So What Do You Do, Lola Ogunnaike?

By Merrill Knox 

Today on, we ask Lola Ogunnaike, a contributor for the “Today” show and MSNBC, “So What Do You Do?” Ogunnaike talks about her experience as a freelance journalist and former CNN correspondent, as well as how she got into television in the first place:

How would you describe your time on American Morning at CNN?
The hours were absolutely brutal. You hear about people like the Matt Lauers and Katie Courics of the world making astronomical amounts of money — they completely deserve it because waking up at the crack of dawn is no joke. The show would begin at 6 a.m. and end at 9 a.m., which means we often had to be in the building by 4-4:30 a.m. And if you were turning a story for the next day, you essentially work anywhere between 12-15 hours. With that said, it was a thrilling experience and I met some of the funniest and most entertaining people that I’ve ever had the chance to work with. CNN was definitely a blast.

How much would you credit your 2006 suspension from The New York Times for jump-starting your TV career?
I credit The View for jumpstarting my television career. When I appeared on The View, I mainly had been known to people as just a byline. So, when they saw a face attached to the byline, I think it just intrigued people more about who I was.  Getting the opportunity to go to lunch with Barbara Walters was a thrill of a lifetime as not many people can say they were able to do that and they’ve been able to do that. I’m very fortunate and whatever happened as a result of that experience was well worth it.

Read the full mediabistro interview here.