Milwaukee Talks: CBS 58 News morning anchor Jessica Tighe
Jessica Tighe is an appreciative person. While the Elm Grove native has worked in West Virginia, the Quad Cities and La Crosse, now she's home and co-anchoring the morning news on CBS 58. Ask Tighe how it feels – even though she's been back for three years – and she actually gets goose bumps: "I love being here. I have family here. I'm invested in this market," she says with a smile.
Despite her early-morning hours, Tighe still finds time to get out and enjoy the city with her dog, and considers herself a real foodie. We caught up with her this month for the latest Milwaukee Talks.
OnMilwaukee: You're not used to being on the other side of the microphone, are you?
Jessica Tighe: No, it makes me a little nervous, which is odd. People don't think you get nervous when you're on TV.
Do you get nervous when you're on TV?
No. I was editor-in-chief of the Spartan Banner at Brookfield East High School. I got into the business because I love to write. Initially, I thought I would work for a newspaper or a magazine, and then somebody kind of approached me with TV. I did the announcements at schools. I remember being crazy nervous about that, like legs shaking under the desk, which is so funny because I was probably saying, "Girls tennis at 3 p.m."
Now when you're behind the anchor desk, do you just feel like you're talking to an empty room?
No, you feel like you're talking to people at home. I think that's how it should be. I mean, people are waking up in the morning to you, and a lot of time people are still in their PJs. They're brushing their teeth and getting ready. The whole point of why we're there is to let them know what happened while they were sleeping, what's going on right now, what's coming up for the day. It's really to inform them. Of course, we're giving you hard news, but at the end of the day I still want you to feel like you know me a little bit.
The pinnacle of doing TV would be either night time anchoring or morning anchoring. At a pretty young age, you're already doing one of these things.
You're killing me. Young, I love it. I'm not old, but I don't think of myself as young.
But to be at this point in your career at that age, that's kind of a big deal, right?
I think I've gotten used to it. I was in a morning anchor spot in my last market in the Quad Cities. We covered Iowa and Illinois. At that time, I felt that I was in a great spot for my age. I think things have changed a little bit, so I don't feel so young for where I am. I feel like I have a lot of experience under my belt: 13 years. Of course, you have veterans in this market who have been doing this for decades and decades.
Growing up in Milwaukee, do you recognize people from the business who've been here forever?
Thirteen years compared to some of the people in this market, I have a lot of respect. I grew up watching people in this market. I think I was more nervous interviewing here in Milwaukee than I would have been in New York City. It's because I really cared about it.
You're from Elm Grove. What's it like to be working in your home market?
It gives me the goose bumps when you say it. I get the chills. I don't take it for granted. When I got the call, the job actually at the time wasn't open yet. They knew somebody was going to be going, so they were doing a search. The news director at the time had looked at people around the country and basically called and said, "Hey, we don't know if you're available or interested, but I've got this gig." I thought, "You're kidding, I'm definitely interested! That's my hometown!" I think my mom was bouncing off the walls and I was like, "I'm not even up there yet. Hold on."
Yes. I love it. I love being here. I have family here. I'm invested in this market. Both my dad and stepmom are in Mequon. My mom and stepdad are in Elm Grove. My grandparents, until they passed away, were in River Hills. I have an uncle who works downtown, and I have brothers who've come back to be here. This is home.
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