Giselle Fernandez' chat was on 9/23/96

9/23/96 6:47:48 PM Opening "Chat Log 9/23/96"

OnlineHost: Giselle Fernandez of Access Hollywood will be answering questions soon.

OnlineHost: Giselle's in her office in LA. She'll be on shortly.

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OnlineHost: Copyright 1996 America Online, Inc.

OnlineHost: Giselle Fernandez will be right up. Get your questions ready.

OnlineHost: Giselle's here as FernandzG. Let's get started.

FernandzG: Good evening everyone, it is great to be online. Great to be online about my career. It is a pleasure.

Question: How long did you work on Access before it aired?

FernandzG: Oh my Lord I've been trying to sell the program for a year. Across the nation to get clearance from the stations. Then I've interviewed so many stars in preparation, directors, trying to make contact and get to know the world of Hollywood.

Question: Why did you leave network news?

FernandzG: It was a tough decision for me. The most honest answer at this point, I needed a change, an adventure. It wasn't the world of Hollywood necessarily, but I was looking for my own show in a good time slot so this came and I jumped at it to see where it takes me.

Question: Do you miss New York?

FernandzG: I miss it WILDLY. I'm a big fan of the BIG apple, love the smell of hot dogs the bums on 5th Ave., rock and roll, huge fan of NEW YORK.

Question: Where did you go to college?

FernandzG: I went to college 2 places, Goucher in MD, a sister school of John Hopkins, and got a degree in Journalism at Sacramento State.

Question: After Access Hollywood runs its course, What does Giselle want to do with her career?

FernandzG: Not quite sure, am in process to find this out. But know that interviewing is a passion and want to continue more of it.

Question: Does Giselle have a favorite charity or cause that she supports?

FernandzG: Yes I sure do. My top two are the American Cancer Association. I had a dear friend die of pancreatic cancer. We need to put more funding in research. Also the homeless. With a country as wealthy as ours we shouldn't have people living in the streets. We need to find a solution.

Question: I read somewhere that Giselle is a vegetarian, is this true? If yes, how long?

OnlineHost: Giselle's computer connection isn't working properly, but she'll be back.

OnlineHost: She's coming back right away. So just hang on.

OnlineHost: She's back.

FernandzG: Sorry about that.

Question: Giselle, When do you get free time and what do you like to do when you have it?

GernandzG: Oh free time comes when ever I can get it and right now not often. But when I do have it I'm a real outdoors person. I LOVE my border collies Skye dog and Nellie Bly dog. We like to go play Frisbee in the park and I'm a big runner and we run together. I love to hike and am a huge reader of biographies, particularly of women. Just finished for the umpteenth time Beryl Markham "West with the Night". And I fell in love with her life story and she inspires me.

Question: Giselle, are you from the Miami area? How did you get your start in journalism? My husband (especially my husband) and I just love you! I was so glad to see you on ACCESS. We lost track of you after you left TODAY.

FernandzG: Not from Miami, was born in Mexico City and raised in California. And got my start in Pueblo CO, where I was a camera woman, producer, and cub reporter. Very kind to have watched my career, thank you and thank your husband.

Question: Who has been the most influential person you've met in your life?

FernandzG: Good question. Thinking... I've met many inspirational people in my work certainly. And not all of them famous, and not all of them with huge titles. Many of them have been tireless workers behind the scenes, dedicating themselves making the world a better place. I've been moved by the woman in Somalia dying and giving their last crumb to a dying child. Moved by Orthodox Jews going to Israel during the Gulf War to be with their families and defend the state even they would be in danger. But personally I would have to say that my father who was a Flamenco dancer and had me when he was 61 years old. He embodied a true spirit of artistry, integrity and passion for life. That has been my greatest gift. In terms of my career, a man named Ron Kershaw influence my professional ideas and direction more than anyone else. He was a news director and reporter, an old style news man who liked his Wild Turkey and three packs of cigarettes a day. And new how to encourage young journalist like myself to embrace their work as a mission. He always told me you have the looks and the name to be a star, but if you want to be real, and use your job as it was intended to be used as a means of exposing the corrupt white ivory tower corruption to protect the common man, then you can be really great. He is the one that gave me the sense of ideal and romanticism about my work and for ever I will be grateful.

