Kari Lake: FOX 10 Anchor

Kari Lake, anchor for FOX 10, photographed at the FOX 10 Studios in Phoenix, by Nicki Escudero

Kari Lake, anchor for FOX 10, photographed at the FOX 10 Studios in Phoenix, by Nicki Escudero

Kari Lake

Kari Lake is one half of the longest-running news team in the Valley, “Hook & Lake,” with co-anchor John Hook on FOX 10. The Iowa-raised Lake has been on Valley airwaves for nearly 20 years and can be seen weeknights on the 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. newscasts. The Phoenix resident says she’s perfectly content with her career and offers up advice for aspiring anchors. Keep scrolling, too, to see a video of her name her five favorite reasons for living in Arizona.

What brought you to Arizona?

A job at Channel 12 brought me here in 1994, but I also had family here, as well. I had sent my sister a tape just to say, “Hey, look, I’m on TV! Here’s some of my work.” I didn’t even apply, but she knew somebody who knew somebody who was at Channel 12.

All of a sudden, I got a call one day from Sean McLaughlin (now an anchor for Channel 5) who said, “Hey, we want you to come out and interview for the job.” It was for news and weather anchoring and reporting.

What was your professional career like before you got to Phoenix?

When I was in my last year of college, I was already working in TV. The station where I was interning hired me as an associate producer, a behind-the-scenes job. One day, someone had called in sick, and I was asked to shoot a story with a stand-up. It was a story on old historic homes that had been renovated. I did an entire piece on it, and it ran that Sunday night at 10 o’clock. It was one of my most proud moments — my first story that made the news!

I found out there was a job opening in town for anchoring, weather and reporting. With the piece that had made air, I put that on tape and had a friend get me on the green screen for weather.

Once I got on the air, I was horrible at weather. My first live weathercast was New Year’s Eve. I didn’t get to the set in time to catch my breath, so I proceeded to pant and hyperventilate through the entire weathercast. It was painful. I was really nervous and unskilled for about a year, but then I thought, “You know, I can do this. I just need to take a positive attitude.” When I changed my attitude, things improved really quickly. I spent about a year and a half doing that before I got my job in Phoenix.

I came to Arizona on one of the hottest days of the year and immediately loved it. I like to joke I slithered into Phoenix, the happiest reptile on the planet.

I wanted to be the main news anchor somewhere because I was doing weekends at Channel 12. They wanted me to stay, but I wanted to spread my wings and do something different. I had received an offer to do a tabloid type show out in Hollywood, but I just didn’t feel like that kind of person.

I went to Albany, New York, which is a really serious news market. It’s also a very political news market. I love politics and wanted to cover them, and I learned so much in the little over a year I was there.

My current news director called me and said, “I may have an opening here (in Arizona.) You’re the first person that came to mind. What’s your situation?” I said, “I will figure out a way to get back there.” My husband and I were really missing the sunshine.

What’s your first memory of wanting to be an anchor?

I wasn’t someone who wanted to be an anchor since I was little – I wanted to be a teacher or a beautician or a pharmacist. I never even thought about wanting to be an anchor because we weren’t allowed to watch TV as kids. We had nine kids in our family, and one day my dad said, “No more TV.” I was maybe 8 or 9. We’d only watch TV on Saturday nights, and it was a lot of The Love Boat and Fantasy Island.

When I went off to college, I was going to be an elementary school teacher, and after two years, I ran out of money. I dropped out of school and got a job at a radio station, which shared a building with the TV station. I didn’t even know these jobs existed. I knew Walter Cronkite and Tom Brokaw, but it didn’t hit me this was a job anyone could do until I got into radio sales.

I worked in radio sales for a year, then moved to Minnesota to help with a sick relative. I started watching a lot of local news there. A year later, I went back to college and decided to work toward becoming a news reporter instead of a teacher. I was incredibly focused and really motivated.

What’s your typical week like?

I get in at 1:30 p.m. and have an editorial meeting. I have promo shoots, more meetings going over the early shows, and I help pick stories for the late show. I go out on the set around 4:30 for the 5 p.m. show.

I take a quick dinner break, then we have a meeting, go over stories and scripts, record voiceovers for the 9 p.m. show, and we go on the air for the late show. I’m usually out the door by 10:30.

