Fall / Winter 2022

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 45 of 143

Broadcast News Philly Superstar Pays Homage to Queen Beyoncé M ost morning traffic reports tend to offer little more than a simple play-by-play of road conditions. But as Philadelphia commuters know, that's not always the case when broadcaster Sheila Watko is on the newsfloor. Watko has been a SAG-AFTRA member and broadcaster since 2016, starting out in the industry as a weekend radio host in New York. The Emmy-winning reporter is currently NBC10 Philadelphia's traffic anchor and entertainment reporter — a perfect fit given her longtime love of Broadway — and often adds the best of both worlds to her segments by slipping in recording artists' song titles within her overall coverage. Watko bases her choices on her favorite artists, which range from country-pop superstar Taylor Swift to the late rock singer Meat Loaf. But her most recent viral moment was all thanks to the Renaissance queen herself, fellow union member Beyoncé, whose iconic lines she quoted, such as "To the left, to the left," and hit song titles, including the summer smash Break My Soul . "I've honestly been a fan [of Beyoncé] since Destiny's Child," said Watko, who notes that while her tribute was meant to premiere on the release date of the artist's latest album, Renaissance, it was delayed due to breaking news coverage. Still, with a bit of encouragement from her colleagues, the green light from her producers and ideal road conditions, viewers started their day listening to a report with nearly 20 different references across Beyoncé's full discography. Said Watko about the timing, "I was nervous because there was such a build-up [surrounding the segment]. But it was great to follow the hype after it had come out, especially after the weekend when everybody had had a chance to listen to it." These fun moments are typically praised by NBC10's viewership, but Watko went viral almost immediately and caught the attention of the star's mother and biggest fan, Tina Knowles-Lawson, who later reposted the video to her 3.5 million Instagram followers. "That was the ultimate compliment, honestly even more than Beyoncé herself," said Watko. "You know moms are always so proud [of their kids], and … I'm assuming she sent it to Bey as well. [I'm hoping] she got a little laugh out of it." From musical tributes to the latest on spring training for the Phillies, morning commuters know to expect the unexpected when broadcaster Sheila Watko is on the newsfloor.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of SAG-AFTRA - Fall / Winter 2022