Today as our Women’s History Month special celebration of women in sports continues, we go to the TV side of things and feature Courtney Fallon. Courtney is a weekend sports anchor/reporter for ABC6 in Providence. Aside from her professional life, this Maryland University grad is a passionate New England sports fan. Courtney spent some time with us here at Double G Sports as our former internet radio host.
Courtney took some time out to talk with Double G Sports about her career and sports in general.
Courtney, where did your interest in sports develop?
I have an extended family of sports fans, but my real inspiration came from a pair of people: my oldest brother, and my uncle. My father actually hated the “dynasty years” when the Patriots ripped off three Super Bowl titles, because it took away business from his restaurant (something he still denies to this day).
When did you realize that a career in sports was what you wanted tp pursue?
It really hit me when I was 16 years old. I used to leave school for a few periods of the day – guilty – so I could hop in my car and listen to sports radio. Didn’t take long for me to start calling in on my own, and try to get on. I even wrote my college essay about one of those experiences. That desire stuck with me for a few more years, and I’m glad that it did.
As you studied for this career at the University of Maryland, where there any particular people you looked at as role models or inspirations?
Bonnie Bernstein. First and foremost. I grew up watching her cover the sidelines for CBS. I even made it a point to go to Maryland because she was a graduate.
You’ve worked in many places, from Sirius NFL and ESPN as an intern, to 98.5 The Sports Hub and WHDH-TV. You are now working as a weekend sports anchor/reporter for ABC6. Was radio and television what you always wanted to do?
I’ve always wanted to be part of the picture, whether it was radio or television. But TV was always the ultimate goal.
It’s well known by us here at Double G Sports that you are not only a reporter for the area, but a HUGE New England/Boston sports fan. Does that make it more difficult to stay neutral when reporting on teams?
Whether or not you love the game, it’s irrelevant when it becomes your job. If a team does well, it makes it easier to do my job. I have to separate my feelings, regardless. It will only make my reporting more difficult.
Of course I’m always rooting for the local teams to succeed. But if they don’t, I am going to tell you why they didn’t do well. The great Bob Ryan once said: “If you play bad, I’ll write bad. And if you play well, I’ll write well.”
Being a woman in the sports industry, tell us some of the challenges you have faced to get to where you are now.
Earning my credibility and respect. Working twice as hard as everyone else.
Are there any particular fellow female sports reporters that you have developed friendships with outside of work?
Mary Paoletti of Comcast Sports New England. We started out together as bloggers nearly four years ago, and have watched each other’s careers very closely. I’m proud of what she’s accomplished at CSN. Jen Royle is new on the Boston sports scene. I’ve only known her for a few months, but I’m looking forward to working with her in the future.
You recently participated in a charity event in which a date with you was auctioned off. What was that experience like for you?
The Project Cupid event was a blast. Amy Blue , the event coordinator, worked so hard to put it all together, and I believe we raised over $21,000 dollars for Dana Farber. But to be honest, the whole ‘auctioning’ made my mother a little nervous. I don’t think I’d do it again.
Are you where you want to be in your career, or do you have further aspirations and goals?
Sky’s the limit. You should never be satisfied.
In the past, and still to this day a lot has been made of female reporters in places like the locker rooms. What are your feelings on that?
Personally, I’ve always conducted myself with what I feel is the utmost professionalism in these situations.
Looking back on your career so far, is there a particular interview or event that you covered that was your favorite?
Covering the Patriots this season was an experience I will never forget. I cannot wait to get back out to Gillette.
Follow Courtney on Twitter, @fallon87.