It’s not a perfect schedule, but I really like it. If I have time for a dinner break, I try to drive home and see my kids. We try to prioritize weekend time for the family. For my life, I like working nights. I’m a night person.

What are your goals?

I don’t have any major goals. I always feel like goals keep people living too far in the future. I try to live in the moment. As long as I have this job, I’ll do it. I don’t keep my eye too far on the future. I try to keep it on the present.

What are your predictions for the local news business with the emergence of digital citizen reporters on social media?

It’s changed so much in the past five years. We’ve brought social media into the fold, so every story we’re covering is being put out on social media.

We also have received so many story ideas, tips and pieces of video from our social media contacts. I think it can all work together. And it’s exciting to see how it’s all changed and evolved in such a short window of time. I don’t think local news is going anywhere. We still tell stories, and if you do that well in a compelling way, people will be interested.

Why is it important for people to tune into local news?

It’s important if you want to know what’s going on in your local community, and more than that, I think people tune into FOX 10 because they like the people giving them the news.

I work with a lot of great journalists and people who have lived in the community a long time. We’re not a revolving door here. The people bring the depth of living here for a long time to what they cover. They’re likable people and fun to be around.

What makes a great news anchor, and what makes you a great news anchor?

You have to feel a connection to what you’re doing, whether you are an anchor, a dishwasher, a teacher, or a firefighter. When you’re present in the job you’re doing, you’re going to do great at it. I’m passionate about what I’m doing no matter what it is, whether it be anchoring the 5 and 9 p.m. news, cooking a Sunday dinner, going over homework with the kids, or cleaning the garage. Give it your all, and you will succeed.

A good news anchor is also someone you like and trust, and someone who can make you laugh a little bit.

What are your tips for interviewing?

Whenever I do an interview, I try to understand where that person’s coming from. Sometimes you’re interviewing someone people don’t like, and I’m still trying to understand, “Where is this person coming from?” I believe people make decisions based on experiences they’ve had and the information they have. They’re not choosing to be bad people.

Listening is important. Sometimes you want to ask a bunch of questions and not let the other person talk. Listening is an important skill that must be mastered to do good interviews.

What are your tips for interviewing someone who doesn’t really want to talk to you?

Sometimes silence can be uncomfortable, but it might make the other person uncomfortable enough to speak and give you that answer. Try not to ask questions with “yes/no” answers, and try to get them to expound a bit. Don’t be tempted to jump in with another question before they’ve had time to answer.

What’s your most memorable interview?

I’ve interviewed a lot of amazing people, but sometimes it’s the person on just your average news story, the person you interview whose child is in the hospital, for example, who makes a huge impact. They’re not people who I could give you their name, but I remember the story touched me. Some everyday people I’ve interviewed have affected me where I’ve walked away from them with goosebumps.

What’s a notable issue you see affecting the Arizona community?

I think immigration is huge and goes beyond Arizona to Washington (D.C.) I think this is ground zero for immigration, and it’s going to cause a lot of angst in Arizona on both sides of the issue, because not everybody is going to get what they want.

I really believe we all need to come together. I feel like we all get really set in our beliefs. I really enjoy sitting down with someone I feel has completely opposite views than I have, because I get to understand where they’re coming from. If we all start understanding why people feel a certain way, we can come up with an idea that at least makes everyone a little bit happy with the situation.

How do you stay calm under pressure when things go wrong?

Things go wrong all the time. I think the key is not to act like nothing’s going wrong. There’s a line between “don’t draw attention to this” and “let the viewer in on it.” When there’s a complete meltdown, sometimes you just have to throw your hands up and say, “Let me say that again,” or “We’re having some problems here.” Sometimes it’s not obvious to the viewers at home, and there’s no reason to draw attention to it. Never get mad when things are going wrong on live TV.

What do you do for fun when you’re not working?

I’m such a hermit. Whenever I have time available, I’m usually home with my kids and my husband.

Learn more about FOX 10 anchor Ron Hoon here on Phoenix People.

