School of Communication Graduate Nabs Job as Host of Morning Television Show

By Barbara Gutierrez

School of Communication Graduate Nabs Job as Host of Morning Television Show

By Barbara Gutierrez
Even in high school Danny New had a strategy on how to be a television personality.

Danny NewDanny New never lets an opportunity pass him by. About to graduate from the School of Communication (SoC) with a major in broadcast journalism and minors in media management and screenwriting, New once was offered the chance to volunteer backstage at the regional ceremony for the local Suncoast Emmy awards. He said yes right away and ignored a classmate who thought the task was demeaning.

While working backstage, he ran into University of Miami alum Chris Clark, who was a producer at the local WTVJ/Channel 6, NBC affiliate station. New offered him his card, an act that eventually opened the doors for him to get an internship at NBC. During the internship, he worked the night shift as an assistant sports producer interviewing stars like Miami Heat player Dwyane Wade. That internship led him to another internship last summer with “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” where he wrote jokes and received valuable feedback from the producers.    

“I always knew I wanted to be an entertainer,” New said. “I had a specific strategy. I wanted to be in a big city where we were the best school in that city and it would also have a beautiful studio and therefore I would get the best internships. And it worked.”

His hard work, both at academics and on-air as host of the UMTV-produced show “Off the Wire” honed his skills that led to his first full-time job. Beginning in May, New will co-host the morning show “Mass Appeal” at WWLP, the NBC affiliate in Springfield, Massachusetts. It’s not every day that a recent college graduate gets a job as a host on television. But the news of New’s success does not surprise anyone who knows him.    

His professor Edward Julbe, a lecturer who teaches television production and broadcasting at SoC is one of his greatest fans.

“It has been an absolute pleasure working with Danny,” he said. “He’s been an excellent student and I’ve seen him mature, both professionally and personally these last four years. It has always been his dream to host ‘The Tonight Show’ and I wouldn’t be surprised at all to one day see him on TV doing just that.”

Luis Herrera, assistant dean at the SoC, who has advised New throughout the years finds him to be “a very funny guy,” but also a journalist who combines integrity with charisma.

“He's a very talented journalist and host,” said Herrera. “He knows when to ask the serious questions or when to say a witty joke or an impromptu antic. Before you know it, he'll have his own comedy show.”

New credits the many opportunities he had at UM with polishing his style and delivery. He worked with “Canes After Dark” and the Improv Team at the college where he learned to adlib by creating skits out of one word suggestions from the audience.

His performances during the “Off the Wire” show highlight his personality. He is funny, a good story teller and is comfortable in his own skin. During his tenure on the show he has interviewed guests including former UM President Donna E. Shalala, comedian Dave Barry and Star Trek actor and activist George Takei.

“I like people and I am a good listener,” said New. “I see a person and imagine doing an interview with them.”

Julbe says that broadcasting is a natural for New.

“Danny has a great sense of humor and is a very good writer. He has an ability to tell good stories in an entertaining and informative way, which will really help him stand out from the crowd.”

New’s work has earned him a local Suncoast Emmy for a video feature about Shawnee Chasser, a woman who lived in a tree house. That same piece earned him an award from the Florida Associated Press Broadcasters for best feature.

“I found her through the Internet and got there before The New York Times and CNN did,” New said of how he secured the story.