HLN’s Robin Meade: In Local TV, ‘There is Something to Learn at Every Stage’

By Merrill Knox Comment

Robin Meade has come a long way from the beginning of her television career at WFMD in Mansfield. The Ohio native, who worked her way up through local markets before landing her national gig on HLN’s “Morning Express with Robin Meade,” launched her music career this week with the release of her debut country album, “Brand New Day,” and an Independence Day concert today at Robins Air Force base in Georgia.

Meade grew up in New London, OH. “At the beginning, I think my goal was just to end up in Cleveland,” she told TVSpy. “That was the market I grew up watching. I idolized the on-air people — Robin Swoboda, who is still there today — I watched her in high school. She used to laugh out of turn. She was very authentic, especially for those times, in the sort of stuffed-shirt era of news anchors.”

Meade did eventually make it to Cleveland, where she was an anchor at WJW, but she was only there for nine months before WCMH in Columbus came calling. “They offered me twice as much money and two shows a day,” she said. “So I went there.” Meade would also anchor in Miami and Chicago before landing as the morning anchor at HLN. “By the time I left Ohio, I had seen the value of larger markets and new experiences. So I had learned to be prepared to move.”

“When you’re thinking, ‘I want to go into this TV career,’ do be prepared to move,” she continued. “I didn’t have that in my head, because in my mind I wanted to be on Cleveland TV. That was the goal. But most people do move around a lot. Be prepared to move, and prepare your family for that, too.”

>Read about Meade’s burgeoning country music career over at TVNewser.

Meade said she learned to find value in the high turnover at local stations. “Sometimes you’re looking around so hard for the next situation — you’re thinking, I’m ready to blow this market. And sometimes you look around so hard at the next level that you’re not learning everything you can at the current level. There is something to learn at every stage.”

“I always say, love the one you’re with,” she continued. “Love the current situation, even if it’s tough.”

Meade said music is just another platform for her to creatively express the lessons she has learned as a television anchor, across markets both big and small. “Writing a news story and writing a song are totally different,” she said. “I always look for lines that ‘sing good.’ Unlike with a television script, just because a line fits in a song doesn’t mean it sounds good. One of my first memories is learning to sing in church, in Ohio. And figuring out how to hold harmonies. I always had a passion for performance.”