By MELISA FINK ’14
Teresa (LaBarbera) Dufour has held most jobs in a broadcast newsroom: reporter, producer, anchor and host. Dufour says each of her job experiences, beginning from when she was still a journalism student at the University of Connecticut, were invaluable steps leading her to the next opportunity.
Fun fact: On New Years Eve 2013, Teresa married businessman Brandon Dufour in a lavish affair at the Palace Theater in Waterbury, CT and changed her professional name from LaBarbera to Dufour.
In a Q&A, Dufour explained the arc of her career in journalism since graduating from UConn in 2001.
Where are you currently employed?
News Anchor/Host at the ABC affiliate in Connecticut, WTNH, News 8. I am the morning traffic anchor on Good Morning CT. I have 27 live hits during our three-hour show. After the news, I change roles and I am the host of Connecticut Style. It’s a lifestyle show that airs Mon- Fri., 12:30-1 p.m.
What were some of your previous job titles?
Oh, I’ve held them all! I was a radio producer and anchor, an assignment editor, associate producer, producer and reporter before I made it to where I am today. It’s great to experience all aspects of the newsroom so you know the job of each team member.
How did your UConn education/connections help you in your career as a journalist?
My senior year I interned at the CBS affiliate in Hartford. It was the most beneficial experience in my college career. I learned the ropes of the news biz and I made contacts and friends I still have. In fact, they hired me as a reporter several years later because of my dedication as an intern.
Why did you choose to major in journalism?
I wanted to learn how to write for TV and radio, something you wouldn’t learn with a communications degree.
Do you remember your sudden death story in Newswriting I? If so, what did you write about?
I don’t remember the sudden death story, I’m usually okay with deadlines! I do remember however Prof. [Marcel] Dufresne’s copy editing class and crying at 1 a.m. trying to get my front page done. I also remember the first package I put together, shooting, writing, editing and presenting. It was the ice cream process at the [UConn] Dairy Bar.
Did you have a favorite professor?
Prof. Barbara Meagher. She was a mentor, and later, a friend. She was an anchor at ABC6 in Providence and taught us how to do live shots, edit and put together newscasts. We had a field trip to her station and we sat on the news desk. At that moment, I was hooked!
Is there anything you wish you did while you were still at UConn? Any regrets?
I really wish I had studied abroad. It’s one of the few times in your life you can pick up and go, and have room and board. Don’t miss out on that opportunity!
Follow Teresa Dufour on Twitter: @teresalabarbera