Interviewed by Stephanie Hungerford
Andrea Canning is a correspondent for NBC’s Dateline and contributes to all NBC News platforms. She has reported on major crime stories, high profile trials and breaking news, including the Boston Marathon Bombing, Hurricane Sandy, the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and the terrorist attack at Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Since arriving at Dateline, she has also reported hour-long documentaries on campus sexual assault and adoption fraud.
Prior to joining NBC News in 2012, Canning served as an ABC News correspondent for eight years where she covered the White House, Congress, the Supreme Court and the Iraq War, reporting on everything from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and the Casey Anthony case, to her 2011 headline-making interview with actor Charlie Sheen. Long before that, Canning was a reporter and evening news anchor for CKVR Television in Barrie, Ontario. A graduate of the University of Western Ontario, she also studied radio and television arts at Ryerson in Toronto. Canning is married to Lt. Col. Tony Bancroft, a former F-18 fighter pilot with the U.S. Marine Corps. They have five young daughters. She is on Twitter @CanningAndrea.
I reached out to her because she is an inspiration to me, not only as a writer, but also as a working mother in the highly competitive television industry. Canning’s dedication to her work and family is more than just admirable. When I met with her in New York a few years back, she walked me through her daily schedule. I’ll never forget it. The hours were grueling. She was up at the crack of dawn, sometimes earlier, and back at the studio late into the evening. Every minute was accounted for, including making sure she had dinner with her daughters, regardless of whether or not she had to go back to the studio to burn the midnight oil. Hard working and determined, Canning’s real gift is her way with words. Her investigations are thorough yet empathetic; kind yet inquisitive. The way she unravels a story is so intuitive that she’s able to guide the viewer on an effortless journey. If that isn’t the mark of a great storyteller, I don’t know what is.
You’ve had a very successful career as a correspondent working for major American networks. How did you land your first job?
There was no internet, so I paid for this service called Medialine that cost about 10 dollars a month. It listed local news job openings across the country on its telephone hotline. I sent out my VHS resume reels to 60 stations. I got two calls. One from Nebraska and one from Mississippi. Nebraska passed. Mississippi gave me a pop quiz on the phone. I passed and was hired as their morning anchor. I had made a very amateur reel that thankfully made enough of an impression. Times have changed!