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20 in Their 20s: Brianna Leverty

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A TV producer distills the day’s big news

“It’s your world in 90 seconds.” That’s how Gayle King, co-host of CBS Mornings, introduces the show’s 8 a.m. Eye Opener, a segment that gives viewers a taste of all the big stories the CBS news team is covering. But the work for that segment begins with associate producer Brianna Leverty, who arrives at the Manhattan studio in the wee hours.

“When I get in, I’m immediately reading every story we have in our rundown for the day and then going through and seeing what the best pieces of sound are, the best pieces of video that we’ve obtained, and then putting it all together in a script,” Leverty says. “It’s not just one story you’re working on—you’re looking at all the big stories of the day, so the content varies, which is exciting.”

A ‘Pinch Me’ Moment at the Super Bowl

For Leverty, a 2020 Fordham College at Rose Hill graduate, working under tight deadlines is nothing new. She majored in journalism and film and television, and had multiple internships, including one as a production intern on MSNBC Live with Craig Melvin. She also wore a lot of hats working at WFUV, Fordham’s public media station.

“I was in the sports department and I became a beat reporter—I did a season for the New York Giants, two seasons for the New York Rangers, one for the Red Bulls, and then I was also website coordinator in my senior year,” she says.

One of her biggest opportunities came when she and five other students traveled to Miami Gardens, Florida, to handle the station’s coverage of the 2020 Super Bowl, featuring the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers—“definitely a ‘pinch me’ moment,” she says. “I never thought that I’d be able to work a Super Bowl, let alone work one while I was still in college.”

Leverty helped with the production of the shows the students did from Radio Row, the media center for Super Bowl week, and covered the game itself. She says two interviews really stuck out to her—one with Ian Rapoport, a national breaking news reporter for the NFL Network, and one with Quinnen Williams, a defensive lineman for the New York Jets.

Combining News and Sports

While her current job is primarily in news, Leverty says that her background as a sports reporter and producer has been helpful.

“Working in the sports world, you go into every assignment not really knowing how it’s going to turn out,” she says,” so just being able to roll with all of the unexpected storylines that may come out of it, I think, was a really valuable learning experience for working in the news—especially breaking news on a morning show.”

Leverty also says that going to school in New York opened her eyes to opportunities in the media industry.

“I came in undecided when I started at Fordham, but because I was in the city, I was looking for different things to do that I hadn’t been able to do before, and one of those things was attending a live taping of a TV show,” she says. “When I did go to one, it was a late night show, and I just thought that being able to sit in the audience and watch the behind-the-scenes was so cool.”

The excitement of that experience helped her solidify her path at Fordham and beyond.

“I had always been sort of a news junkie and into current events, so it became the perfect combination to pursue journalism in that medium,” Leverty says.

Read more “20 in Their 20s” profiles.

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