Friday, April 13, 2012

Famous Floridian Friday - Shannon Bream - Florida Native & Fox News Anchor / Correspondent


Honor student, beauty queen, and attorney, Fox News’ Shannon Bream is a Florida native from Tallahassee with a pretty good political pedigree of her own. 


Shannon Bream was born Shannon DePuy on December 23, 1970, where she grew up in the capital city of Tallahassee, Florida.  Shannon attended North Florida Christian High School in Tallahassee and graduated in the class of 1988. She's the daughter of divorced parents; Marie Norris, a teacher, and Ed DePuy, a Leon County Commissioner. Her parents each remarried and had other children, but her extended family remained close.

Shannon attended Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia where she entered at age 17.  She graduated in 1992 with a degree in business.   She met her future husband, Sheldon Bream while in her fourth year at Liberty.  Sheldon Bream is the brother of retired Major League baseball player Sid Bream.

During her second year in college, her hair stylist suggested Shannon she try out for the Miss Amhearst Pageant as a way to earn scholarship money to help with school costs.  She took him up on the idea and not only won the pageant, but went on to win Miss Virginia as well,  in 1990.  As Miss Virginia Shannon competed in the 1991 Miss America Pageant and became one of the top 10 semi-finalists. “It was sort of a fun, unexpected adventure,” Bream recalls. “My parents like to say that the piano lessons all paid off since it paid for my junior and senior year of college.”

By the time Shannon was in college, her father had become a Washington lobbyist and as she grew accustomed to debates over the dinner table on the issues of the day, political discourse became a passion in her life. Shannon applied to and was accepted to be an intern on Capitol Hill while still at Liberty University.  Her internship was with Congressman Bill McCollum (R-FL), a highly ranked Republican leader in the House and later to become Florida’s Attorney General.  She became familiar with the legislative process during her time with Congressman McCollum’s office.

After graduating from Liberty University, Bream headed back to Tallahassee to enter law school. Once enrolled at FSU, she was now eligible to compete in the Miss Florida USA pageant which she entered and won, and then proceeded to become another top-10 semi-finalist...this time in the Miss USA Pageant. The prize money she won from Miss USA paid for most of her law school costs, which were supplemented only by working part-time with the Florida legislature. Shannon graduated from law school with honors.

See Shannon Bream in the Miss USA Pageant Swimsuit Competition Here!    (You'll see her 4 minutes in)

In the years following, Shannon practiced corporate law in Tampa, Florida.  But by 1999, the 28-year old Shannon had a revelation; Bream found she didn’t really have the “fire in the belly” necessary for a successful legal career.  “If you find something you’re really passionate about, it’s worth every bit of risk. For me, to stay at the law firm was more frightening than to jump into a new business where I had a lot to learn. So I took a huge salary cut, but I was excited to be part of TV journalism.”

She began her TV career in 2000 when she obtained a spot as an intern with the ABC affiliate WFTS-TV in Tampa.  Bream continued as a corporate lawyer by day, and worked at the station by night, often into the wee hours and on weekends.  She supplemented her training with additional courses in order to qualify for her internship and with any projects she could coax her co-workers into sharing.  “On weekends, I would beg some reporter to let me tag  along just to learn.”

It was during her semester-long internship that Bream decided, in her words, to take “a leap of faith and leave my job as an attorney.” She went to the news director and asked for a full-time job and he hired her as an overnight writer for the morning news anchors.  Bream immersed herself in television news and eventually got the opportunity to do some live reporting. But her career suddenly swerved when the news director left and his replacement found her less inspiring.  

 “He told me I was one of the worst news reporters he’d ever seen on television, and he hoped I was a much better attorney because I needed to go back to practicing law.” Bream spent the two hours afterwards in a sound-proof edit bay, emotionally upset and wondering just how to exit the building with her self-esteem still intact.  “Without meaning to, he pushed me out of the nest; and I know I wouldn’t have landed where I am now if he hadn’t,” she says.

Unemployed for six months, Bream landed at WBTV, the CBS affiliate in Charlotte, North Carolina. She  would anchor the evening and late-night news from Charlotte for the next three years.

In 2004, Bream received a job offer from the NBC affiliate, WRC-TV in Washington, D.C.to be their  a weekend anchor and a correspondent covering general assignments. She jumped at the chance to be once again in the heart of American politics.

Three years into her contract with the NBC affiliate, however, she encountered Fox News' Brit Hume while in a backstage waiting room before a speech.  Hume was, “exceedingly kind and upfront” Bream says, “but said, sure, send me a DVD of your work.’ After she left the room, Hume continued the conversation with Bream’s husband, and from him discovered Shannon had earned a law degree and had political experience from when she was an intern on the Hill.   Within a few weeks, Bream had left NBC, and signed on with FOX News.

Shannon Bream joined Fox News Channel as a Supreme Court reporter in November 2007, based in the network’s Washington, DC bureau.

Bream now anchors America’s News Headquarters, which airs on Sundays from 12:00-2:00 PM Eastern on Fox News.  Bream serves as a substitute anchor on both America Live with Megyn Kelly and Special Report with Bret Baier.  

She and her husband, Sheldon Bream reside in Washington.  Sheldon Bream works for the Washington Speaker’s Bureau.







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@ Copyright Sanne Collins 2012 - All Rights Reserved


 

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