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First Friday Interview: Gina Gannon

Gina Gannon PhillyIf you knew her in real life, you would know that on air host and media personality Gina Gannon* is just that – a strikingly memorable personality, currently making her mark on the Philly’s social and entertainment scene. At home on screen and on the red carpet, she has been climbing her way through the ranks of local television stations, from her humble beginnings at NBC 10 Philadelphia to QVC, to global brand ambassador for Wen by Chaz Dean.

Our local starlet has had quite a busy season, as she just revamped her website and launched a new interview series called Philly’s Phinest with Gina Gannon. We had the opportunity to hear from Gina about what it’s like being behind the camera and the successes she’s had in building her personal brand on an international scale.

Philly PR Girl: Tell us a bit about yourself! Where did you grow up and go to school? What are your hobbies and interests outside of work?

Gina Gannon: I’m a passionate Leo with a major zest for life. I’m an only child who grew up in Philadelphia. My parents are my world and we are really close. I attended Temple University and received my B.A in Communications. I knew that was the only choice for me because of my love of being in front of the camera. As for my hobbies, I am an avid gym goer. I go at least five times a week and I have recently started taking yoga classes which I am really enjoying. I also LOVE to EAT and going out to eat is one of my favorite pastimes, so it’s a good thing I work out all the time. I am also obsessed with my two Yorkies, Mia and Coco.

Philly PR Girl: How did you get your start in television?

Gina Gannon: I always knew that a job in TV was for me. When I was young, I used to rush home from school to watch Oprah and I was just so fascinated by television. Knowing I would go to college to major in Communications, going to Temple was a no-brainer because of their excellent communications program. During senior year of college, I interned locally at NBC 10 on the 10! Show. It was a lifestyle/entertainment show and I loved working on all aspects of it, but all I wanted was to be in front of the camera. Inspired by my time interning at NBC, I decided I wanted to be a traffic reporter for the station, so I went through the audition process and worked hard to learn the skills that pertained to that job. After lots of hard work, I landed my first TV job: a weekend shore traffic reporter. The seed was planted and I knew I found my calling to work on air in television. I am lucky that I have worked on television since!

Philly PR Girl: What was the first highlight of your on-air career? What has been your greatest professional accomplishment thus far?

Gina Gannon: Once I was doing shore traffic and freaking out about the fact that I was actually on air, my first major highlight was probably when I got asked to work a prime-time slot from 4 to 6 p.m. on NBC 10 and I heard them say, “Now over to Gina Gannon at the NBC 10 Traffic Pulse center.”  It was pretty magical, and thankfully all the words that came out of my mouth made sense. It was an out-of-body experience.

As far as my greatest professional accomplishment, that would definitely be getting a job working on QVC. It was always such a huge goal of mine because I always felt my skills and interests were perfect for home shopping. I could never have dreamt that I would not only work on QVC, but that I would also sell the biggest and greatest hair brand, WEN on QVC. I feel blessed that my skill sets and TV experience were up to par for the job.

Philly PR Girl: Prior to your position at QVC, you were the traffic anchor, producer, and voice-over talent for Tango/Geo Traffic. Can you tell us about the daily work involved?

Gina Gannon: I loved working for Tango Traffic! It was such a great place and really helped me to hone in on my skills and get my feet wet. When Tango was on television we reported traffic on all the major roadways in the tri-state area, finding the information from traffic cameras, websites and source data. Being on air, we reported on what we saw! We looked at cameras to see where the delays started and ended for all the major roadways. When I produced and voiced my own show on Sundays, while finding the most up-to-date information, I would change the cameras and use the control board to make sure the right lower thirds matched the camera shots, all while voicing the current traffic condition. It was great to be able to multitask and do all of that in one show.

When Tango became Geotraffic, we started reporting traffic on mobile apps and online. I would report traffic for LA, San Francisco and San Diego, while working in a tiny sound booth in Newtown Square, PA. It was a major learning experience to become accustomed to west coast traffic patterns and lay of the land while being in Pennsylvania. We would look at a map and do live voice-over traffic reports for every single major roadway in all three markets. Now I feel like I can go anywhere in the west coast and get around.

Philly PR Girl: Everyone wants to know, how is it working with the fabulous Chaz Dean?

Gina Gannon: I feel truly blessed to have Chaz Dean as a boss. He is the kindest and funniest boss I’ve ever had. He’s extremely good-hearted, generous and so much FUN! We cannot stop laughing when the team is together. He has such a passion for hair and he brings his passion to creating his amazing WEN products. Chaz is also one of the smartest people I know. He is always educating people about WEN and how to be kind and gentle to their hair. He is so inspiring because he saw a problem with shampoo, and decided to go against the grain and figure out a different way to clean hair. I am so proud to sell his products and work for him — and my hair is the best it’s ever been, thanks to Chaz Dean!

Philly PR Girl: Give us the deets on your newest interview series, Philly’s Phinest.

Gina Gannon: So Phillly’s Phinest is a really fun project for me. I wanted to have a series where I was able to incorporate my two favorite things: sitting down to interview awesome Philly people and eat with them during the interview. There’s nothing I love more than a great convo and awesome food (c’mon, who doesn’t love that!).

Being born and raised in Philly, I truly love our city and all it has to offer. We have hard-working people and ridiculously delicious food. There’s really nothing like this series out there, and I’m hoping it takes off and that a local network wants to pick it up or even be a sponsor (hint, hint). People are very comfortable being interviewed when it’s in a relaxed atmosphere and food is involved. The eating element breaks down a barrier and you feel more at ease with the interview process. If there is someone you think should be on Philly’s Phinest, email me! I would love to know about them.

Philly PR Girl: What are some of your favorite charities and nonprofits to support, both in and outside of Philly?

Gina Gannon: I always try and lend my time to great organizations. I am a part of the MS Society’s Preakness at the Piazza, which raises money for those living with MS.

My dad is a two-tour Vietnam Veteran, so I always try to give my time to veterans groups. I also love animals, and last year I got to be part of the “Say no to dog meat” charity, which raises money and awareness of the dog meat trade in China while rehabilitating these dogs to be service dogs to veterans struggling with PTSD (which my dad suffers from).

I was recently involved with Wings for Success, which is a charity that helps women who are getting back in the workplace. Wings gives them professional clothing to feel their best and boost their confidence. I loved being the emcee for the Wings for Success Spring Fashion. Women helping other women is a powerful thing.

Philly PR Girl: What is your favorite event to attend in Philadelphia each year?

Gina Gannon: I love working the red carpet for the MS Society’s Preakness at the Piazza. I try and be there every year to help out because it’s such a fun night. This event is one of a kind. It’s an amazing experience to hang out in the Piazza and break out your derby attire for a night. Anytime I can wear a nice dress and a fancy hat, sign me up! Come join us on May 21st and get your tickets before they sell out.

I also love East Passyunk’s Flavors of the Avenue. Being a foodie, I love trying all the different cuisines and restaurants under one tent. It’s too good to pass up!

Thanks so much to Gina for sharing her experiences and insights with us! Make sure you check out her first Philly’s Phinest interview with Geno Vento of Geno’s Steaks and follow her on social media @GinaGannon!


*Gina Gannon is a client of Philly PR Girl.