#MediaMonday – Heidi Goitia
Today’s #MediaMonday comes to us from Heidi Goitia, an Emmy-award winning journalist, producer, and speaker. She’s been working in the media since 2000, getting her start at the same place I did – KNAZ-TV in Flagstaff.
Heidi, time to share:
I’m a born and bred Arizona girl! I grew up in Flagstaff and was lucky enough to get a job right out of college. In fact, I accepted the position on my graduation day. It was for an anchor position at KNAZ-TV. I grew up there and went to NAU so it was pretty special to be doing what I wanted to do in my hometown. I did that for a little more than four years and made all sorts of mistakes along the way. That’s what makes small markets so special and so necessary for young journalists-they are forgiving! During that time, I became a wife and a mother to two babies. The life train was moving fast I got to a point where I no longer wanted to miss bath-time, story-time and those special evening hours with my kids and decided it was time to step away from work spend more time with them. I left KNAZ and our family moved to Phoenix where it was more financially feasible for me to be a stay-at-home mom. But, wow, talk about a lot of work! I was more tired staying home with two babies than I was when I worked outside the home, but it was the right move and I wouldn’t trade those years for anything. When I first left, I remember being scared that I would never get back into TV. In fact, someone told me I was “committing career suicide.” I’m not going to lie, it’s very satisfying to say they were wrong.
After six years at home, and one more baby, I decided it was time to flex my journalism muscle once again. I started at KTVK-TV as a writer for Good Morning Arizona. A short time later, I started booking and producing segments for the show and was later asked to fill in during a weekend reporter’s maternity leave. That re-kindled the on-air fire. I was later asked to fill in on GMAZ during Yetta Gibson’s maternity leave and jumped at the chance to do feature segments for a show I had grown up watching. We then became co-anchors. Life is funny that way. A few months later I ended up signing a reporting contract and had an absolute blast reporting in the field for about 18 months. Once Channel 5 and Channel 3 merged, I was moved to the new CBS 5 morning show to do traffic. A year later, I was anchoring that show. So, five years after going back to work, my career had taken a crazy trajectory and landed me in spot I wasn’t ever brave enough to even dream. I didn’t always know why I was saying yes to some of the opportunities, but I know they opened up doors to get me to where I am. I will always be thankful to the people who believed in me and took a chance on me.
I’ve recently left the daily grind of TV news and am working to help people in the media improve their craft, find better jobs, and grow in their field. It’s a gift to be able to help lift up young broadcasters trying to find their way. This role also allows me the flexibility I need right now as I soak up the last few years of having kids at home. Well, just one kid now. I’m not sure a smooth road exists when you’re trying to juggle motherhood and a career. I think some of the biggest struggles have been trying to balance my time and energy between my family and my job. There never seems to be enough of either. For a decade I worked crazy hours which meant my kids sometimes got a very tired version of mom. I became a single mom about two years after I went back to work and that was a really rough transition. Around the same time, my mom was diagnosed with Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease. Then in 2018, I lost my sister. Life happens and it isn’t always pretty or pleasant. In fact, sometimes it knocks us on our bottom, but I truly believe my job is what made those really tough years more manageable. During my divorce I was out doing all sorts of crazy things for GMAZ. I couldn’t have asked for a more wonderful distraction. Reality is always going to throw you curveballs but having a job that forces you to take risks, have fun, and be silly…we should all be so lucky.
I love telling stories and feel blessed to have been able to do that. I had planned to just keep doing what I was doing, God (and maybe some Botox) willing! And I don’t think I’m done doing that just yet, but I’m done for now. Personally, my oldest is going to school in Tennessee and my middle just left for Texas. No one prepares you for that part of parenting. Pray for this mama! Now it’s just me and my youngest so it’s a whole new dynamic, but a great one. I’m excited to have that time with him. I have always loved telling good stories and showing off the people and places that make my home state so great so when people ask if or when I’ll be back on TV I say, “we’ll see.”
Outside of work I’m either hanging out with my kids (usually watching sports, we are huge Suns fans), hiking a trail somewhere, or on the water in a kayak or paddleboard. I love being outside and try to make time every day for that to happen. I also love to read and travel. I don’t sit still much, but I’m working on it.
Give me Mexican food and I’m a happy girl.
Or a salad.
I’m apparently an extremist when it comes to food. Go big or… eat a salad, I guess.
A little-known fact about you?
Hmmm…I asked my boyfriend this question and he said “that you’re 72% made up of wine and Mexican food” so there’s that. All the hiking I do buys me some extra calories now and then.
I won Best of Show in the Coconino County Fair for a rabbit I raised when I was a kid. It was a proud moment for young Heidi. Flagstaff girl bragging rights
On social media, you can follow on Twitter @heidigoitia or on Facebook at @Heidigoitiatv.