Jewish TV Producer of the Week – Sally!

by Allison Friedman / September 6, 2017

I recently ran into my friend Sally at a Metro Minyan Shabbat dinner where I got to hear all about her awesome adventures with Chuck Todd. On top of having a pretty cool job, she also happens to be a pretty cool girl. Get to know Sally, her love of kugel, and her exciting journey to DC from New Orleans.

Allie: I hear you have a pretty cool job with Meet the Press. Can you tell me a little bit about that?

Sally: Yes! I’m a producer for NBC News’ “Meet the Press with Chuck Todd,” which means I have my hand in every part of production: research, writing, more research, and logistics.

During an average week, I produce one of our guest interviews and our “Data Download” segment, where we use numbers and polling to look at different political issues: How stressed are people about politics? Where do Democrats and Republicans go shopping? How do President Trump’s poll numbers compare to his predecessors? On Sunday mornings, I’m in the studio with our moderator, Chuck Todd, doing last-minute research and making sure he has everything he needs before the show goes live.

Allie: What inspired you to become a news producer?

Sally: I’ve always been fascinated by politics, but I didn’t know I wanted to be a news producer until the summer I interned at MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” at 30 Rock in New York City. It was an incredibly eye-opening experience. The producers there are so smart and driven. They really care about storytelling and helping the public understand complicated issues. Plus, I loved the adrenaline rush of being in the control room of a live news show every night. I’ve been with NBC News ever since!

Allie: What brought you to DC?

Sally: My job at “Meet the Press” is actually what brought me to DC nearly two years ago. I was working for MSNBC in New York for two years after graduating college, and I was looking to make the move to Washington. The stars aligned, and I ended up at “Meet the Press” right as the presidential primary season was starting to pick up in the fall of 2015. It’s been a nonstop rollercoaster ride ever from that moment on.

Allie: What’s your favorite part about living in this city?

Sally: Even though I miss my New York bagels, DC has really started to feel like home! What I love more than anything is its history, whether you’re walking along the National Mall or the cobblestone streets in Georgetown. I grew up in New Orleans, so living in a place with a rich history and culture is really important to me. I’ve definitely found that in DC.

Allie: Who’s your favorite Jewish journalist?

Sally: It’s a tie between Chuck Todd and Andrea Mitchell, NBC News chief foreign affairs correspondent. Working so closely with Chuck, it’s nice to be able to share and talk about our religion. I love knowing that around the fourth day of Passover there’s someone else in the office I can rely on to complain with me about our dwindling matzoh supplies.

Andrea has been one of my role models since before I even met her. She’s a trailblazer in political journalism and inspires me everyday. Plus: we share an alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania (Go Quakers!).

Allie: What’s your favorite Yom Kippur Break-the-fast food?

Sally: My mom’s sweet noodle kugel! The first year I made it myself — WHILE FASTING — on Yom Kippur was when I knew I’d be a great Bubby one day!

Allie: Complete the sentence: When Jews of DC Gather…

Sally: There’s ten people…and 15 opinions. Oy!


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