“Never ever, ever give up. I have had many rejections looking for a job and moving forward, yet I never let it stop me. It disappointed me, but did not stop me. You have to get a million no’s sometimes before you get the yes, and when you are lucky enough to get that yes, embrace it and try to never let it go. Work to make it positive.”
Maria Stephanos has always been interested in communicating. As a baby, Maria would line up an audience of stuffed animals in her crib and talk to them, so it’s no surprise that she has become a successful news anchor for three nightly newscasts on FOX25 News.
Recalling the vivid memory of her parents transfixed by the television coverage of Elvis Presley’s death, she relates that it was at that moment that she recognized the power of the media as it stopped her parents in their tracks. She thought, “Wow! That is what I want to do. That is an incredible thing.”
Her interest in the news world was also stimulated by her grandparents who owned a ‘mom and pop’ store and listened to talk radio all day long. and on Sunday evenings visiting them with her family for dinner and watching 60 Minutes together.
Growing up in Groveland, a small town in Massachusetts, Maria was active in her school community. As president of the student council she enjoyed fostering change and sees her career in the news as an extension of her desire to have an impact on things.
She attended UMass Amherst, and then graduated from Emerson with undergraduate and graduate degrees in Communication. When she got her first job in radio she remembers feeling ecstatic over this accomplishment. “I thought it was the greatest thing in the world. It was a great job!” She reported news on several radio stations before transitioning into television news. Carl Stevens, a reporter for WBZ News Radio who worked at the State House with Maria would always say to her, “You’ve got to get out of radio and be on television.” “So I gave it a shot. I’ve been very, very lucky.”
Although luck played a part, Maria also believes that a path is laid out, and we can either choose to take it or not. “All the things I have done in my life have led me to this position right now. I grew up loving to talk, to communicate, loving life, telling stories, and this seemed to be the very best job for that passion.”
Maria believes that many people have an opportunity to do what they are passionate about, and just need to be relentless about pursuing it. “If you are passionate about something, even if you don’t know exactly what you want to do, but have passion in general and feel motivated about life, that makes a huge difference.”
In 1997 she began her career in television at Fox where she started as a reporter, eventually working her way to the anchor desk. She continues to conduct interviews in the field while covering the news desk. One of the things she loves most is having an impact on what gets covered on the news. “I love working here. They allow me to have a voice,” shares Maria.
Having a successful career and balancing work and family is a challenge, admits Maria. “If I thought too much about it, I might crumble. It is a struggle, yet if I chose to dwell on it, I couldn’t do it.” She embraces her life as a grand adventure and believes that you just have to keep moving forward, making the very best of your situation.
Each morning at 6:45 a.m. her day begins with getting her kids up and ready for school. Her day continues its busy schedule with errands, appointments, Pilates or running, until her workday begins at 2:00 p.m., ending at midnight. Her husband is a political illustrator whose work appears in Rolling Stone, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, and many other publications. Because he works from home, he is with the children while Maria is at the studio. Weekends are special because the whole family can be together.
Maria shares these messages with women: “Never ever, ever give up. I have had many rejections looking for a job and moving forward, yet I never let it stop me. It disappointed me, but did not stop me. You have to get a million no’s sometimes before you get the yes, and when you are lucky enough to get that yes, embrace it and try to never let it go. Work to make it positive.”