Joanna Pasceri has always been one of my favorite news friends. She’s sweet, smart, sassy, and beautiful on the inside and out. Sometimes people think we can’t get along with our competition – but that is simply not the case. I loved seeing Joanna out on stories (although once she became the main anchor at Channel 7 – it didn’t happen often).
She rose to the top and made her mark in Buffalo media. But, more than that – Joanna cares about this city and region. I am so happy to have caught up with her recently to talk about life post-television news, becoming a grandmother, and more.
Here’s our Spotlight Interview on Joanna.
Q: Tell us what you are up to these days – career wise!?
A: Just a few weeks after I left Channel 7 in 2015, I was hired by the Erie County District Attorney’s Office as its first-ever Public Information Officer. It was a natural fit for me having covered the courts throughout my 28 year television news career. I enjoy informing the public of the important work we are doing in the Office. Our dedicated attorneys, investigators and support staff work hard to get justice for crime victims and keep our community safe.
Q: You were in the media business for a long time – do you miss it? What do you miss most/least
A: Not as much as you would think. I don’t miss the hours, the pressure of being on TV or dealing with fewer resources in local television news while still trying to give the audience responsible, valuable content. Occasionally, I miss the rush I felt as an anchor when I heard the Eyewitness News theme at the top of a show or being at a breaking news story, getting information or holding elected officials accountable.
Q: It can be a tough and unfair business – are you at all bitter about when/how you left?
A: Being bitter is so counterproductive. I would be lying though if I didn’t admit disappointment, not as much for myself, but for all women, in this industry and many others, whose value is diminished unfairly. After dedicating 22 years to Channel 7, I absolutely deserved better. Am I happier and better off? Absolutely.
Q: You were/are a fan favorite – I know people love how ‘real’ you are – is that just how you’ve always been? The real deal.
A: That means a lot to me, especially coming from another former TV personality who was very warm and down to earth on the air. Here is the real deal: I got into the news business because I loved the news business. I loved the idea of being a “protector of the people”. I was never really comfortable with the cosmetic part of the job, but do understand how important that is. I fought daily with my thick, wavy mane. I never had good anchor hair.
Q: What is your favorite story that you’ve covered?
A: You get asked this question a lot. In my 28 year career, there were many: traveling with the Sabres for the Eastern Conference Finals (1998) and meeting George Michael from the George Michael Sports Machine (who remembers him?!), interviewing Pat Sajak (funny) and Vanna White (sweet) from Wheel of Fortune, covering Governor Pataki’s reelection in NYC, interviewing the Goo Goo Dolls at Shea’s when they first came home after making it big, my series on smoke detectors that revealed sleeping kids often don’t hear them going off, covering President Clinton in Chautauqua and UB, President Bush in Rochester, meeting and telling the inspiring stories of more than a dozen celebrity children from the Variety Kids Telethon… I could go on and on!
Q: Craziest thing that’s ever happened on live tv?
A: I just want to say that I am so glad that the Internet, YouTube or DVR were not around for the bulk of my career! There have been lots of crazy moments on live TV, but the craziest was probably my speeding truck live shot. A tractor trailer was speeding and barreling through the Thruway toll booths, so we set up a live truck near the tolls that used to be on the 190 and waited for the truck to come by during the newscast. I went live as it sped behind me!! I was a bit nervous, but it earned me an Honorable Mention from the Associated Press.
Q: What do you think of this resurgence in Buffalo?
A: It’s amazing and a long time coming. Over the years, we endured many disappointments: the collapse of Adelphia, the Bass Pro debacle, the new Peace Bridge that never happened. I remember when there was nothing but a muffler shop on Chippewa. To see our flourishing neighborhoods, our active waterfront, our new federal courthouse, our two new hospitals and new hotels and businesses going up, I can’t help but think… we deserve this!
Q: What do your weekends look like?
A: Relaxing and enjoying everything that is totally Buffalo!! You can find us at local restaurants, stores and theaters, ballparks and walking trails, visiting or entertaining family and friends or just hanging out in our backyard pool!
Q: You’re going to be a grandmother!!?? How excited are you? What kind of a grandma will you be?
A: I am over the moon! My first born daughter is due to have my first born granddaughter in November. Everyone tells me how wonderful grandchildren are… all the fun and not a lot of the stress you have raising your own children. We will love her unconditionally, spoil her and let her parents worry about the discipline.
Q: Your daughters are so beautiful and I know how proud you are of them – what’s the toughest part of being a mom? A working mom? Can we have it all?
A: Thank you. I think I became a better parent when I forgave myself for not being the perfect parent. No one is! And I believe women can absolutely have it all. Men do, and no one questions that, but it’s hard to do it alone. The truth is, it was very difficult for me to always be there for my kids during the TV years. I was lucky to have a husband ready and willing to step in. I couldn’t have done it without his support. Because of the personal challenges, it’s easy to make a job in TV news your whole life, but I encourage those new to broadcasting to pursue a full life outside of their careers. They’ll be happier and more well-rounded and in turn, better journalists.
Q: What makes you Totally Buffalo?
A: It’s my love for this city that has remained steadfast during the good times and the not so good times. I have never wandered far from Buffalo, have always believed in and had pride in this city, and I am glad so many others now do, too!
Thank you, Joanna! We can’t wait to see pictures of your beautiful grandbaby!