PITTSFORD, N.Y. (WROC) — On Saturday, legendary broadcaster Jane Pauley was invited to give the keynote address at Nazareth College’s inaugural ‘Naz Weekend.’
For Pauley, it would mark her first visit to the Rochester area.
The Glazer Music Performance Center was packed full with Nazareth students, alumni and members of the community to listen to Pauley’s speech.
Afterward, the CBS Sunday Morning host sat down with News 8’s Natalie Kucko for a candid conversation discussing her career, her advocacy for mental health, and more.
With more than 40 years in the news industry, Pauley has paved the way for countless women across the country.
At the age of 25, Pauley got her start on The Today Show. She would replace the renowned Barbara Walters. In taking the anchor desk at a young age, Pauley says she blazed a different path compared to some of her peers.
“So, I’m kind of an anomaly. But, I found the thing I should have been going after with the same purpose and direction they did. I don’t know, I was just younger,” said Pauley.
Pauley noted journalists like Barbara Walters, Katie Couric, and Leslie Stahl for ‘having it,’ as she described, from the beginning.
Pauley studied political science at Indiana University, and says she developed her love for storytelling in high school when she joined the debate team.
“I went to a very large school and I loved my alma mater, but Nazareth might have been a better environment for someone a little directionless like I was. I think someone might have said, ‘Jane, you’re kind of skating, aren’t you here?'”
[NK]: “But, anyone who has followed you wouldn’t assume that you were directionless at that point in time, right?”
“That’s why I wrote a memoir,” Pauley laughed, “‘Skywriting: A Life Out of the Blue.'”
Pauley says ‘out of the blue’ quickly became a motto to her.
At age 50, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. For what was unusual at the time, Pauley decided to talk about it and ultimately, write about it.
“That day, the doctor suggested what I recognized was a cover story. ‘Well, you could tell NBC that it’s this, so you don’t have to tell them that it’s that.’ I countered that with, ‘You know, I’m working on a memoir,'” said Pauley, “But, it wasn’t a decision. I didn’t choose to write about it. It just was second nature. One of the reasons I’m a journalist, I tell stories. I recognized this is a story that could be important.”
Outside of her current work on CBS Sunday Morning, Pauley frequently tours the country where she speaks to hundreds of students and alumni. When asked what her biggest message is for audiences she meets, Pauley replied with the word ‘trying.’
“I think ‘trying.’ I used to talk about trying times, and sometimes it’s harder than others. The 70s, when I started out for instance, was a really good time to be a young person looking for a job. I think trying means, ‘Try this. Try that. Don’t wait to find a perfect dream job. Don’t think, ‘Well, everybody else knows exactly what they want.’ Well, exactly what they want, they discovered five years later, was not right at all,” said Pauley.
Pauley has hosted CBS Sunday Morning since 2016, which she calls ‘the best job of her career.’
“Babies or toddlers will say, ‘Jane Pauley! Jane Pauley!’ Or, the dogs come in when they hear the trumpet,” said Pauley.
“It’s the period in the week, and unique time of week, when mom and dad aren’t rushing around. And so, children tend to associate and say, ‘Oh, it’s that special time when Jane Pauley appears and I really like it in my house when she’s there.’ So, I’m very popular with kids… and golden retrievers,” Pauley laughed.