Legendary TV News Anchor Monica Pearson Mentors UofL Students

Legendary TV News Anchor Monica Pearson Mentors UofL Students

Monica Pearson meets with journalism students. From left: Comm. Dept. Chair Kandi Walker, reporter Allison Jewell, Monica Pearson, Tate Luckey (Editor of the Cardinal), and NABJ officer Laren Hines.

October 9, 2023

The College was thrilled to welcome back to campus one of its most distinguished alumni, Monica Jones Kaufman Pearson (B.A. English), a journalist and news anchor whose career encompasses a series of firsts. Pearson is a native of Louisville who grew up in the Smoketown neighborhood. After earning her degree from UofL, she was eventually hired as a reporter for the Louisville Times newspaper and a reporter and weekend anchor for WHAS-TV in Louisville, becoming the first African American female anchor in Louisville. For two years, she worked in public relations at Brown-Forman Distillers.

In 1975 she moved to Atlanta, becoming the first woman and first minority to anchor the daily evening news in the city, where she worked for 37 years at the leading station, WSB-TV. Since retiring in 2012, Pearson has stayed busy, earning an M.A. Magna Cum Laude in journalism and mass communications from the University of Georgia in 2014 at the age of 67. She now hosts and produces Monica Pearson One on One, a monthly personality interview program for Gray Media Group. The hour-long program is shown on Peachtree TV/ WPCH-TV in Atlanta. She has won over 33 Southern Regional and local Emmy Awards for reporting, anchoring, and her Closeups celebrity interview show. She is a member of SAG and AFTRA. When she retired, she was honored on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives by the bipartisan delegation of the State of Georgia for her years of service on and off the air to improve the lives of the citizens of Georgia.

On October 5, Pearson visited Prof. John Ferré's class, American Media History, in the Department of Communication, where students had the opportunity to meet Pearson and ask questions. Pearson began with an overview of question formats and those likely to elicit the most revealing answers, which the students had the opportunity to put to immediate use in posing questions to her. Pearson's answers included portraits of figures like Jimmy Carter and Dolly Parton, among her favorite interviewees.