My favorite saying is “my life is a giant spider web” because I’m repeatedly finding and making unexpected connections to people. This week, my “spider web” landed me on TV.
About two weeks ago I got a call from a young production intern at Good Day New York on Fox 5, which features my favorite media person Rosanna Scotto and her co-host Lori Stokes.
I had gotten to know Rosanna after she hosted multiple Power Women events we ran. Her warmth and intelligence has soared her audience, but I didn’t realize how much!
Their intern was tasked with finding women to recognize for Women’s History Month in March. He reached out and shared with me that he had interviewed a woman earlier in the month and asked her to recommend another person. She had been one of our Caribbean Impact Award honorees and he told me she immediately asked him, “Do you know Vicki Schneps?” So, after a Google search of my name, he gave me a call.
To my delight, he invited me to be on the show. The appearance was first scheduled to air on a Monday, but then it was switched to Wednesday. Until the Zoom interview was actually conducted, I didn’t know for sure it would happen. After all, this was a feature story, and breaking news always comes first!
But we got the green light and I immediately made plans for hair and makeup preparations. My hair was easy! Marissa, a super hair cutter at Christie & Co Salon in Bayside, gave me a great cut, but figuring out the makeup was challenging, given the COVID world we live in. So into my “spider web” I went!
A friend of mine knew supermodel Carol Alt, who in turn recommended a makeup artist, who took an Uber and appeared just on time to work his magic with my face. He even helped me select what to wear for my interview!
Then I had my resident IT specialist Eric help me navigate my computer link to the TV show. I panicked as I couldn’t find the Zoom link they sent, but Eric swooped in to save the day, thanks to a screen-sharing app that helped him navigate my computer from his home in New Jersey.
Thanks to Eric’s help, I was in the “room” with Good Day New York producer Angela Cascarano at 9:30, but there was no sound! I don’t know how he did it, but Eric again came to the rescue — I could hear them and they could hear me, and just in time, as we were only one minute away from being on air!
Suddenly, I heard Rosanna and Lori welcome me to the show. I couldn’t see them, but I heard them loud and clear.
My staff had sent the producer some shots of me marching and picketing at Willowbrook and fighting for my daughter Lara’s rights, as well as front pages of our Queens Courier, my first newspaper. We had also sent some videos of our Power Women events, but they chose not to use them.
The interview went by quickly. In fact, it was the fastest 15 minutes of my life! Having previously known Rosanna made me feel so comfortable because it felt just like “girl talk.”
I was grateful to share the growth of our company from one newspaper in northeast Queens to where we are today: 74 media outlets in print and digital. But no one builds a successful business alone.
I was blessed that my son Josh joined the company after a successful stint as an investment banker. He has helped us with our organic growth and the acquisitions that have forged our company to the four divisions we have today: print, digital, events (more than 100 per year) and broadcasting! And lucky for me, my daughter Elizabeth has helped our team grow a new division: webinars.
The magic of our company surviving and thriving is how we pivot and find new ways to reach our audience. Our media motto, “WE’RE ALL ABOUT YOU,” has kept us strong. As community journalists, that is our core. And it was an extraordinary opportunity to be able to share that with Rosanna, Lori and their viewers!