Best of Sacramento 2016: Arts & Entertainment
ABC10’s Frances Wang
For Frances Wang, it’s been a childhood dream realized.
The ABC10 reporter was in middle school when her mother bought a hermit crab kiosk at Arden Fair mall, near the second floor carousel. Wang usually spent time there after school, helping her mother run the business.
That job soon inspired a career after KCRA moved in next door, setting up a live TV news studio just steps from Wang and her mother.
Wang was instantly intrigued.
“This was before smartphones, so I’d spend my time watching the news,” Wang remembers. “It made the day go by quicker.”
It also gave her a taste of broadcast exposure.
“[The station] would get shots of people in the background—it was cool to have my friends say ’I saw you on TV in the background,” she says now.
Wang finally made it in front of the camera when the station interviewed her for a back-to-school segment. After, she was hooked.
“Since then I’ve always been interested in [TV],” she says.
After graduating from St. Francis High School, Wang enrolled at the University of Southern California to study broadcasting. There she discovered a passion for old-school, boots-on-the-ground reporting.
“If I could have been a journalist in the golden age of journalism, I would have,” Wang says. “I wish I could have been a part of that.”
After internships at KABC-TV, CNN and E! News, Wang landed a job as an on-air reporter at KREM2 in Spokane, Wash. She didn’t think she’d actually return to Sacramento anytime soon but when an opportunity popped up last year—ABC10 and KREM2 share the same parent company—she jumped at the chance.
“This is a very forward-thinking company—they’re very digital-first,” she says. “And I want to be at the forefront.”
For Wang, that means marrying the internet’s share-everything culture with broadcast television’s reach.
“Even though everyone has a camera and everyone has access to a platform, I still think that news stations have brand and audience—we have access to those that others might not have, just by being the press,” she says.
On camera, Wang exudes camera-friendly qualities: a high-energy, knowledgeable efficiency and an understated warmth that comes through whether she’s reporting on political rallies, sporting events or the story of a man who, after being hit by a drunk driver, had to learn to walk and talk again.
Wang points to Ellen DeGeneres and Humans of New York as career inspiration.
“I like breaking big news stories—the adrenaline of that just can’t be beat,” she says. “But I also like highlighting seemingly regular people who are just doing seemingly regular things, … That’s part of my job, sharing those stories.”