Isis Romero joined KSAT 12 just a couple months before her 30th birthday. That was 10 years ago. In the last decade she's anchored thousands of newscasts at KSAT, created two long-form reporting series, gotten married and had three children. It's been a busy and rewarding decade for her!
To celebrate Isis's 40th birthday on Thursday, we decided to ask her some questions in hopes of revealing a few things that viewers probably didn't know about her.
(Our questions for Isis are in bold italics.)
Tell us about your first day at KSAT.
The first day was full of introductions, getting to know the building and observing how the newsroom functions. It was a pretty standard first day of work. The rest of the week, however, was a whirlwind! By my second or third day, I was sent to cover massive flooding in New Braunfels, after storms moved through the area and flooded significant portions of the community. It was my first taste of experiencing how KSAT operates when covering a major news event that lasts for days.
For the past couple of years, you’ve been working on some long-form projects (Up Close with Isis Romero and Conviction). How have those projects evolved?
I initially approached my bosses a few years ago, about wanting to try something different with my storytelling. They gave me the green light and allowed me to produce a pilot, which morphed into what eventually became “Up Close.” I produced one season of “Up Close,” a news magazine program that offered a first-person perspective on a variety of news subjects, and then went on maternity leave after the birth of my third child.
During my maternity leave, I had the idea for KSAT’s first documentary series, which I was also allowed to produce upon my return to work. “Conviction” tells the story of a notorious San Antonio murder 20 years ago, and the subsequent conviction of the man accused of the crime. Aside from it being my first documentary series to produce, it was also my first time doing in-depth investigative work. “Conviction” has been the most challenging project of my career, but also, the most rewarding.
How is the storytelling for long-form projects different from the way you produce day-of stories? What are the challenges with each?
As a field reporter, sometimes you get an entire work day to turn a story; other times, you get less than an hour. It’s challenging because your day is dictated by deadlines, and there’s only so much you can do with the time allotted. You’ve got to be able to manage your time well or you won’t make deadline, which is a major no-no in any newsroom.
Long-form storytelling allows for a deeper dive into each subject, without the stress of an immediate deadline looming over you. On the flip side, long-form storytelling can be incredibly challenging, because it forces you to think beyond the basics and really explore the roots and branches of each story, which isn’t easy.
What did you learn that was new, and unexpected, with each of these projects?
I learned that my abilities as a journalist go beyond anchoring and reporting, and that I can produce major projects and shoot video, too! While I’m proud of being KSAT’s 10 p.m. anchor, both “Up Close” and “Conviction” were such personal projects for me, and are among the best work I’ve ever done.
If you hadn't become a journalist, what would you be doing right now?
I come from a long line of teachers in my family. My mom was a teacher, my grandmother was a teacher, my great-grandmother was a teacher-- my sister, numerous aunts and even my mother-in-law are all teachers! I have so much admiration for the women in my family who have been educators, and for the incredible teachers I had throughout my schooling. Teaching is “in my blood” so to speak, so I’d likely be doing that if I wasn’t a journalist.
Recently, you converted to Catholicism. What prompted you to make that choice? How has that changed you or impacted you?
I’ve been pretty open about my journey into the Catholic faith. I grew up in a Baptist home and wasn’t exposed to Catholicism very much until I met my husband. Once we had children, we wanted to raise them in a shared faith, so I began taking classes known as RCIA, which stands for Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, to begin learning about the Catholic Faith. RCIA begins in September and ends several weeks after Lent, so it’s a huge time commitment, and at first, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to finish the classes considering my busy work and family schedule.
As the weeks progressed, RCIA turned into a beautiful time each week to not only learn about Catholicism but also to build on my foundation as a life-long Christian. I could feel myself growing spiritually as I continued to pray more, read the Bible more, and put into practice some of the foundations of the faith. While this journey began as something I felt I needed to do for my family, it ended with the realization that this was something I needed to do for me, and my own personal relationship with God.
What's something no one knows about Spriester, Greg and/or Adam?
Everyone but Greg has some questionable footwear choices at night! By the time the NightBeat rolls around, I’ve been on my feet all day, and it’s not uncommon for me to change into a comfortable pair of slippers in the evening. Steve is known to wear athletic shoes or sandals with his suit on Fridays, and Adam will also occasionally do the weather in a pair of chanclas! Luckily, we can hide our funky footwear choices behind the anchor desk.
Did you have any hobbies or interests as a child that you strayed away from, but that you’d like to return to one day?
I love arts and crafts, refinishing old furniture, sewing and creating DIY projects. After becoming a mom, it’s hard to find time for hobbies, but I’m hoping as my kids get older, we can do some of these activities together as a family.
What was your favorite bedtime story when you were a kid?
My favorite book as a child was Sleeping Beauty. I had the book memorized and read the story almost every day! My brother recently gave me a box of books he saved from our childhood and I started crying when I opened the box, and inside was my beloved copy of Sleeping Beauty. It’s so special to be able to read the exact same books to my kids, all these years later.
All-time favorite movie?
Disney’s Coco. It’s not only a phenomenal movie, but I love how it celebrates and welcomes the Mexican culture and all its traditions. Growing up in the ’80s, there were little to no Hispanic characters in mainstream television and movies, and so the movie carries a much deeper meaning for families like mine. It brings me so much joy to watch it with my kids.
If you could live anywhere in the world (besides San Antonio), where would you live and why?
Hawaii sounds perfect!!!
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