MSUM adjunct professor, alumna and WDAY news anchor, Kerstin Kealy, went live from the White House lawn this morning on First News. Click to hear about her historic meeting with President Obama later today http://ow.ly/JG1rn.
The Forum of Fargo-MoorheadFARGO, N.D. – When Kerstin Kealy received a message from the White House, she thought it was a practical joke.But it’s for real – the WDAY anchor has been invited to Washington, D.C., for a one-on-one, sit-down interview with President Barack Obama on Thursday.
This will be the first presidential interview for Kealy, though she did cover Bill Clinton’s visit to Grand Forks as a student journalist in 1997.
“It’s a real rarity,” she said.
Four or five minutes is all she will get to ask the president some questions.
“It’s not going to be an hour-long Diane Sawyer interview, unfortunately,” Kealy said. She said she is brainstorming questions that are timely and relevant to this region.
The email from the White House came late on Monday and was followed up with a phone call inviting her to a full day of press briefings on the economy, trade and jobs – and, of course, the solo interview with Obama.
Kealy said she is the only anchor from North Dakota, Minnesota or South Dakota to be invited, though there will be other anchors attending the White House event.
So why was Kealy chosen? She wondered that herself. A regional White House communications official told her he had seen her work and “thought it would be a great match,” she said.
“They chose news departments that were strong,” Kealy added.
WDAY News Director Jeff Nelson said the invitation “shows the quality of news we have.”
For Kealy, the chance to interview a president is “a great honor,” and though it hasn’t happened yet, she already knows that “it certainly is one of my career highlights.”
“I’m excited and nervous, both,” she added.
Two WDAY news teams will fly east and broadcast live from Washington today and Thursday. The interview with Obama will air Thursday at 5 p.m., 6 p.m., and 10 p.m.
WDAY TV is owned by Forum Communications Co., which is a multimedia information company based in Fargo. FCC owns more than 35 newspapers, 40-plus websites, television and radio stations and commercial printing plants in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin.