May 15, 1961 |
Mexico City, Mexico
|Residence||Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
|Other names||Giselle Fernandez|
|Alma mater||California State University, Sacramento|
|Occupation||Television news anchor|
|Awards||Five Emmy Awards|
Giselle Fernández (born May 15, 1961) is a Mexican-American television journalist. Her appearances on network television include reporting and guest anchoring for CBS Early Show, CBS Evening News, NBC Today, NBC Nightly News, regular host for Access Hollywood, and guest on Dancing with the Stars.
Early life and education
Fernández was born in Mexico City and was brought to East Los Angeles in the United States at the age of four. Her Catholic father was a flamenco dancer, while her Jewish mother was a student of Mexican folklore. She attended California State University, Sacramento, where she graduated in 1982 earning her B.A. in Journalism and Government.
Her television career began in 1983 with brief stops at KRDO-TV in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and then KEYT-TV in Santa Barbara, California. In 1985 she joined KTLA in Los Angeles as a reporter and weekend anchor. She was recommended to KTLA by actor Fess Parker, who lived in the Santa Barbara area and was a friend of KTLA's news managing director at the time. Two years later Fernandez moved to CBS-owned WBBM-TV in Chicago, and in 1989 to WCIX CBS's newly-owned station in Miami. In 1988 she garnered some controversy in Chicago when she went boating with John Cappas, a drug dealer being sought by authorities, then accompanied him to his arrest by federal agents.
She gained her first national news job in October 1991 for CBS News, when she moved to New York City and became a correspondent and back-up anchor for the morning, evening, and weekend news broadcasts. She later moved to NBC, where she anchored the weekend edition of the Today Show and filled in for Brian Williams on the weekend edition of NBC Nightly News, and undertook various special reporting assignments in the U.S. and elsewhere. During this period of national news coverage, Fernández reported on the crisis from Cuban immigration, unrest in Haiti, the 1989 U.S. invasion of Panama, the trial of the conspirators from the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and a scud missile attack while covering the Persian Gulf War. She was invited to make a rare interview of Fidel Castro, then president of Cuba.
From 1996 to 1999, Fernández was the co-host for Access Hollywood, an entertainment news program on NBC. She then co-hosted the This Week in History show on the History Channel. In October 2001, she returned to Los Angeles and rejoined KTLA. She left this position in August 2003 to pursue a variety of special projects, including making a movie and writing children's books. In 2004, her book titled Gigi and the Birthday Ring was published through the Laredo Publishing Company.
Fernández has won five Emmy Awards for journalism. She is a member of the Smithsonian National Board for Latino Initiatives and has worked on the board of trustees of the Children's Hospital Los Angeles. In 2006, she was named the year's Outstanding Philanthropist by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
While in Chicago, she met Ron Kershaw, who was previously involved with Jessica Savitch. The two were engaged, but Kershaw died of pancreatic cancer and liver cancer. A month later her father died of Alzheimer's disease. In 2002, she married British executive John Farrand, former CEO of Panavision, Inc.; they separated in April 2014. Fernández participated as a contestant on the second season of ABC's Dancing With The Stars in January 2006, but was the third contestant to be eliminated. She partnered with Jonathan Roberts and had an average of 23 points.
- Aldrich, Leigh Stephens (1989). Covering the Community: a Diversity Handbook for Media. Pine Forge Press. p. 87. ISBN 0-7619-8513-1.
- Telgen, Diane; Kamp, Jim (1993). Notable Hispanic American Women. Verlag für die Deutsche Wirtschaft AG. p. 156. ISBN 0-8103-7578-8.
- The Tablet: "The Journeys of Six Jewish Americans" by Shais Rishon (MaNishtana) May 13, 2016
- "Class Notes: Giselle Fernandez". Sac State Magazine. Fall 2006. Retrieved July 20, 2013.
- a "That core journalistic ethic is something the five-time Emmy Award winner says she mastered at Sac State under the tutelage of government and journalism professor Bill Dorman." — ¶ 2.
- b "Soon after graduating, Fernandez-Farrand focused on covering international affairs including interviewing Fidel Castro about Cuba’s economic crisis and its U.S. relations. — ¶ 3.
- Fernandez, Giselle. "Giselle Fernandez". Huffington Post.
- Jicha, Tom (May 9, 1989). "Anchor's job climb downright uplifting". South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved 2016-12-11.
- "CBS Newsie Makes her Own Headlines". New York Magazine. 24 (39). New York Media, LLC. October 7, 1991. p. 14.
- Rosenthal, Phil (July 11, 2007). "Reporter's pool visit results in departure". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2009-08-10.
- Novas, Himilce (2007). Everything you need to know about Latino history (3rd ed.). Plume. p. 341. ISBN 0-452-28889-4.
- "Celebrity Co-Hosts". Hispanic Engineer & Information Technology. 12 (4): 19. November–December 1997.
- "Giselle Fernandez". The Women's Conference. Retrieved 2009-12-27.
- Braxton, Greg (August 6, 2003). "Quick Takes; Fernandez to leave KTLA". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-03-21.
- Fernandez, Giselle (2004). Gigi and the Birthday Ring. Illustrated by Sheli Petersen. Laredo Publishing Company. ISBN 1-56492-358-4.
- Novas, Himilce (2007). Everything you need to know about Latino history (3rd ed.). Penguin. p. 341. ISBN 0-452-28889-4.
- Anderson, Amy (October 14, 2008). "Award-winning TV journalist sells L.A. home for $5.94M". Los Angeles Blockshopper. Retrieved 2011-06-26.
- Mendoza, Sylvia (2004). The Book of Latina Women: 150 Vidas of Passion, Strength, and Success. Adams Media. pp. 108–110. ISBN 1-59337-212-4.
- Rutledge, Steve. "Childrens Hospital Los Angeles Trustee Giselle Fernandez-Farrand Named "Outstanding Philanthropist"". Children's Hospital Los Angeles. Retrieved 2009-08-10.[permanent dead link]
- Mavis, Barbara J. (1995). "Giselle Fernandez". Famous People of Hispanic Heritage. III. Mitchell Lane Publishers. ISBN 1-883845-24-6. Retrieved 2009-08-10.
- Giselle.com: "John and Giselle Fernandez-Farrand Wedding Photo Album" retrieved September 1, 2016
- "Giselle Fernandez". Sac State Magazine. California State University, Sacramento. Fall 2006. Archived from the original on 2008-05-10. Retrieved 2009-08-10.
- TMZ: "TV Star Giselle Fernandez Dumps Husband" April 15, 2014
- "Giselle Fernandez Finds Her Hidden Talent". ABC News. January 23, 2006. Retrieved 2009-08-10.
|Host of Access Hollywood with Larry Mendte (1996 to 1997) and with Pat O'Brien (1997 to 1999)
Nancy O'Dell with Pat O'Brien