By Christopher A. Pape
Photography By Mikhail D. Poloskin
It is a well known fact that print journalists are jealous of on-air reporters and so it is the case with Steve Lacy and me. As the anchor of Good Day Wake Up, he reaches millions of New Yorkers, informing them of breaking news and influencing them on a wide range of topics. I may influence many readers, but Steve does it with his good looks and charm – I do not.
Nonetheless, I respect Mr. Lacy for his valued contributions to Fox 5 and New York as a whole. In just the space of a year, he has engrained himself into the hearts and minds of many and for that we are thankful. So it was an honor when he agreed to sit down and be interviewed. Ladies, he’s a real catch and I hope you like the interview as much as I enjoyed interviewing him.
Resident (R): We’re big fans of you here and you were so good to us when Rosanna and Julie were featured.
Steve Lacy (SL): I do what I can and thank you for this opportunity.
R: So you’re originally from the Boston area – since we’re rival cities how is it to work in New York and how long have you been here?
SL: I moved just over a year ago. It definitely took some time getting used to. Everything you’ve been raised to think – everything is up, is suddenly down and vice versa. The Super Bowl was certainly a challenge.
The Boston-New York rivalry is a question that I’m constantly asked about – they want to know if I’m a Yankees fan now. My response is, of course not. You’re from where you’re from. That won’t change. But on the flip side, no one loves being in New York as much as I do. I always ask the reverse: if you grew up in New York and moved to Boston, would you become a Red Sox fan? The answer is always no. So why would you expect anything different from me? Being a New Yorker means being authentic and to change your lifelong loyalties is completely opposite of what it means be a New Yorker.
R: I’m glad you brought that up – what does it mean to be a New Yorker?
SL: Being a New Yorker is about who you want to be; living the way you’d like to live. It’s about pursuing hobbies or things that interest you. At the end of the day, it’s difficult to live in New York. It’s expensive; you’ve got to work for it. That’s what makes it the best place in the world, because everyone you run into, who lives here is, in some way, struggling to make it happen. I think that’s what binds New Yorkers together. There’s this idea that New Yorkers are cold and distant. But the truth of the matter is that the people here are as great as you’ll meet anywhere else. For example, if you ask for directions or a recommendation, everybody is willing to help you out and send you in the right direction.
R: So I want to know – how did you get rid of that strong Bostonian accent?
SL: I grew up an hour outside of Boston, in a town that has the craziest Mass accent that you’ve ever heard. For example, Martha’s Vineyard is the hardest thing for me to say. I want to always pronounce it without the ‘r’ like I’m a Kennedy. My accent has turrets – it sneaks out from time to time and then I think – I wish I could get that word back.
I went to Boston College and in my freshman year, I would be the guy that students from California would grab and ask to hear me speak; I had the strongest accent on campus. I went to BC with the attitude that I was in my home city; I wasn’t going to change. But after a month or two, I made an effort to tone it down – to try to say the letter ‘r’.
R: Turning to your career, how did you get into broadcast journalism?
SL: I always aspired to be a broadcast journalist – particularly growing up in the eighties – when you only had three television stations – it seemed like such an exciting job, mixed with my interest with what was going on in the news - I think a lot of people my age had the same idea.
I studied marketing in college and when I graduated I got a sales job for a year and I hated it; I wasn’t supposed to be doing this. Through my roommate’s girlfriend who worked at the ABC affiliate in Boston, I was able to get a part-time job, behind the scenes. I parlayed that into a full-time job working at an evening news magazine. While I was there, I begged the cameramen to do some stand-ups with me, packaged it all together and sent it off to a lot of stations. Finally, in November of 2001, I got my first job in Bangor, Maine. From there, I worked myself up the food chain. After a year and a half there, I became the anchor on a broadcast in Springfield, Massachusetts for three years; then five years at the ABC affiliate in Boston (the one I had originally worked at) and then to here.
R: What exactly do you do at Fox 5?
SL: I am the Monday thru Friday, 4:30am to 7:00am anchor. From 7am to 10am, I do general assignment reporting or headlines in the studio. That changes depending on the day.
R: What is a typical day like? You must go to bed at 8:00pm!
SL: I’m a big advocate of napping. I’ll take a nap in the afternoon; last night was a perfect example. The Democratic Convention was on, as well as, the Giants game. It was one of those nights that, realistically, that I would be up later than I normally would. So when I got home in the afternoon, I took a nap to hold me over and then I went to bed a little after 11:00pm – which is way later than the norm. But you’re right, I typically go to bed between eight and nine.
R: Who has been your favorite guest?
SL: As someone who is totally into eighties rock music, meeting Duff McKagan from Guns N’ Roses was absolutely the coolest thing that’s ever happened to me. They let me do it during the nine o’clock hour, which was great. He was totally awesome and a great guy. I couldn’t imagine anything better than this. When you meet someone you look up to, and they’re actually as great as you thought they were – that’s an incredible feeling. •