Hey Mid-Ohio Valley, I'm the new Daybreak producer! But this isn't my first rodeo with WTAP... It's actually my third. But before I explain, let me tell you a little about myself.
What sets me apart from a lot of people in the WTAP newsroom is that I'm from the area. I've been apart of the Parkersburg community for the past 22 years. I've watched WTAP since I was a little girl. I used to watch Daybreak with my mom as I got dressed in the morning for school. I've grown up watching Jim Wharton, Kirk Greenfield and Todd Baucher. One of the coolest parts of my job is working alongside them... They may have just met me, but I've known them my whole life.
I was an 8th grader at Edison Jr. High when I started reading the announcements every morning on what they call “ENN.” For lunch one day my dad wrote “Ashley Sturm: News Anchor” on my lunch bag. I ripped it off my brown bag, stuck it in my locker, and decided that I liked the title (I still have the clipping framed). As a student at Parkersburg South High School I got involved in speech and debate, studied hard and when I graduated in 2009 I was awarded The Promise Scholarship and WTAP's Glenn Wilson Scholarship (my first run in with WTAP).
There were several times I considered changing my major while at WVU. The P.I. Reed School of Journalism has an intense program and I wasn't sure I was prepared for it. My deep love of politics also had me torn in a different direction. Still, I stayed a broadcast major, interning at WTAP over the summer (my second run in with the station). During those three months I learned things about my future career path that could not be taught in a classroom. By the time I was a senior I figured I should stick with my broadcast journalism major, if for no other reason than to graduate on time. I am glad I did. During my final semester of school I fell in love with reporting, interviewing and writing. As the government and legislative reporter I was able to combine my love of politics and journalism. I was also the main anchor for the award winning show “WVU News.” I graduated this past May Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor's in Journalism and minors in both political science and history (these minors come especially handy when trying to come up with a trivia question every morning). And now, here I am.
When I first went away to school, WTAP was the last place I wanted to work after graduation. People would often mention the idea, and I'd shut them down faster than they'd brought it up. By the time I graduated, however, WTAP became my first choice. TV news is a tough field to break into and WTAP is a great launching pad. Even after my internship, John Fortney continued to mentor me and I knew his experience and willingness to teach would be irreplaceable. I will flourish in way here not possible anywhere else. Also, after four years of being away I longed to be home again. I missed my family, but it also became important that I gave back to a community that had given so much to me. And that has become my goal while at WTAP. If you have any ideas for Daybreak or for a story, please shoot me an email. Or if you ever see me out, please say hello... There is a good chance I've probably served you dinner over the past 6 years (waitressing was my side job while in school) and if not, then you may know some of my friends or family. But, if you don't already know me, I hope by the time my time is up here at WTAP you feel as if you do.