Morning person

Alumna hosts ‘Tampa Bay’s Morning Blend’

By Amber Stark

Natalie Taylor ’04 always knew she wanted to be a broadcaster. So with a top-ranked journalism program, Bowling Green State University was the perfect place for her to start on her career path.

That path included several sports reporting positions before Taylor got a taste for morning television. She is now a cohost for “Tampa Bay’s Morning Blend,” the area’s newest lifestyle and entertainment show.

“I had a fabulous time as a sports broadcaster,” said Taylor, who has a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a specialization in Broadcasting and a minor in sport management. “The opportunity to travel North America, not only to report, but to anchor and host various sporting events and programming with wonderful crews, was amazing. But I always wanted to host a lifestyle show; that’s why I wanted to get into TV in the first place back in high school. Sports broadcasting is just what got me to my dream job.”

Taylor’s sports broadcasting experience started during her senior year at BGSU when she got to report for Fox Sports Ohio on the “Coach’s Show.” Production for those shows took place at WBGU.

“I spent many valuable hours there,” she said. “It’s that experience that helped me land an internship at Fox Sports Pittsburgh, which led me to my first post-collegiate broadcasting job working with Fox Sports South in Atlanta.”

Working behind the scenes editing, creating graphics and doing camera work for a production company that created programming for Fox Sports South allowed Taylor to get in front of the camera a few times, which helped her put a resume together and eventually led to her first on-air contract with Fox Sports South. Taylor spent the next 10 years on-air with various Fox Sports networks around the country. During this time she covered collegiate sports, NASCAR and the NHL. She also worked with regional networks, including Fox Sports Ohio, Fox Sports Florida, Fox Sports Midwest, Comcast Sports Southeast, in addition to national networks like ESPN, HDNet, SPEED and Versus. During that time, one football coach in particular kept making appearances.

“While at BGSU I reported for the BGSU Football “Coach’s Show,” and at that time it was Urban Meyer,” Taylor said. “While working for Fox Sports South, I covered the SEC, where I was able to cover Meyer again while he coached the Gators at the University of Florida. Finally, when I worked for the ABC/Fox affiliate in Columbus, he was hired to coach the Buckeyes.

“Clearly, as a journalist, climbing the career ladder is mandatory, but to see others climbing their own ladders, such as Urban Meyer, is fun and special.”

It was Taylor’s time in Columbus that gave her a taste of morning television.

“I loved being a personality for ‘Good Day Columbus,’” she said. “While I spent most of my time, career-wise, on the sidelines, on collegiate campuses at the track or at the rink, hosting magazine shows for various teams were always my favorite assignments. I love being in-studio and at this point in my career am happy to be working in-studio every day.”

“Tampa Bay’s Morning Blend” is an E.W. Scripps Station franchise show shot in many markets around the country.

“The station has been excited about the launch and has given us a wonderful studio and crew to work with for our show,” Taylor said. “While there’s a marketing component to the show, we have guests from all around the Bay Area and we get to dive into what makes Tampa Bay special. It’s truly a dream job.”

It’s a dream job that Taylor said BGSU prepared her for.

“I was able to build off of the TV experiences I had as a student, plus I was able to network with BGSU alumni,” she said. “Both of those experiences helped get me where I am today. BGSU opened the doors for my career, no questions asked.”

Taylor and her husband, who is a news anchor on “Good Day Tampa Bay,” are both active in the Tampa Bay area.

“Being a broadcaster isn’t just about being on-air,” she said. “It’s about being a part of the community. We love that aspect of what we do and have really made the most of our two years in Tampa Bay so far.”

They serve as board members of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America as well as work with the Humane Society and support the Special Olympics, among others.