to succeed.”
— David Dinell ’05