MEET: Sharon Gaeta of WBRE-TV.
First Posted: 3/9/2015
Sharon Gaeta is a reporter, producer and news anchor with WBRE-TV. Gaeta, 30, is a native of South Philadelphia and is a graduate of Widener University where she received a degree in communications. She lives in Jenkins Township.
What first made you want to get into television journalism? I went to the Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts. It was kind of like the movie, ‘Fame,’ and I was a drama/tv/film major. We did our own little newscasts and I just loved it. I’ll never forget, I was 15, and we went to one of the Philadelphia TV stations, and I sat in my first anchor chair, and I just knew from that point I was meant to be in broadcasting for the rest of my life.
You’ve been doing it now for about eight years and have been at WBRE-TV for almost two years. What do you enjoy about it? I love the people that you meet and the stories you get to tell. It’s so different every day. I love the fact that we come to work every day, and it is a job, but at the same time, the days that you get to help people and the days you get to make a difference in someone’s life is what really makes you tick. You work all day, and people see you on the air for a minute and 30 seconds, and they might say, ‘Wow, they work all day for that?’ But it’s incredible when you see results, or if you get to touch someone’s life with your story.
Obviously, in your work, you’ve covered many hard news stories – even homicides. But what are some of the more fun stories you’ve covered? I actually got to do firemen’s training. I wore the whole suit and actually got to go through a simulator drill. It was pitch dark. Doing that, and actually seeing what they go through – walking through a burning building and getting on top of a roof – was probably the most fascinating story. We cover fires, but to actually put yourself in that situation was really intriguing. You definitely have a lot more respect for what they do. Another one, that I did here, was on a little girl from Scranton who used all of her money from her allowances to make bracelets to make money for breast cancer. Her sister was very ill, so she wanted to make a difference somehow. Even for her birthday, she asked for more rubber bands to make these bracelets. She ended up selling them and delivering them. It was a three-part series, and it was rewarding to see this 10 year-old have a heart like that. You don’t get to see that every day.
What do you do in your free time to relax? I go home to Philadelphia a lot. My sister, Adonia, is one of my best friends, and all of my friends are still down there. I’m also a big arts fan, so I love the theater. And just kicking back and reading.
Any hobbies? I do ceramics. I started a few years ago. My mom was always really into it. She’s amazing at it. So I started doing it, and it’s really relaxing. And this Christmas, I actually made my niece a wooden dollhouse. I created it and painted it. It was this whole big thing. I enjoy arts and crafts.
Favorite music? My iPod is all over the place. It’s definitely eclectic. I can go from Blake Shelton to the classics like Otis Reading and Frank Sinatra. And I love Pavarotti.
Favorite color? Red.
All-time favorite movie? “Up Close and Personal.”
All-time favorite TV show? 90210.
Favorite holiday? Halloween.
Favorite food? Eggplant rollatini.
Favorite vacation spot? It’s a tossup between Nashville and Naples.
Favorite thing about NEPA? I love skiing. And the fact that it’s so close to Philly and New York.
Favorite book? Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Favorite quote or catch phrase? Everything happens for a reason.
Pets? I have a Cocker Spaniel that I rescued named Chloe.
Guilty pleasure? Vino.
Is there something about you that might even surprise some of your friends? When I was in Jamaica, I jumped off a 50-foot cliff, and I’m petrified of sharks, so I was like an Olympic swimmer. It was random and spur of the moment. I was like, ‘I’m going to do it,’ and I just jumped.
Has there been an event in your life, or a person, that has had the greatest impact on you? My sister. This business is not easy. It’s one of those careers where you have to keep pushing forward and keep fighting for what you want. You move constantly, you’re starting over all the time, and are constantly trying to move up the ranks. My whole family is supportive, but my sister calls herself my biggest cheerleader. She is the one person that pushes me to my limit and says, ‘You can do it. Stick it out.’ I can have the worst day, and I’ll call her, and she’ll say, ‘You gotta keep going.’ She makes a difference, because when I wanted to give up, she’s the one that said, ‘You’re not giving up.’