Check out our interview with Journalist & Socialite Ariana Tejero.
Ariana is the senior producer of Spectrum News 1’s award-winning weekday evening newscast, “Your Evening on Spectrum News 1” in Southern California. In addition to producing the nightly newscast, she also manages the news department’s internship program. Prior to Spectrum News she served as an executive producer at the NBC affiliate in Palm Springs, the channel where she got her start in news production during her sophomore year of college.
Hi Ariana, describe yourself in 3 words?
Hi! Thanks for asking. I’d say attentive to detail, service-driven, and preppy.
Name one your strengths?
One of my strengths is being attentive to detail, which can be a weakness, just as well.
What advice have you gotten from other female reporters and producers?
Just last night, actually, one of my mentors, a former network anchor, gave me a pep talk because I have concerns over the future of this industry in regards to what I do now (producing the news). She said to keep in mind independent content and teaming up with other journalists to create and think outside the box, in a less linear way.
What mindsets helped making you so successful?
Thanks for saying that. Successful but humble and still growing … I think many can attest to this, that once a person tackles LIVE television, he or she can do anything. (Hate to say this in light of heroic careers in medicine, etc., but relatively speaking …)
What topics do you cover or host and which topics or events would you love to work or attend to?
Outside of the day to day, hyperlocal general assignment, at work, I’m known as the golf queen (photo in this article). To that end, I’d love to coordinate something extra special for the upcoming U.S. Open at Los Angeles Country Club this June. It’s such a big deal to have a major in town. Remember how exciting the 2017 Walker Cup was at LACC?
Tell us about your work on NBC?
I miss those days. My first job ever I’ll never forget, what an incredible newsroom at the time. Since I started at NBC Palm Springs (then-KMIR in 2015) very young, as a sophomore in college professionally, I had the privilege of learning every single job in the newsroom before having graduated, everything from manning the assignment desk to field producing coverage of the 2016 Palm Springs International Film Festival … also producing my own talk show, and of course, all the on camera parts – so fun! Those years shaped me professionally and personally. So grateful.
Do you still get nervous?
I only get nervous with medical appointments, like with lab work and blood pressure cuffs, also IVs … Yikes, can’t even think about that right now. Someday, I hope to overcome this collective fear. Seriously working on it.
Can you share an experience in your life when women supported other women and what you learned from it?
Including a photo here, actually, of some friends I consider to be strong women in the industry (left to right and excluding myself, Logan Hollowell, Natalie Brunell, Lisa Marie Grimes). Definitely research them all, doing outstanding work in everything from financial reporting to jewelry designing to caring for animals, holistically. All around me in this town, I witness women like these ladies supporting and lifting up younger girls, especially through groups like GreenLight Women and Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT). What I continuously learn is to pay it forward.
Do you have a busy season and an off season or all year around is the same?
In the LA market, awards and wildfire seasons are arguably the busiest. Fire officials do say nowadays, fire season is year-round. Election years are always bustling, too.
What’s a fun and rewarding thing about being a reporter or producer?
Everyday, it’s changing. There’s never enough time in the day; a reporter or producer’s never watching the clock. A journalist’s meeting new people and telling their stories. In my opinion, it doesn’t get better than this.
How would you describe your fashion style?
Preppy. Enough said.
If you were a book, what would be the title of the book and why?
Let’s go with Reading the Greens of Life because my late-grandfather left me a letter with a golf-life analogy I read daily.
What do you think is the secret to have a successful social media account?
I’m not the expert on this since I’m not on any social media platforms and never have been, don’t plan to be (not even LinkedIn). Nothing against them, just don’t want to spend any more time than necessary on my phone(s), also highly value privacy. From what I know, brand is very important, though. Seems like there are technical secrets to a successful social media presence, like when and how often to post, but then again, what defines success in the world of social media? Is it engagement? Number of followers? Number of young people one inspires? In my view, seems like a useful tool to support one’s main career, to engage with fans, to educate, but to reiterate, I’m not an expert in this field, just observer.
What book should every entrepreneur read?
I like The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, similar themes and little life reminders about what constitutes the dream, what it means to chase it, and what’s most important along the journey.
What advice would you give to your younger self and why?
Overcome the fear of bugs because one day you’ll have your own flat and have to deal with them all on your own.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Thanks for asking. Running an education-based nonprofit. My five-year vision used to include studio executive. That changed once I started working with the Tiger Woods Foundation in Anaheim. I realized the Jesuit tradition of a service-driven lifestyle is what makes me most happy.
What music do you like?
Country, and more of a love than a like.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
I would love to spend a day shadowing the late-Karl Lagerfeld because few can argue against his level of genius in transforming multiple houses. To me, artists in fashion are legendary because they influence the masses in what we wear, which is not only a staple but something that affects job performance and fundamentally, mood. Even bigger picture, think, too, about the role of clothing in developing countries and its transformative power.
How would your best friend describe you?
Gosh, the term “best friend” is tricky because it’s constrictive. I feel I have so many (a blessing), and they’re all “the best”. Nonetheless, the one of whom I think would say I’m scholarly, detailed, verging on a little too Hollywood, also sensitive, way emotional, and too soft from living in LA too long. He’s laughing reading this right now, as he continues to help me (and a few others) read the greens of life. I’m so lucky to have friends like these, who have my best interests at heart. I hope I’m the same type of friend.
What are your makeup bag staples when traveling?
Unless I have a speaking engagement, I actually don’t travel with makeup because it always spills on me. Since pandemic, I don’t wear any at all to work. I only wear on camera and for special events.
3 things you can’t leave home without?
1) the same mini brush I’ve had since a kid that I got as a party favor 2) a pair of heels since I wear sneakers only now (foot injury), just in case for a photo 3) The rest are boring things like keys and phones, but I do always keep an old 7-iron in my trunk. Never know when I might need.
What’s your favorite quote?
A wise person once told me not to pursue my passion but rather to pursue something at which I’m good that I enjoy and to maintain that passion on the side. That really changed my way of thinking since we too often hear the opposite in the mainstream, or at least I do. Hope this touches at least one reader to think critically about this quote, too.
What’s next for Ariana Tejero in 2023?
I can’t wait to be back at The Riv for the 2023 Genesis Invitational in just a few weeks. Counting the days.
Idea of a perfect Sunday?
Starts with Mass, then the two farmers’ markets in the Palisades, followed by lunch at the bar at Angelini, watching Sunday golf, enjoying my favorite mocktail called The Ari.
Where our readers can follow you?
I hope readers send me a (friendly) email to [email protected] Can’t wait to connect. Thank you to your publication for spending time with me.
Also, I like to explain everything; the random (cover) photo with the horse named Apache is from LA veteran journalist, Dave Lopez’s, retirement party at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia last May. Regardless of thoughts and opinions surrounding the sport, among my favorite memories, going behind the scenes to the stables and on the track, spending time with majestic animals. Look at Apache’s gaze
Contact: [email protected]