Sarah Kunin ’09, who has steadily been moving up the ranks at ABC News, was recently promoted to producer of food and lifestyle at Good Morning America (GMA). In the position, she is responsible for culinary and fashion segments in the second hour of the show.
“I look for unique ideas and stories and try to come up with innovative ways to present them to our viewers,” explains Kunin. “Some days I’m working on a basic cooking demonstration with our food stylist, and other days I’m planning a game show about holiday gift ideas using our JumboTron or scouting women on the streets of New York and transforming them into models live on our show.”
During her time at GMA, Kunin has covered everything, including a presidential election, a natural disaster, the royal wedding and a cooking segment with Sesame Street’s Elmo and Cookie Monster.
“Some of my proudest moments are surviving the major breaking news crashes or beating the competition with details obtained exclusively overnight,” explains Kunin. “Working at GMA has been the best graduate school I could have asked for. I’ve learned how to write scripts, shoot video, edit sequences, and feed material from the field.”
Prior to becoming producer, Kunin served as a campaign digital reporter, responsible for following Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman from event to event, shooting his stump speeches, asking him questions, feeding material, and blogging about it for ABC News’ website.
“I was essentially a one-man-band with a camera, laptop, iPad and two cell phones,” confesses Kunin, who cut her eight-month political reporting career short when she was offered the position as producer. “It is one of the most unique jobs in this business, and also one of the most intense. I have an incredible amount of respect for all of the campaign embeds-it’s one of the best, and hardest, jobs in this business.”
As long as she can remember, Kunin has wanted to pursue a career in media, and Hobart and William Smith Colleges gave her the means to turn that dream into a reality.
“Until I attended HWS, I really had no clue how to break into the business,” says Kunin. “I grew up in New York City and actually used to pass the ABC News headquarters every morning on my way to school. It still makes me laugh when I think about that fact that it took moving to Geneva, N.Y., to get me in the building.”
Her path to ABC News began during the HWS Media day. The event, coordinated by the Salisbury Center Career Services and Professional Development, provided Kunin with the opportunity to meet and network with alums and parents in the media and communications fields in New York City, including John McConnell P’08, senior vice president of programming at ABC News Radio.
Through McConnell, she secured an unpaid summer internship. After graduation, she was hired as a news assistant at ABC News Radio and later positions as a production associate at GMA and an associate producer at ABC News before becoming a campaign digital reporter.
A double major in media and society and Spanish, Kunin participated in Jumpstart, Chorale and Cantori, and studied abroad in Madrid. On the Dean’s List, she also served as the news and sports commentator for WEOS-FM for two years.
In the photo above,Sarah Kunin’09 is on the set of ABC’s “Good Morning America” with American celebrity chef, restaurateur and author Emeril Lagasse.