Question: Who wins in a fight....Larry Mendte or Bob Goen?

FernandzG: Well I think you have to judge that by the number of cans of hair spray each uses each night, it would be an aerosol war. The first one to drop will be the winner, we will let the viewers decide.

Question: What kind of hours go into preparing and doing the show in a given day?

FernandzG: Right now an enormous amount since we are just launching and are working out all the kinks. And since I am a Jewish, neurotic, anal compulsive, Mexican woman, I study at adnauseaum for a 2 minute interview.

Question: What is the best advice you can give to an aspiring journalist?

FernandzG: The very best advice I can give is to read as much as you can from a diverse list of materials constantly, and to fuel your curiosity with empathy and passion and then put everything you've got into telling a good story. Write, write, write and keep practicing your writing until it gets easier and easier to express your thoughts. I've always been told that a great thinker is a great writer, so try to organize your thoughts. So think clearly, organize your thoughts in the direction you want the story to go. There is never enough preparation for a story. And most of all, and you won't get this from others but will get it from me, is be confident in how YOU want to do it. It is easy to follow the pack. Facts are facts, you will find them in all newscast, what will make your story different is the way YOU tell it. Be confident in yourself and your thoughts enough to put them on paper and share them with your readership.

Question: Do you think being Hispanic or a woman has helped you more in your success?

FernandzG: Being a chili pepper has been a HUGE asset for me. Absolutely, the networks are clamoring for Latin jalapeños. If you're a Latin and you have talent, the sky is the limit and it has been for me. The last name will get you in the door, but you have to have the goods to stay there. Being a woman, people always ask me do you feel discriminated against because you're a Latina. No I have never been on the taco beat. I made it a point NOT to be. If you ask me have I been discriminated against as a woman, my answer is, would I choose chiclates over sex, absolutely. It is much tougher to be a strong woman in this business than it is to be ethnic, and that is the true challenge.

Question: How is it different to interview world leaders like F. Castro as compared to an Ellen DeGeneres?

FernandzG: GREAT question! I am intrigued by a variety of characters who live passionately on this planet. Who are movers and shakers whether in the arts or the political stage. I miss interviewing the likes of F Castro or Bosnian leaders, our national leaders, authors, etc. But right now I find the world of the arts a multibillion dollar industry, and the artist that reflect our culture, society, trends, interest, fears, just as captivating in different ways. More people tune in Ellen Degenares whether her character on the show will come out as a lesbian than tune in to F Castro rattle on about his aging revolution. I am fascinated by both but equally intrigued with Americas homophobic reaction to having a leading lady in mainstream TV play the part of a gay woman. Both characters reflect important themes in our society. One is a reflection of a dying socialist movement and a desperation to keep the flame. Another is reflective of a conservative intolerance in our nation. Aren't both fascinating?

Question: Who is your favorite blues musician?

FernandzG: OHhhhhhmy favorite Blues musician. Herbie Hancock, but I have to say I'm a hugh fan of Bonnie Rait, BB King and way back to Billy Holiday. I love the Blues.

Question: Why the move from hard news to entertainment news?

FernandzG: It is great to share my thoughts with interested fans I wish all a good night and BIG eating. LOL

FernandzG: Healthy eating!

OnlineHost: Thank you all for attending. We'll have information about Giselle on HISPANIC Online as well as information about Access Hollywood. We had almost 200 questions submitted. We could not get to everyone's question. Thanks so much for attending.

OnlineHost: Giselle was brought to you by HISPANIC Online at keyword Latino.

Giselle was brought to you by HISPANIC Online at keyword Latino.

9/23/96 7:51:03 PM Closing "Chat Log 9/23/96"


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