News anchor Lauren Petrowski shares the most memorable moments of her career.
By Madison Matous, Photo courtesy of Fox 7
As co-anchor of Fox 7 Austin, Lauren Petrowski spends her days sharing local news with Austin residents, and this year, she will celebrate a decade with the network.
As a broadcast-journalism student at the University of Texas, Petrowski first got a taste of life as an anchor after interning with Fox 7. After college, she moved to Corpus Christi, Texas, to start her career as a reporter and anchor, but soon made her way back to Austin.
In 2012, Petrowski was named Best TV Personality by the Austin Alliance for Women in Media, an award she still cherishes. For her, the best part of being a reporter is being able to meet with members of the community and share their stories with her viewers. While Petrowski has shared many stories throughout the years, here are 10 of her favorite.
- Travis County Adoption Day. One of the first stories Petrowski covered was about Travis County Adoption Day, which further confirmed she had chosen the right career path. “I just remember it being so overwhelming and powerful, the kids getting showered with love from their new families and getting to go home with them before the holidays,” Petrowski remembers.
- The 2009 shooting at Fort Hood. “I’ll never forget what happened,” Petrowski says. “I was working as a morning reporter, so we drove there hours before the sun came up to go live in the dark. … I was there all day, that next day and the following days as the story unfolded.” It was the first story she covered that included such nationwide media attention. “You’re trying to be respectful but also trying to get as much information as you can out to your viewers.”
- The Bastrop County Complex Fire. Sept. 4, 2011, wildfires broke out in Bastrop County, Texas, but no one could predict just how devastating these fires would be. Petrowski covered the story live every day for two weeks. “It was obviously difficult to speak with families who had lost so much, but also incredible to see [the]community come together, people from all over the state stepping in to help residents who had been impacted by the fire,” Petrowski says.
- Michael Morton’s release. Michael Morton was convicted in 1987 for the murder of his wife, but it wasn’t until almost 25 years later, after spending that time in prison, that he was able to prove his innocence. Petrowski went to court the day the judge announced he was a free man. “To this day, [it]has had the biggest impact on me,” Petrowski says. “I got to sit down and interview him and was just in awe of his humility and his lack of bitterness. I still think about that story all the time.”
- The 2011 American Idol finale. When American Idol came to town, Petrowski covered the auditions. “I loved getting out there early in the morning when people had camped out for hours waiting for their chance to audition in front of the judges,” Petrowski recalls. “We would get people to sing for us.” She later flew to Los Angeles to interview the judges and finalists Lauren Alaina and Scotty McCreery. “[It] was just an incredibly exciting experience…getting to witness what, at the time, was the biggest show in the country.”
- Interviewing the X Factor judges. In 2012, Petrowski interviewed judges Simon Cowell, L.A. Reid and Demi Lovato. “I was nervous to interview Simon because I didn’t really know what he’d be like, but he was actually really friendly,” Petrowski recalls. “[Cowell] jokingly asked me to sing at the end of our interview. … I panicked and busted out a few notes of Justin Bieber’s Baby. Simon was not impressed, but we all laughed and it was a really fun moment.”
- Interviewing Garth Brooks. Petrowski is a big fan of country music, and her favorite singer is Garth Brooks. A few years ago, she had the opportunity to interview him via satellite. “I did get to tell him what a fan I am, and he was gracious and friendly, just like everyone said, and it was a pretty awesome moment,” Petrowski remembers.
- Interviewing Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins. Petrowski has been a die-hard fan of the Smashing Pumpkins ever since she discovered the band in the seventh grade. When she heard the lead singer was driving across the country, Petrowski decided to take a chance and reached out through social media to ask if he would be coming through Central Texas. “I got to meet him and he played me my favorite song,” Petrowski says. “To this day, I can’t believe it happened because it was just such an incredible moment for me.”
- The cooking segments. Petrowski has gotten the chance to host many cooking segments with Austin chefs. Although she can’t pick a favorite chef, she does love sushi. “You can’t deny that Chef Tyson Cole of Uchi is a genius, and everything he creates is incredible,” Petrowski says.
- Becoming a mom. “Becoming a mom is probably the most memorable moment of my life, and I got to share some of that monumental event with my Fox 7 family and our viewers,” Petrowski says.