Former attorney, NBC4 reporter and Miss Virginia has lengthy career in journalism.
Anchor of FOX News Channel’s new FOX News@Night, Shannon Bream has a lengthy career in journalism, with 10 years at FNC and prior experience at D.C.’s NBC 4. In the ’90s, Bream won titles as Miss Virginia and Miss Florida and later pursued corporate law, with a focus on sexual harassment cases. She lives in Arlington with her husband, Sheldon.
What is the one piece of advice you wish you had heard when you were starting your career?
This is a challenging business. Along the way, I’ve met many people who decided they wanted to get off the roller coaster. Years later, I’ll hear from them, telling me they have regrets about bowing out when they did. So much of success is holding on through the roughest patches.
What has been your greatest achievement so far? Biggest regret?
Achievement: Covering the U.S. Supreme Court brings me so much joy. I want Americans to understand what these incredibly powerful justices are doing and why it matters to everyday life.
Regret: That I spent so many years chasing the approval of one boss who was never going to give it to me, at least not on my terms. Better to focus on doing excellent work and serving the viewers.
When did you feel you had “made it?”
I read an article about Renee Zellweger years ago and she had her large dog with her at work. I thought to myself, “When no one can tell me I can’t bring my lab with me everywhere I go, then I will have arrived.”
How do you define success?
As a person of faith, I’m constantly reminded not to define success on the world’s terms. I want to create a work environment where people feel valued, challenged and inspired.
What job or position have you previously had that helped you get to where you are today?
My background as an attorney helps me on the research side of things. It also trained me that there is never just one version of the story. And when someone says, “You’re wasting your time; there’s no story here,” there is most definitely a story there.
What do you do after a disappointment?
I’d be lying if I said it didn’t involve some form of carbs. There’s something undeniably magical (medicinal?) about chocolate chip cookies. I’ll allow myself some time to experience the negative emotions. Then it’s all to a bit of self-reflection.
What is your work/life balance philosophy?
There will be times you are completely out of balance and that’s OK. The moment I feel like my relationships with my family or friends are stressing beyond the breaking point, I have to take a time-out. Your job is never going to love you back; invest in the people who do.
What is the one thing you do for yourself every day?
Prayer and studying the Bible are daily habits that operate very much like a balm in my life. Whatever pressures or conflicts I’m facing, the answers are there.
What’s one thing you still want to do with your life?
This is going to sound corny, but I want to write a song that changes people’s lives.
Any advice for those who are going into your field?
Keep putting one foot in front of the other, especially in the hardest/least glamorous hours of your quest.