If you thought that fresh face on Channel 8’s Saturday morning news broadcast looked familiar, you’re right. Long-time Lake Highlands resident Lauren Nevitt made her debut November 5th as the traffic anchor for WFAA Saturday mornings from 7-9.
Nevitt – she’s O’Quinn, actually, since she married Patrick in June but she’s keeping her broadcasting name for use on TV – was just 3 when her parents moved from their home in Lochwood to Lake Highlands. Mom, Susie, grew up in LH and dad, Jim, was raised in East Dallas before they married as Bishop Lynch High School sweethearts. After brother, Michael, then sister, Danielle, came along, the Nevitts moved into their house on Faircrest, where they’ve now lived for almost 2 decades.
“Some of the best memories I have growing up involve hanging out with the neighbor kids almost every day,” says Nevitt. “My next door neighbor on the left was a boy, Shane, in my class at St. Patrick’s. To the right was Kahnery Mai, who went to Hamilton Park. We’d usually go over to the Mai’s house and play with their snakes – they had an entire shed full of them, build forts upstairs in the game room with those cardboard bricks or I’d just hang out with the boys while they played with Pokemon cards. Kahnery, Shane and I ended up in the same freshman class at OU together.”
Nevitt majored in broadcast journalism and quickly made it onto the TV news program, but she didn’t begin by reporting traffic.
“My very first time on local TV was while I was at OU,” recalls Nevitt. “It was a student-run newscast called ‘OU Nightly’ and I was the sports anchor for the show every Friday. At OU I also hosted a sports magazine show called ‘Sooner Sports Pad’ that aired on different Fox Sports affiliates.”
From there, Nevitt moved to Midland, where she served as sports anchor/reporter at KWES-TV.
“I covered lots of high school and college sports. In the TV business, you’re always told you have to start out in a small market and work your way up, so that was my plan.” She did traffic in Oklahoma City before coming to Dallas.
At the ripe old age of 24, Nevitt is a veteran who says most of her camera jitters have gone away.
“The most difficult part can be when you are mid-sentence and a producer starts talking in your ear. It can be a little difficult to concentrate and explain to your audience what exactly you are trying to get across. Luckily I’ve learned how to multitask and ad-lib.
“The best part of TV news in general is that no day is ever the same. The days go by extremely quickly – you’re always trying to meet deadlines, and the adrenaline is always kicking in. It can be a very stressful business, but it is definitely rewarding.”
As for future plans, Nevitt says she may be settled in for good.
“Patrick and I always wanted to move back to Texas, specifically Dallas for me. It’s extremely difficult in the TV business to actually work in the city of your choice. You normally move to wherever the job is. It usually takes many years to get to a city like Dallas, so I am extremely fortunate and grateful to be able to work here.”
You can catch Nevitt Saturday mornings on Channel 8, and she invites you to stop by her table and say hello if you see her at her favorite LH hang out – Mi Cocina.
“I love the tightness of the Lake Highlands community and how friendly the people are.”