Bridget Breen & Diana Castillo, Women in Media

Bridget Breen, General Manager, KTIV

What made you choose your career path?

“I followed my love of video and started shooting football games at Bishop Heelan High School. I also worked with my brother in video productions.”

What advice would you offer to women considering entering into this field?

“Be your true self. Don’t settle if it’s not what you want or believe you can do. We all have great and unique talents and abilities.”

What quality do you consider significant in the achieving of your career goals?

“Perseverance; always follow up. I never stopped asking questions or learning the different elements of the broadcast industry.”

Compared to when you started your career, how is it different today for women in your industry?

“There is more female leadership and support for working moms.”

“My job is to grow, support, and provide opportunities. I encourage learning all aspects of the industry to new hires. I was very proud being the first female news director in Sioux City at KTIV; and was just as proud when the first female many years ago made her way to the anchor desk in the sports department here at the station. You could say it was intentional because I knew her knowledge, and interest, so I encouraged it. She did a great job, and I was so proud!”

Could you share a moment in your career that has been the most memorable?

“There are so many . . . helping a woman that was adopted find her dad during a tragedy and uniting them live during a newscast.”

What do you consider your greatest high points or triumphs of your career?

“Keeping the viewers informed, making a difference in the communities we serve and helping people reach their career goals. And being a proud working mom in a leadership position and helping other women advance.”

What are your greatest challenges?

“The work pressure I had while raising kids and the impact that it had on them. They were forced to learn flexibility and responsibility early on in their lives. But that also helped shape them into the fabulous young adults they are today.”

Did the Midwest market make it easier to be a woman in this career?

“Sioux City is my hometown and having the support of my family helped me navigate my career. I started as an intern and worked my way up through several different leadership positions. I also had great support from Quincy Media, our previous owners. The Oakley family gave me a lot of opportunities. You may encounter bad leadership at times, and I have experienced that. I always knew from those experiences that I would be different.”

With your spouse also in this career field, how has that effected your decisions in your career path?

“My husband and I met at work at different points in our career. We love being broadcast journalists and can relate to the demands and responsibilities of the career.”

Diana Castillo, News Director, KTIV 

When Diana Castillo was hired as the new News Director at KTIV in July of this year, it was a position she held before. Prior to her time at KTIV, she had been the news director at KMEG, and had served as a News Director in Texas. The fact that the position hadn’t initially been one held by a woman hadn’t entered into her decision process that this was the career she wanted to pursue.

“Growing up, I was always interested in learning what was happening in my hometown. I lived near Northridge, California. In 1994 a magnitude 6.7 earthquake hit. After that day, I was glued to watching the coverage. When I was in high school, I had the opportunity to take a TV production class. I knew early on that I wanted to pursue a career in journalism.”

What advice would you give women considering a career in journalism?

“Entering the field of journalism can be a rewarding and fulfilling career choice. Remember that your dedication to truth, accuracy, and storytelling can have a significant impact.”

What was a pivotal point in your career?

“I was working in my second TV market in Corpus Christi, Texas, as an evening anchor/reporter. My News Director and General Manager had noticed that I was excelling at managing people and larger projects. Our sister station in Laredo, TX was going to be launching a newscast on their Fox affiliate and my GM thought I would be perfect to spearhead that launch. I was honestly surprised that I was being considered for such a huge role and promotion. I’d only been there a year. But my wonderful GM was so encouraging; I decided to give it a shot. She believed in me from the start and told me that I had a future in management.

“The first company I worked for had three female news directors. I was so young, and being a woman and outnumbered, it was extremely intimidating. When I moved to my second News Director Job, it was a bigger company. They did have more female news directors, but we were still the in the minority. Over the years, there’s been a shift to see more females in the top roles across the industry, which has been nice.”

What do you consider some of the high points of your career?

“Anytime one of my reporters would land a job in a bigger market, it makes me so happy that I was there for them in the beginning of their careers and had the opportunity to coach them.”

How has being a woman with successful career and being a mother worked to your advantage?

“I recently became a mom, and my twins are 18 months old. The funny thing is my career prepared me for being a twin mom! I consider myself a pro multi-tasker and organizer. With the many hats that I wear in the newsroom, I feel that prepared me for the motherhood chapter.”

Would you do anything differently in your career knowing what you know now?

“No, everything fell into place perfectly. As a reporter, I loved covering investigative stories. If it was a hard news story, I always wanted that assignment. When I worked in Texas, I worked along the border so I covered a lot of immigration, border security, and crime stories. In recent years journalists have become a target, so we are more careful with certain assignments. Some of the assignments I covered years ago, I would never approve for one of my journalists to cover now.”

By Amy Buster

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