It’s time for another Meet the Media Monday! The series features a brief Q&A with leading Charlotte media members as we get to know the faces behind the stories that matter most in the Queen City. This week, meet Morgan Fogarty of WCCB Charlotte.
You may recognize Morgan. After all, she’s on television screens every evening at 10 p.m. Morgan is one of Charlotte’s leading TV personalities. She’s an anchor on WCCB’s News @ 10 followed by her hosting gig on WCCB’s News Edge at 10:30 p.m. Currently, Morgan juggles her evening lead anchor role with motherhood and animal activism. We caught up with Morgan to discuss her career, rescue animals and everything in between.
Can you explain more about The Edge?
MF: “It’s more than 15 years old. I didn’t want anything to do with The Edge when I first started. My boss saw my responses in an article and liked how quick I was and wanted me to give it a shot. It’s a way to have fun with people and with the audience and end the night on an upbeat note. We try to be very intentional with how we build out the panel and who we bring in and the chemistry component. Can we all get along?”
If you could tell any story what would it be?
MF: “There’s so much to cover right now. I don’t know if I can choose just one. I do a lot of animal welfare reporting. I love animals. I’m an animal lover. So that’s a passion project for me always to get animals adopted or improve their living conditions. Bring light or awareness to our ordinances. I love animal issues but I also recognize there are so many stories and topics in the world. The opioid crisis is going to be really interesting with the Johnson & Johnson ruling. Gun control in the country and North Carolina. Gerrymandering issues across country and NC. Education, healthcare, CBD! Tons of stuff.”
What is the craziest story you’ve covered?
MF: “Truth is always stranger than fiction! The 9th district stuff was pretty wild. The ballot harvesting and Mark Harris vs. Dan McCready and, ‘Oh my gosh we’re having a redo.’ Pretty wild and pretty crazy. It got a lot of national attention for the wrong reasons. It’s still so top of mind for people and there’s fatigue around it and great curiosity to see what the end of the story is. Which Dan will win?”
What’s something people would be surprised to learn about you?
MF: “I curse a lot. If there was a sport for cursing I would be a professional curser. Not angrily, I just love the art of cursing.” Don’t worry, she’s never dropped any curse words on-air.
If you weren’t an anchor what would you be?
MF: “I would be an FBI Agent or a Homicide Detective. I’m very into the psychology of crime, criminals and understanding why crime is committed and their motivation. Even when we cover crime from a news angle, it’s one of the most fascinating to cover for me. They've always captured my attention. I would love to help solve them and bring people to justice that way.”
What attracted you to journalism?
MF: “I always loved to write. For me, it was based on writing and research. I was a Print Journalism major at Penn State. I took a broadcast class and I really enjoyed the deadlines and television production of that. We always tell our interns that 90% of the job is writing, researching and making connections with people. 10% of the job is actually being on television. You have to be curious and you have to want to be a storyteller. If you’re only interested in how much camera time you will get, it will show.”
What are the challenges you face being a journalist?
MF: “Fake news is one of the most consistent, pressing challenges we face as journalists. It’s always a challenge to help people understand that just because they don’t like something doesn’t mean it’s not true. It’s very difficult to navigate this 2019 landscape where the foundational facts aren’t commonly accepted. Corporate media and network media have been complicit in the deterioration of the role of journalism in America and I think actually local TV news is the last factions of untainted journalism. So that is scary but it’s also a big responsibility that none of us take lightly here. We talk a lot here about viewer benefits and human impact that we put on the air. I watch stuff all of the networks do and cringe at how trivial and distracted the networks get by spectacle versus journalism.”
What’s your favorite social media platform - both professionally and personally?
MF: “Professionally, Twitter. For me the vibe on Twitter is edgy and a little snarky and you have to have a bit of a thick skin to play on Twitter. I like that I know plenty of people who don’t. Personally, Instagram because it’s more mindless. For me, I feel like I can be more of an observer or bystander. With Twitter, you sort of have to armor up and be ready to get as good as you give.” Give her a follow on Twitter @MorganFogarty and on Instagram @themorganfogarty
How long have you lived in Charlotte? What brought you here?
MF: “I moved here in 2005 from Hagerstown, Maryland from my first job. I came here for a job (at WCCB) to work on the morning show for what I thought would be one three-year contract. It will be 16 years in February. I knew I wanted to move to nights to do harder news. I’m not a morning person myself - naturally, anyway.”
During her time at WCCB, Morgan did have a six-week hiatus where she moved to New York City. “In NYC, Al Jazeera America hired me to be a New York Anchor. It started to involve more international travel than I would like because I had a one-year-old. It helped me learn what I didn’t want. I love living in a community where I actually get to be apart of it.”
What's your favorite activity in Charlotte?
MF: “I love to ride my horse. I grew up riding horses and I took a break from the sport when I started my career because I didn’t have the time or money to properly invest in it. Now my kids can do it with me and we’ve gotten back into it as a family. It’s mental relaxation for me. We keep our horses in Waxhaw and I try to go out four times a week.”
What’s one thing you wish you could change about Charlotte?
MF: “We’ve got to figure out a way to provide housing to everyone that lives here. We continue to have local leaders talk about how we can change it and what we can do and I think we’ve got to make some more significant change. Less talk more action. It has to be affordable for all types of people to live here in all points of their life.”
What has surprised you the most about Charlotte?
MF: “It doesn’t surprise me anymore but it does frustrate me the lack of cooperation we get from local government agencies in terms of working with us on stories. We either get flat out ignored or stonewalled. In particular, it’s frustrating when we see shows like “48 Hours” get police information we’ve asked for for a very long time and get told no.”
What is your favorite season in Charlotte?
MF: “I love the summer in Charlotte. I love the warmth and I know ‘warm’ is being very generous. It’s like walking on the surface of the sun. In my opinion, we don’t have a true fall in Charlotte.”