If you are reading this with your morning cup of coffee, then today’s FACE has already been up hours and hours before you! Tracye Hutchins spends her mornings waking up Atlantans as co-anchor of CBS Better Mornings Atlanta. But like all of our FACES, there is more to her then meets the eye. Tracye’s positive and grateful attitude propels her through her day, even without coffee!
Ok, we have to start by asking, what time do you wake up in order to be on the air at 5 a.m.?
I usually wake up around 2 a.m. It’s rough because I try to be in bed by 6:30 or 7:00. In the summer, the sun is still out and getting to sleep isn’t easy.
What are your secrets to starting your morning on the right foot?
Everyday I eat a bowl of bran cereal, take my vitamins and drink a glass of water on the way to work. It doesn’t sound like a very exciting breakfast, but it works for me. I can’t drink coffee. I just don’t want to feel like I have to have it everyday to wake up.
What made you realize that you wanted to be a news anchor?
Through elementary school and even into high school I had always watched the news. I was always interested in what was going on in the world and I thought being a news anchor was a very cool job. There was just something about it that made me think, “I can do that.”
How did you get your start? Like a lot of jobs, I am sure there are a lot of steps before you become a morning news anchor in Atlanta?
My start was actually during college. I worked at a country radio station as a news reporter in Flagstaff, Arizona. That’s where I went to school–at Northern Arizona University. I also worked for the college television station. Our shows were broadcast in the community, so residents of Flagstaff actually watched our newscasts. I got my first job based on the broadcasting reports I did in college. My first job was as a bureau chief reporter for a television station in Kirksville, Missouri. I moved on to Terre Haute, Indiana, after that and then to Fort Myers, Florida, and then to Phoenix, Arizona. By 2001 I was married with a young child and we moved to Atlanta to work at CNN Headline News. From there I spent 3 years in San Diego, California, and I’ve spent the last six years here in Atlanta working for CBS Atlanta.
What has been the most difficult news story for you to cover?
There hasn’t been a single story that’s been the most difficult, but rather a type of story. It breaks your heart to speak to parents that have lost a child. It is one of the worst things we have to do as reporters to ask someone to talk about a loved one that has passed away.
Who is your favorite person you have ever interviewed?
I’ve had a lot of people who I loved interviewing. Although celebrities are great, it’s the single mother who’s worked night and day to finish school to get the job of her dreams that I enjoyed talking to. Or the woman who overcame cancer to start her own cookie company. There have been numerous people who’ve inspired me and made my job a joy.
Do you have a mentor?
I don’t have one single mentor, but rather many of them. My family and friends keep me grounded and tell me when something looks and sounds good and when it doesn’t.
If you weren’t a news anchor, what would you secretly love to do?
I would love to be a personal shopper for someone. What woman doesn’t love to shop, but you can only have so many clothes and shoes. I always thought if I could shop for other people… that would satisfy the need to buy all those cute, trendy items I always see in the store.
We love your sense of style. Do you have a celebrity or a designer that you turn to for inspiration?
I don’t have a specific designer or celebrity that I look to for inspiration. I do love the classic look–a great white fitted shirt and a pencil skirt. I like to keep it traditional and every now and then throw in a few trendy pieces. I really enjoy looking at magazines to keep up with the trends.
Where do you like to shop in Atlanta?
I haven’t quite embraced boutique shopping, although I need to start. I’ve visited a few that I like including Soles Shoes and Accessories and Bouchic Boutique. I actually enjoy the sales I find in department stores including Macy’s and Nordstrom. I can always find classic pieces at The Limited. Honestly I’ll shop anywhere. I think you can find a great deal anywhere that you can dress up or dress down and make your own.
What was it like to grow up in Las Vegas?
Oddly enough, growing up in Las Vegas was pretty normal. Everyone always says to me that they’ve never met anyone who is “from” Las Vegas. We lived in the suburbs so I really didn’t spend much time near The Strip, but when we had friends or relatives come into town we would always take a trip downtown. Of course as a teenager, one of the big things to do at the time was to cruise The Strip. We did that a few times, but now it’s illegal.
What are some of your favorite things about living in Atlanta?
Atlanta is a foodie town. It’s a great place to live if you love to eat out. I think there are more amazing restaurants in this city than any other major metropolitan city I’ve lived in. After growing up in the west, I love when springtime comes around so I can spend hours in my yard planting shrubs and flowers then “watching my garden grow.”
What is your favorite way to unwind over the weekend?
I’m pretty simple; I enjoy going to the movies, having a nice dinner out or just spending time working in my yard. The more casual it is, the better. I’m not much for crowds so I usually opt for an evening in, rather than an evening out.
What are a few of your favorite restaurants?
One of my favorite places for breakfast is OK Cafe. It’s quick and easy and I love their pancakes! Goldberg’s Deli is also great for some of the classics. One of my new favorites for breakfast is now Sun In My Belly. They’ve done some amazing things with eggs. For a special night out I love Rathbun’s Steak. Kevin Rathbun has been on the show many times and he’s one of my favorite chefs. When we just want to grab a meal, Uncle Julio’s is one of my favorites for Mexican and Spoon has great Thai. For a simple burger that’s not complicated I enjoy Smashburger.
What are three things that you cannot live without (besides God, family, and friends):
I can honestly say I can live without all of of the material things we’ve grown to love to make lives easier, but I don’t think I could live without laughter and quiet moments with the ones I love. I just lost my mother last March to complications from breast cancer and it made me realize how unimportant everything else is compared to the time we spend with the most important people in our lives. We can’t get those moments back so we have to cherish them when we have them. Also I’m so glad so many of my friends have a great sense of humor they make my laugh all the time. Every now and then I try to do the same for them.
Thank you, Tracye. Catch Tracye on air on CBS Better Mornings Atlanta Monday-Friday 5 a.m to 7 a.m. and 9 a.m to 10 a.m.
And, thank you to Amy Lesesne, StyleBlueprint’s FACES photographer!