Editor’s Note: They are leaders. They are inspirational. They are mentors. They are visionaries. They are, quite frankly, badasses. They are our 2020 REEL WOMEN. During Women’s History Month, you will be able to meet these incredible personalities in Advertising, Entertainment, Media and Production. Get ready, they are making “Herstory.”
Jenny Milkowski is a broadcast and digital media personality, host, reporter and content creator. She was also ranked the #1 digital talent in the Chicago Market and am currently the social content leader at CBS and The CW in San Diego. Jenny is a two Time Emmy Winner and voted “Best Television Personality” in San Diego by the Union Tribune 2019 Readers’ Poll.
Right now, Jenny is a social media anchor, morning show TV host, features reporter and weather and traffic anchor in San Diego at CBS and the CW stations.
This Reel Woman also created her own daily franchise segment where she discovers fun things around San Diego called “Milkin’ San Diego”.
Recently Jenny was the host and producer of her own show “Jenny Milk And Jay” at Hubbard Broadcasting. The show was LIVE 2-7pm weekdays on SHE 100.3.
Also, Jenny was the morning traffic anchor at WFLD-TV in Chicago as well as the radio traffic reporter for several major Chicago stations.
By the way, Jenny is fiercely Polish, loves her tacos and likes to dance. Alot.
What Did You Originally Want to be When You Grow Up? When I was young, I went through a few phases. First, I briefly wanted to be a veterinarian. That dream quickly faded, but my love for animals never did! I am a huge proponent of adopting animals–and have cared for many. I also very briefly thought about going into fashion. Not sure when that dream faded…probably when I realized I couldn’t even sew a button on my pants, ha! But seriously…there has never been a time when I didn’t want to tell stories or entertain.
Ever since I was young…all I did was read books, write poems, write short stories and pretend I was on-camera. My parents have VHS tapes of my sister and I all of our cousins playing together…they would all be running around and I would be holding a hair brush pretending to interview them.
I guess I never really thought too hard about what I wanted to be…it was just in me all along to want to inform and entertain. Plus, let me be honest…I have always been a dramatic and emotional kid and I think that lends itself to being a performer or entertainer.
How Did You Get into Broadcasting? When I went to college, I enrolled in the school of Communications and Majored in Broadcast Journalism (This was at The University of Illinois at Champaign Urbana) While earning this degree, I studied investigative Journalism in Spanish in the country of Peru and learned how to work in radio, how to write, shoot and edit…and put together my own television anchor reel.
Post college I also honed my skills by studying improvisation at The Second City Chicago, took many acting courses at The Acting Studio in Chicago while also studying voice-over work.
Who Were Your Mentors? I’ve always been a huge fan of people who can make me laugh and who are unique. I would say I have always looked up to Kelly Ripa, Conan O’Brien and Keith Morrison as on-air personas. I also grew up listening to Howard Stern when he was still on Chicago airwaves.
I remember driving with my mom and listening to Steve Dahl and Howard Stern when she was taking me to and from school. These are the voices that have shaped me growing up.
I also really look up to my former coworker Mike Caplan, who was not only a friend–but a big supporter and voice of reason for my years working in Chicago. You ask about mentors, but the people who didn’t believe in me…well, they have shaped me as well. More than they know–and for the better.
I have worked as a breaking news producer, a features producer, a writer, an associate producer for Jerry Springer, a digital web host (before they were a big thing!) a comedic host, a food host, a traffic anchor, weather anchor, tv personality and features reporter. Phew!
Name Your Biggest Achievement I think (and hope!) my biggest achievements are yet to come! But I am extremely proud of myself for holding a successful career in television ever since I graduated in 2006.
I am proud that I am able to be a chameleon and do any job asked of me–but do it in my own unique style, without compromising who I am. I am proud that San Diegans voted me best tv personality within one year of me moving to the city. Those are the things that matter–that the viewers like your work.
Biggest Disappointment I can’t say I have any disappointments–because all the things I thought weren’t turning my way…have turned out even better.
Name Your Biggest Pet Peeves When people smack their lips when they eat their food. And people who don’t say ‘bless you’ when you sneeze or ‘thank you’ when you hold the door open for them. OH WAIT –or give you the hand wave when you let them in front of you while driving in traffic. OK, I’m done…for now.
Predictions for Media over the Next Decade I am too scared to think where this industry is headed. CAN’T I JUST LIVE IN PEACE? Just kidding. As we all know, media consumption has been evolving dramatically ever since I stepped foot out of college. It will never stop evolving. I think sometimes we are slow to adapt…but those who are open and eager to learn new technology and are open minded to the new digital journalism and social personalities will survive along with the changes.
Now more than ever, and forever…we will need hyper-local journalism and a way for people to stay connected and in the know in their local community.
Name a Job You Had that Would Surprise People I worked for Jerry Springer for about a month (for him and his bodyguard’s show) I also worked at TGI Fridays, Ulta and Sports Authority and as a waitress at an ‘Ultra Lounge’ off my college campus (what the heck is an ultra lounge?!) OH and the school cafeteria in college. Hey, girl has to make that money.
Which Marvel or DC Superhero Do You Get to Play? We’re Judging. I don’t know..BLACK WIDOW?! ha.
Do You Talk to Yourself? There is honestly NEVER a time I am not talking to myself. How else would I get through the day?!
What do You Wish You had More Time for? I wish I had more time to dance. Like legit, I want to be on an adult dance team and perform. I also want to travel more, learn more languages, read more. I am currently working on all of those.
What Inspires You to be Creative? What inspires me to be creative? When I see that I can make people smile…that I make their day a little brighter. When I can make them chuckle, or think..or inform them. Also…to be honest, I am pretty competitive, so I don’t like when people have better ideas than me. Which, let’s face it…happens a lot 🙂
Facebook: Jenny Milkowski TV