29 thoughts on “Kari Lake: FOX 10 Anchor

  1. Here visiting from Utah. I found Fox 10 more to my liking after surfing the other local news channels. I particularily enjoy Kari Lake as an anchor. She has a pleasant delivery and is professional when a sense of humor is appropriare. I was also impressed with your sports news staff and their reports on the Suns and D-Backs.

  2. The anchors on Fox10 are really the best and I feel they really represent the people in Arizona. I know Kari Lake is from Iowa but is she Hispanic? She is so professional and I enjoy listening to her pleasant voice. Robert Martinez

  3. Hi Kari,
    I don’t mean to be rude or impertinent but I would love to know where you get your beautiful dresses. Do you have a dressmaker?

  4. Kari is the most beautiful lady on the news. Her Husband is a lucky man. She make the news worth watching not only for jer experience nut also for he beautiful looks. Go Kari You are sooooo hoootttttt.

  5. My husband and I are so happy for your choice pick for the white house interview. You’ll do spectacular. A gal from Iowa, what IS your nationality?

  6. Is it true a condition of your interview with the president was you had to throw out a softball question about the president’s Supreme Court nomination? Was it worth it…to sell your professional integrity…to do the bidding of a poweful man for your own promotion?

  7. KARI……My friends son has been missing for 8 days now here in Phoenix…He is on the Missing Persons list please BROADCAST!!!
    I have him posted on my Facebook page.
    Thank You!

  8. I don’t know if this is correct forum for my comments, however since I don’t do Facebook or Twitter or any other so called social networking I was unable to find another avenue for my frustration. I was born in the 50’s, and many would feel my time has come and gone. So many things in this country have changed, I hardly recognize it as my own. The morals and values that I was raised with are long since gone. It simply makes me feel like an alien in my own country. I usually sit back and stay silent about things that seem to be alright with others but chap my ass severely! Jobs are given to those, not for experience and background history,but he who can best BS their way through an interview , once hired, to find out they have no clue what they are doing! Politics are a contest of notoriety and personality more than what a person stands for and their moral values. How do they come across and look in the public eye through the lens of a slanted media?
    I believe I was born at least a decade late, as the America I grew up in although it was a great place , no longer exists!
    I could go on and on with example after example, I will spare you the monotony.
    The latest example is that of the 4 members of the the US swim team in Rio! Now doesn’t that make you proud to be an American?
    I have traveled abroad, and always tried to be a good embassador for the US. Trying very hard not to embarrass the Americans as a people by my stupid selfish actions.
    Here we have athletes that have supposedly trained all of their lives in their chosen sport to represent us as Americans, yet they are so full of themselves that they think they can do no wrong and are above the common courtesy’s a and laws that the rest of people on this planet are expected to observe!
    It just sickens me! Makes me embarrassed to say that I’m an American.
    I remember when recognition in the Olympics was a sense of national pride! Now it has become a sense of embarrassment!
    Thank you US swim team!
    This is just one more reason I feel I have lived too long! It can’t be everybody else that is wrong, it must be me.


  9. Want to advise Kari, Trump and Arpaio are not anti immigration as you stated on election night. But they, like so many of us, are anti illegal immigration. You absolutely misspoke. Please get it right. This is an example of why many people are very dissatisfied with typical media reporting.

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  12. Kari I like your work .But I wonder if you know that Trump is NOW present and Obummer is a former !!!!! Please STOP saying he is .Listen to the tapes of the show you do it all the time Really we know yo no Fox

  13. April 25, 2017-Tuesday, 9:00pm; Kari, love what you have on this evening, green blouse with white pants…..love it, love it!! So becoming on you! Hope you diversify your wardrobe more, I am not fond of your ‘large printed dresses’….sorry. But I really do like and admire you, you and John are all I watch because you are relaxed while briefing us with news and make bad news not quite so bad! Thanks!

  14. On a recent broadcast you left the insinuation hanging out there that the water haulers delivering water to residents of New River are in fact stealing that water. You should issue an on air apology to them. They have legal permits issued by the City of Phoenix and use only designated hydrants assigned to them by the City of Phoenix.

  15. There is absolutely no need for an apology necessary for telling the truth, even if it disagrees with the street activists who have no interest in fairness and balance. The ones whose actual partisan moves might be uncovered. Best of luck.

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