“Breaking news in West Chester: There?s a Halloween parade!” “So close yet so far away” is how CBS 3?s news anchor Pat Ciarrocchi felt Thursday night on her way to West Chester University. Borough police blocked most of the streets, delaying Ciarrocchi?s arrival to speak to the university?s Women and Men in Communication.Ciarrocchi good-naturedly compared her traffic jam experience to a career. “You look into the distance ahead and find yourself on one-way streets and can?t make a left hand turn no matter how hard you try.” So many different pathways and jobs lie ahead.
Ciarrocchi was the editor of her school paper at Rosemont College. She recalled an evening when many different pieces of the paper lay on a table before her.
Before she knew it, it was 1 a.m. “Where did the five hours go? I was loving what I was doing. It felt good to me inside.” She told students to look within themselves to find their talents. “It?s not necessarily what you?re getting good grades in, but what you become lost in.”
Ciarrocchi told her story, beginning when she was her college newspaper editor and continuing through to her 22-year career with CBS News.
Her inspiration actually began in third grade at St. Patrick?s School in Kennett Square, where she was instructed to write a fivesentence composition. She wrote about her grandfather, Achilles.
Ciarrocchi remembers a nun placing the graded paper on her desk, and it had “the word excellent written in red ink.”
Ciarrocchi?s success continued, from her reading of book reports in front of her fourth grade class to her onair radio debut as a screamer in the background of a Halloween commercial.
Ciarrocchi stressed the importance of starting out in a small market in the broadcasting business. “It?s not as glamorous, but you get to do the work.”
Ciarrocchi began her broadcasting career in 1974 on the radio in Wilmington, Del.
She was working in Maryland as a news anchor, when a friend from home recommended her as a possible candidate for CBS. CBS News was looking to bring back locals for their broadcast. CBS reviewed Ciarrocchi?s work and hired her in 1982.
Her days then began at 3 a.m. in order for her to be in the studio by 4 a.m. Now her typical day begins at about 9:30 a.m.
“Open up your mind [and] your heart to spirit, ask to be led, and then listen,” Ciarrocchi advised.
She also discussed the importance of living a balanced life, and finding something you lose yourself in, in order to survive. “Twenty-two years in the fourth largest market is survival,” she said.
Ciarrocchi anchors CBS 3?s Eyewitness News at noon with Skee Washington. Ciarrocchi promised the Women and Men in Communication a studio tour and a viewing of a live taping of the noon show in apology for her delayed arrival.
West Chester University?s Women and Men in Communication is an organization open to all majors, particularly communication studies.
The group will be hosting a trip to Philadelphia on November 12-13, which will include tours of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Lincoln Financial Field, and City Hall.