LISA PETRILLO: The Brainy Broad­caster

Ocean Drive - - Shot On Site Photography By Manny Hernandez - Dolly mesh-pan­eled dress, Stella Mccart­ney ($992). the­out­net.com. gewelry and shoes, Petrillo’s own

PHI­LAN­THROPY PHI­LOS­O­PHY: Giv­ing and do­ing as much as you can for the char­i­ties and or­ga­ni­za­tions that speak to you. I feel the best when I’ve con­trib­uted to some­thing that’s close to my heart.

As CBS4’S life­style and en­ter­tain­ment re­porter, Lisa Petrillo in­fuses our lives with glitz and glam­our. Here, she talks about mak­ing it in the tele­vi­sion in­dus­try while en­cour­ag­ing young girls along the way. How did you get your first big break? I knew Julio Igle­sias very well through a fam­ily friend. At the time, the com­pet­ing sta­tion was pro­mot­ing an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view with him. I went to my news di­rec­tor and said, “I can get you an ex­clu­sive with Julio Igle­sias at his house. I can show you what his bed­room looks like!” So off we went, and lo and behold, it was on the 11 o’clock news that night as the big ex­clu­sive. What’s been your big­gest ca­reer chal­lenge? There’s the chal­lenge of be­ing a mom and jug­gling my ca­reer. In the be­gin­ning I was part time, be­cause I wanted to be with my kids. I even turned down an of­fer in LA that was go­ing to have me in a big show, but that meant red car­pets ev­ery night and not be­ing home. I knew I wouldn’t be happy do­ing that.

How has be­ing a woman played a role in your ca­reer?

In the be­gin­ning, it was hard. There were peo­ple who saw a young girl and didn’t want to take [me] se­ri­ously. But the power of the woman is so strong, and I think once you prove that you can do it just as well as a man, all bets are off.

What char­i­ties are you in­volved with now?

I am the hon­orary chair of Deb­bie’s Dream Foun­da­tion (deb­bies­dream.org), which [aims] to stop stom­ach can­cer. I was hon­ored with the Broad­caster of the Year award in 2016, and am em­cee­ing their an­nual gala again this year. I also work with Di­a­betes Re­search In­sti­tute Foun­da­tion (di­a­betes re­search.org) and [host] their an­nual fundrais­ing event called Out of the Kitchen.

Do you feel re­spon­si­ble for set­ting an ex­am­ple for girls watch­ing you on TV?

I do. I love to talk to young girls about start­ing out and hav­ing them re­al­ize how hard it is. It’s not just about be­ing on tele­vi­sion. You have to write, pro­duce, and know what you’re talk­ing about. In this time of In­sta­gram and self­ies, be­ing a jour­nal­ist and keep­ing it real is the most im­por­tant thing.

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