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Your KSAT 12 Nightbeat team is getting a new anchor this month — the wonderfully witty Stephania Jimenez.
This bilingual journalist is returning to Texas after a stint in the Northeast at WCAU, the NBC affiliate in Philadelphia. Jimenez previously worked for KRIS-TV in Corpus Christi and she’s ready to, as she says, come home.
Before Jimenez debuts on your TV (or whatever other mediums you use to watch KSAT programming) we thought you’d like to get to know her a little better. You can expect to see her behind the anchor’s desk starting on Oct. 25. (Watch her first report from Wednesday’s 5 p.m. here.)
From her love of barbecue, healthy cooking, hugs and hot weather, here’s a little bit of background on the newest member of the KSAT team.
When did you know you wanted to be in the news business and what job did you see yourself doing at that time?
Different experiences led me to the news business. For one, my mom and grandmother constantly watched the news, so growing up, I understood how important it was to stay informed. The news constantly in the background planted a seed. However, that interest turned into a goal when I took a journalism class in high school. I LOVED asking people questions and writing articles for my high school newspaper. I eventually became editor-in-chief of the paper and that was that!
Where was your first news job?
Technically, my first news gig was writing for my high school newspaper. But my first experience in a professional newsroom came when I interned for Fox News Radio in New York City.
What has been your experience as a Hispanic journalist? Is it different in Texas vs. other markets you’ve worked in?
Being a Hispanic journalist has made my job easier. First off, I love meeting and talking to people. That’s easier when you speak more languages, like Spanish. And in Texas? Are you kidding me? That’s a wonderful advantage. What better way to communicate with more people and help them feel more comfortable than to speak with them in their language? And because Texas has such a large Hispanic population, it’s helped make me more relatable. I want people to know that, yes, I’m one of you!
What are you most looking forward to as you join the Nightbeat team?
I mostly look forward to meeting all of you! I LOVE San Antonio and the region outside the city. I fell in love with the Hill Country while I was working in Corpus Christi a few years ago. This is a beautiful area and I love how open and welcoming people here are.
You’ve been in Philadelphia for a while, are you ready to leave the snow or do you like the cold weather?
I am absolutely ready to return home to Texas. There’s a reason I keep coming back here - it’s where I’m most at home. That’s a big deal. My closest friends are here. I feel such peace when I’m here. This is exactly where I want me and my family to be. Also, although I grew up in NYC, I’ve never liked the cold. I love the warm weather. It makes me feel so much more energized. Cold weather makes me sleepy!
What are some of the things you’re looking forward to most about being back in Texas?
I am looking forward to soaking in the local culture, eating fabulous food, exploring nature in Gruene and New Braunfels, etc. I can’t narrow it down. The lifestyle here is a 180 compared to the Northeast, and I’m ready!
You’ve been open about your passion for volunteering. What’s an experience you’ve had while volunteering that’s really stuck with you?
In 2014, I worked with a group in Corpus Christi that helped at-risk women who had either been to prison or were trying to move forward from the trauma of being in abusive relationships. That stuck with me. As a reporter, it’s important to make EVERYONE feel valued and like their story/experience matters. Their stories also reminded me that anyone can wind up in a tough living situation and that certain decisions can impact the rest of your life. I always knew this, but it reminded me to be less judgmental.
You also mentioned a love of cooking. Do you have a signature dish that you love to make?
When it comes to cooking, I have a passion for making certain dishes healthier. For instance, I love making fresh marinara sauce with meatballs and braciole. That can be a very fatty meal, so I try to balance all that by substituting the pasta with spaghetti squash? Try it. You’ll thank me later.
What’s one Texas food that you really missed that’s just not the same when it’s made somewhere else?
I’ve missed good ol’ Texas barbecue... brisket, in particular. Also steak. Nothing beats fresh steak from Texas. I eat mine medium rare — the *only* way to enjoy it!
Do you have any books you’ve read recently that you really loved? Or an all-time favorite?
My favorite author of all time is Margaret Atwood. I took an independent study course on her books while I was a senior in college. Her books, her writing, her prose - it stays with me. She has a way of making me sympathize with unlikely characters. It challenges my thinking. I like that. Of all her books, my favorite is Cat’s Eye. And yes, I love The Handmaid’s Tale. It’s not exactly like the book, but I’m a sucker for good writing, and that show has that!
Is there anything I didn’t ask you that KSAT viewers should know?
Have I communicated how excited I am to return to Texas and meet all of you? Because I am! If you see me around town, say hello! Just watch out - I’m a hugger!