By Jessica Karcz
Assistant Promotions Manager
When looking into the Department of Journalism, Broadcasting and Public Relations at SUNY Brockport, there is not one singular career path one must go down. Whether it is on screen or behind the camera, students take their passion for all types of media and apply it to their careers. Abby Fridmann, a 22-year-old alumni from SUNY Brockport, has taken what she has learned as a Journalism and Broadcasting Major to her current career as the morning news anchor for Local 22 WVNY and Local 44 WFFF in Burlington, Vermont.
Graduating in only three years in 2018 with a degree in journalism and broadcasting, as well as a minor in graphic design, it is no doubt Fridmann is best-known for her passion for her career and consistent excellent work ethic throughout college and into the professional world.
Hard-working is the one-word Kayla Green, an alumni from SUNY Brockport had used to describe her friend.
“She was willing to go the extra mile to put in more work and was always there for me,” says Green, reminiscing on her time at Brockport with Fridmann when they had first became friends through their mutual love for media production. This love then eventually grew to both of them aspiring to be reporters. “She never slacked off and was a group member that you wanted to have,” says Green.
Besides working towards her degree, Fridmann had spent her extra time on campus as a resident assistant and was also a member of Delta College, Talon Television and Brockport Student Government. When looking back, Fridmann sees her time at Brockport as “eye-opening” to what the future had to hold for her.
“My time at Brockport was wonderful. I have nothing but wonderful things to say. Although it was short, it was three years well spent. The friends I made and the professors I’ve had have stuck with me through my journalism career and my experience in the last year or so,” says Fridmann, “the experience I got from the awesome professors and the different classes really taught me everything I needed to know to get me ready for my job out in the real world”.
Fridmann was initially inspired to pursue reporting when witnessing her professor’s experiences in the field and realizing she had the talent to become a reporter herself. She describes how professors at Brockport, such as Kim Young and Virginia Orzel were her biggest supporters and praises them for taking the time to lead her in the right direction.
“Kim Young was such an inspiration to me. When she would talk about her stories of anchoring the news or reporting, it would give me goosebumps every time I would hear her talk. I think it is what helped me realize this is what I need to be doing. You go out into the field and see something for the first time and it just shakes you to your core. It hits you that this is what I’m supposed to be doing and this is who I am. It’s a feeling like no other and it’s what Kim gave me and it’s what Virginia gave me,” says Fridmann.
Virginia Orzel when referring to Fridmann describes her as one of the top students who was very conscientious about not just school, but her life beyond college.
“She’s always striving to be her best and make the best decisions she could for where she was at. She grabbed every opportunity she could, and things are going well for her,” says Orzel, “She is strong, determined, knows what she wants and goes for it. She doesn’t let anything stop her and that’s really what you must do”.
When Fridmann’s time at Brockport came to an end, she continued her education to obtain her master’s degree at the Newhouse School of Public Communication in Broadcast and Digital Journalism at Syracuse University. She is now currently the morning news anchor for Local 22 WVNY and Local 44 WFFF in Burlington, Vermont. Whether it is rewriting scripts, attending press conferences, looking over video or preparing for the show, Fridmann is constantly busy from the early mornings of 2:30 a.m til around 11:30 a.m when her shift is over. When talking about her job, she says she could not be happier.
“I love my job it’s exactly everything I hoped and dreamed for. The opportunity fell into my lap. I was hired as an MMJ where I would be anchoring the late shows and they had an opening they wanted filled. I had then expressed to my news director that eventually I would like to get boost to the mornings and so they did. It was a perfect fit and I really couldn’t be happier,” says Fridmann.
When dealing with the ongoing pandemic, Fridmann is continuing to work and wants to be able to brighten people’s day by implementing good news segments within the show.
“Now is the time when people are watching, now is the time where people need us the most. That’s why it’s so important for us to be accurate, honest and help people when we can,” says Fridmann.
Fridmann has continued to be a role model to others, not only within the Brockport community, but now on her platform as a news anchor. Her hard work and dedication throughout the years has proven that a passion for something can be followed when willing to put in the time and effort.