From weather to gelato

Amanda Sanchez

Photo by David Robert

Up until two weeks ago, KOLO News Channel 8’s Amanda Sanchez was giving us the weekend weather forecast. Then management decided they wanted to liven up the Daybreak morning crew and knew that Amanda’s sense of humor, laugh and smile would give viewers that extra perk in their coffee. Amanda, a Reno native, now does weekly morning reporting from all over Reno. At 6 a.m. on a Monday morning, she reports on pastries and the making of gelato at Atlantis Casino Resort. By the time she comes to the RN&R for her interview, she looks tousled, but somehow still polished, and her yawning is contagious.

How did you get started in meteorology?

I started at Channel 8 in 1997 as an intern with Sam Shad, the morning weathercaster. I started doing meteorology in 1998 when I was hired. There was a chief meteorologist at Channel 8, Pete Giddings, who was my mentor and taught me most of what I know. I have probably learned more from him than I have from going to school.

How have you adjusted to your job change?

As far as the people I work with now, [Danita Cohen and Carlos Faura], we all get along really well. Everybody is hardworking. The hours aren’t easy for anybody, but mentally things are really great. In the broadcast world, I really like interviewing people, meeting people and showcasing things that interest me, which you don’t have the opportunity to do as much in weather.

What types of things do you like to showcase?

Showcasing homeless animals is really important to me. My dream someday is to have a huge yard and house where I can keep dogs, cats, cows, horses, elephants … whatever. I have a Pet of the Week segment that runs every Friday. I would like to see an end to euthanasia, but I realize it is necessary. Spaying and neutering is key. We wouldn’t have to euthanize animals if people were responsible pet owners.

What do the people at Channel 8 think of you bringing your passion for animals into the workplace?

Channel 8 has been really supportive of me featuring animals. Some people do think I’m a little overboard, but I don’t think so. Animals don’t have their own voice, so somebody has to take a stand for them. I’ve actually started a Web site called It is the first website dedicated to the weather and to the proper care of pets under various weather circumstances.

What’s the greatest thing about your job?

I get to do fun stuff. Last week I interviewed the Motor City All Stars playing at Harrah’s. They sang a cappella and had amazing voices. They made me laugh. Also, over the years, I’ve acquired a nice following. When I was in the hospital for health problems, a woman knit me a pair of socks. But my job isn’t my life. My family and pets are most important to me.