Annika Pergament has been a familiar face on Spectrum News NY1 for more than two decades. Having joined the station in 1994, the native New Yorker spearheaded the station's business coverage, reporting from the New York Stock Exchange until recently joining the new Mornings on 1 show.
Please tell us about your journalism background.
I knew I wanted to be a reporter from the time I was very young. After attending Duke University I got my masters from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern. I spent a few months at WBTW in South Carolina before being hired by Spectrum News NY1 (NY1). Outside of two years at WCBS-TV in New York, I've spent the majority of my career at NY1, and during that time also did work for Court TV.
You've been with the station for more than 20 years. What beats have you covered?
The great part of working at NY1 is that I've had the opportunity to cover a number of beats including Albany, Manhattan, consumer, politics, health, and business.
What's one of your favorite stories you've covered?
That may be the toughest question for any reporter. The most impactful for me was covering the 9/11 terror attacks. I was in lower Manhattan that morning a few blocks from the Twin Towers. It was a defining moment in my life. More broadly, the stories that I enjoy most involve interesting people doing interesting things. And in New York, that never ends.
The Morning Show recently launched. What type of content do you and your colleagues look for?
Mornings on 1 is focused on events and stories that are relevant or interesting to New Yorkers: transit, City Hall, the police department, the parks, our sports teams, local businesses, inspiring entrepreneurs. The stories we cover have to have a strong New York angle.
Okay, for fans of television dramas, we have to ask. What was it like being on the Sopranos?
It was one of the most fun experiences of my life. I was cast for the pilot season, so nobody had any idea that it would be such a huge hit. James Gandolfini was a big NY1 fan, so he was always asking me about current events and stories we covered. The cast and crew were really special people. It was an honor to be part of that team.
And now you're a familiar face on Mr. Robot.
Yes, the Sopranos opened up a new door for me in doing TV and movies. Mr. Robot is so original, and the fans are really passionate. The whole cybersecurity/hacker world is in the news every day, so people feel a strong connection.
What types of stories interest you?
My focus is on business news, so I love stories about entrepreneurs. It takes a great idea and a tremendous amount of courage and determination to be an entrepreneur, and those attributes tend to make great stories.
Our newsletter offers advice to nonprofits on how to work with the media. What's your biggest pet peeve when people pitch you a story?
When I get an email that says we think the following story would be great for your newspaper.
What's a common mistake people make pitching you - and how can they correct it?
The most common mistake is from someone making a pitch and they clearly haven't watched our show. The easiest way to correct it is to simply watch Mornings on 1 for a few days. By watching, you will get a clear sense of the types of stories we cover in those three hours.
How should people reach you or a colleague to pitch a story?
Contact the NY1 assignment desk and ask for the Planning Editor for Mornings on 1.