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Thursday, May 23, 2024

NEWS10 ABC Rules the 2022 Besties

When it comes to local news, the Capital Region has spoken: Meet the Channel 10 journalists who swept up Bestie wins in almost every single TV category.

Best Morning Team
Christina Arangio, Ryan Peterson, Jill Szwed and Stephanie Rivas

Since Bestie voting took place, popular (and Bestie-winning!) midday reporter Stephanie Rivas has come aboard NEWS10 ABC’s morning team, joining journalism heavyweights Christina Arangio and Ryan Peterson and meteorologist Jill Szwed in waking up the Capital Region. And, by the sounds of it, Rivas is in for a treat. “We once had a toilet flush live on the air,” says Peterson. “The meteorologist at the time went into the bathroom with his mic.” Szwed jumps in: “It was not me; it was not me!” 

Another time, the station was getting ready to unveil a brand-new news studio but was keeping it a secret. “This was a top-secret thing,” Arangio says. “You do not show this new studio.” Says Peterson: “And all of a sudden, one of the cameras in the new studio went hot while we were on the air. And then it finally cut back to us and we were like—” (Cue expression of horror.) 

Do laughs like these make up for the morning crew’s ungodly 3:30am start time? We hope so, because the Capital Region wouldn’t be the same without these friendly faces to wake up to.

More from the morning team

Ryan, do you ever get stage fright?
In front of a camera? Never. In front of a large group of people? Yes! I love emceeing events, but I’m always fraught with nerves leading up to it. One time, during a particularly crowded event, I may have indulged in one too many cocktails beforehand in an attempt to calm my nerves.

Christina, what’s something most people don’t realize about your job?
I think people do realize the hours are crazy, so I guess that’s not a good one. We’re always talking to the producers about content or we’re changing a story. Whoever’s out in the field, I’m talking with them a lot texting them: “That worked, oh I loved when you did this or why don’t we try that.” You’re coaching, you’re encouraging and you’re managing content working with the staff out in the field.

Jill, what was one of your most memorable days on the job?
In my career I’ve covered a number of severe weather events. I’ll never forget my first real nor’easter in December 2020. It had already started snowing on my way into the station early that morning. By the time I got off the air, the snow was up to my shins.

Stephanie, what do you love most about the Capital Region?
The people. Having a sense of community and nurturing the people in it is the reason I became a journalist. Local news is all about being an advocate for residents to stay informed in good times and bad. So to find out that I landed in a place that thrives on kindness and humor is like hitting the jackpot.

Best Morning Anchor
Christina Arangio

While Arangio is part of the morning team, she also stays later than the rest, impressively broadcasting the 12 o’clock news solo (she’s won numerous awards for her breaking news coverage in particular).  “I’m running in last-minute and everybody knows it,” she says of the time just before the morning broadcast begins. “I’m here right before air, but I also work the longest shift and I’m just horrendously bad at being here early.”

Best Afternoon Anchor
Stephanie Rivas

This Bestie cycle Rivas pulled off a pretty amazing feat—she won Best Afternoon Anchor without actually being an afternoon anchor. Before moving to the morning news in February, Rivas was actually a reporter who often filled in for midday anchors. So, in other words, Bestie-voters: close enough. “One of the stories that has stuck with me is a round table we set up with Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans,” says Rivas about a favorite story she’s reported. “Hearing their perspectives on what we can do better as community members and how their lives have been colored by their sacrifice is something I’ll never forget.”

Best Evening Team
John Gray and Lydia Kulbida

John Gray and Lydia Kulbida, who as a team won first and second place, respectively, for Best Evening Anchor, have actually been working together for more than 10 years, though not all of those years were at Channel 10. “I left Channel 13 and then she left and we both ended up here,” says Gray, who also pens a column in Capital Region Living and scooped up the Bestie for Print Journalist. When asked what viewers don’t realize about their job, Kulbida says, “They think it’s very glamorous. They think we walk in here and somebody’s doing makeup, somebody’s doing hair, somebody’s got a wardrobe set for us. They don’t realize how many hours we put in on the phone, setting up stories and getting ready before we actually go on air.” Adds Gray: “A lot of the work happens before we’re on the air. The fun part is when we get to go live to do the news.”  

John Gray and Lydia Kulbida (Francesco D’Amico)

More from the evening team

Lydia, what’s the funniest thing that’s happened on air working with John?
You never know when something will come out—a sound bite—and just hit you funny. One of us will start laughing and the other one…I’m usually pretty good at biting my tongue, biting the inside of my cheek. We’re kind of on the same level of humor, so that helps and yet hurts at the same time when we both find something funny.

John, give me an example of the power of local news.
I once did a story on a woman who had cancer, but her insurance company dropped her coverage. A doctor was watching that night when my story was on TV, called me and offered to treat her cancer for free. She made a full recovery.

The Channel 10 Team’s Besties

We asked the NEWS10 anchors about their favorite Capital Region businesses.

Stephanie’s Pick:
Stewart’s Shops

“Stewart’s ice cream straight from the box is life changing. I’ll never go back.”
Jill’s Pick:
Downtown Saratoga Springs
“I love walking along Broadway on a warm afternoon. It’s fun to pop into the shops—you can find things that you won’t find anywhere else.”
John’s Pick:
The Inn at Erlowest
“I love the Inn at Erlowest on Lake George because that’s where I asked my wife to marry me.”
Ryan’s Pick:
Death Wish Coffee
“Mike Brown and his team have turned Death Wish into a global brand. It’s pretty remarkable. Some of the folks over there have become my good friends.”
Steve’s Pick:
Curtis Lumber & The Animal Hospital
“They are two very long–time supporters of Pet Connection and do so much to help pets in need.” 

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