Alisyn Camerota is the co-host of CNN’s New Day with Chris Cuomo every weekday. Before that she worked at Fox news (I know a big change in style going to CNN). So she knows a thing or two about hosting a morning news show. In her new book she Amanda Wakes Up (Viking; in stores Tuesday, July 25), she puts it to good use. The book is just an awesome look at what a morning show is like to work at and also how it can take its toll on your personal life.
Amanda Gallo went from a small time market as a reporter to New York City where she’s still working as a reporter but not getting much in the way of big stories or a big paycheck. When she is near a bank robbery it turns out to be the big break she needs. She is praised for her coverage and exclusive interviews she got. Now a new cable network is starting up to compete with CNN and Fox news. It’s called FAIR news and it aims to be fair. They want the news to look at both side of an issue without the stigma of being on the left or the right. Amanda has been hired as a reporter for the station.
She’s not really sure about the format but goes for it. Impressed with the way she’s been doing her job, she’s offered a chance to audition for the morning co-host job. Something she has never done before. She thinks she bombed it but the people in charge loved her and offer her the job. So now she will get a big bump in pay and have to get up at 3am every weekday to do the show.
She loves the pay, the attention and the fact she gets to do a morning show. What she doesn’t like is how the show/station has to be fair and look at both sides of the issue. There are times where she wants to call BS on something but isn’t allowed. It also takes its toll on her personal life with her boyfriend Charlie who is not a fan of the station or format. The more Amanda does it, the more frustrated she gets until she decides to break format and call out a Presidential candidate live on air. This doesn’t go over well and she is soon suspended and also ends up breaking up with Charlie.
Now Amanda has to re-evaluate everything about the job, the station and her career. She’s a journalist and she feels she is being held back by the station. She will soon have to make a decision on what her future will hold.
Part of the story centers around a heated Presidential election and a shady candidate (who I am guessing is based on Trump but it’s not stated anywhere it is). It’s a fascinating look at the behind the scenes of a morning cable news show and how everything works and is put together. The hours, the pressure to get ratings and the race to get the big name celebrities is all covered as well.
This is one of my top books of the year and with the insight Alisyn has being in the business I can guarantee that a lot of the situations in the book are accurate (even though it is a novel). So whether you’re a fan of Fox, CNN, MSNBC, Today, GMA or any other daily show, this is the book that shows you what it is like to work on one!
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