01.02.2012

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Jennifer Bjorklund is a veteran broadcast news anchor and reporter with 27 years in the business, the last 15 of them in Los Angeles television.

Bjorklund is currently on the beach! That’s industry-speak for free agency in the television news business. After 12 years at KNBC, NBC’s west coast flagship, Bjorklund is moving on.

Bjorklund spent 5 of her years at KNBC anchoring Today in LA, the station’s morning newscast, then went back out into the field reporting for the regular evening newscasts in 2010. The last two years at KNBC were exciting, but also very challenging for the on-air staff, with changes in technology making the job as much about troubleshooting as it was about Journalism. Bjorklund rose to the challenge and did reports on everything from the next big thing in cookies and nail polish, to breaking news on fires, protests and politics.

Bjorklund was well prepared for her move back to general assignment reporting, because while she was anchoring the morning newscasts, she was honing her writing and internet skills with the popular NBCLA.com online column “What’s Jen Clicking on Between Newscasts,” which is posted on this site’s homepage as well.

Bjorklund also got a camera, tripod, and editing software issued to her by the station to produce, shoot and edit a twice-weekly feature on dog training called “Dog Bites,” which ran on Today in LA’s Tuesday and Thursday newscasts. That skill came in handy when she went back to daily news reporting, where she often picked up elements for stories on her own on days that photographers were scarce. In cases like the story of Josh Goldenberg, a 7-year-old boy blind from birth who wanted to Braille his neighborhood grocery store, she grabbed the camera and wrote, shot and edited the story in her spare time (you can see that story here.)

Jennifer started her career in radio, at Cal Poly SLO’s radio station KCPR, where she was News Director and recipient of the prestigious Ed Zuchelli award for Outstanding Senior Broadcaster. The award meant more to her than most people knew; Jennifer was in one of Zuchelli’s last classes at Cal Poly before his sudden death, and his son, John, became her mentor in the following year, passing down the torch of News Director at the station his dad helped build. John Zuchelli also helped her get her first real broadcast news job, as morning drive anchor for the Santa Maria ABC News radio station KUHL.

From there she moved to Santa Barbara, taking over as the morning anchor with the departure to KNX of news anchor Linda Nunez. In that city she made the jump to television, working at KEYT first as a writer/producer and weekend reporter, then as morning anchor, and finally as weekend anchor.

Her move to Los Angeles came with an offer to cover breaking news in the helicopter for KTTV, flying in SkyFox during the station’s early morning newscast and Good Day LA. Concerned that she’d be pigeon-holed as a “chopper-chick,” Bjorklund insisted that she also be allowed to report on the ground after landing for the day. That resulted in a 18-month-long stint of 20 hour days, but also kept her current and landed her in the studio as a fill-in anchor on the morning newscasts and a promotion to the 10pm newscast as a full-time nightside reporter.

Her move to The Channel Four News on KNBC in 2000 was a dream come true; she was the early morning reporter again, covering breaking news with the best in the business. She was promoted to dayside reporting three years later, then to co-anchor of Today in LA before returning to her reporting roots for her last two years with the station.

What’s next is anyone’s guess…

Follow Jennifer on Facebook here.

Follow Jennifer on Twitter here.

…and thanks for dropping in!

check out Jennifer’s reel …


01.01.2012

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It’s time to hit the road — and I am on it, but not moving too quickly toward my next destination.  Why?  Because I think it’s important to figure out the absolute best move before I make it.

Every time I stray too far from a newsroom, the lure of the big story draws me back in.  But I’m taking a little break this time to be absolutely sure the next opportunity is one for me not only to grow and thrive as a journalist, but also to be used to the fullest of my abilities.  So for those of you worrying that I’ve disappeared into the sunset … oh, I’ll be back.

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Check out my reel here, and right below it are some of my favorite stories from the last few months.  Here’s to a Happy New Year and a 2012 that’s full of surprises…

03.11.2011

A visit with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles’ volunteer baby cuddlers.  Shot and edited by the incredibly talented videographer Sean Browning, whom I first worked with in Santa Barbara in the 1990s.  We worked different shifts at KNBC, but one day he called me and said, “Jen, there’s this story I want to do …” which is always the first step in what becomes a great story.  We juggled our schedules to make it happen, and this story was the result.

View more videos at: http://www.nbclosangeles.com.

Jen and photographer Tommy Bravo got to fly along on a radar-equipped NASA Gulfstream III jet called “UAVSAR,” as JPL scientists painstakingly map out changes in the earth between earthquakes … the next step toward earthquake forecasting!

View more news videos at: http://www.nbclosangeles.com/video.

View more videos at: http://nbclosangeles.com.

Jennifer Bjorklund works the line that Lucy and Ethel made famous…

View more news videos at: http://www.nbclosangeles.com/video.

Have you had a macaron? Not a macaroon, silly. If you haven’t, check it out: the tiny French confection is poised to topple the cupcake from its lofty favorite-status peak.

View more news videos at: http://www.nbclosangeles.com/video.

A raid on pot plantations in the mountains above Azusa nets 19,000 plants. Los Angeles County narco teams pulled up more of the illegal plants than their counterparts in Humboldt County in 2009 … is Southern California the Golden State’s new marijuana capitol?

View more news videos at: http://www.nbclosangeles.com/video.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Air Rescue 5 crew gets certified to run with the Coast Guard on Homeland Security Drills … this one’s called a “vertical insertion,” or what we like to call it … catching bad guys on a boat.

Jen is out in the field again, and what an assignment!  Check out her romp with stylist Lindsay Albanese through Silver Spoon’s Haiti Suite Relief as they welcome the stars for Oscar week…

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