Are you a naturally curious person? Do you poke holes in other people’s stories? Do you find yourself always asking questions? Do you love to explore, dig deeper, and seek understanding? Curiosity, according to Sonni Abatta, is what fuels some of the best journalists on the planet.
I had the privilege to speak with Sonny about her remarkable story — a story of bravery, a story some have criticized, and I am honored to share how Sonni was able to leave her powerful post as a modern woman in the media to focus on what she loves. I sincerely hope that Sonni’s story empowers you and fuels you up!
Click the play button below to hear Sonni’s remarkable story:
Sonni’s remarkable journey started in the halls of Carnegie Mellon University, combining her love of writing and performing by pursuing a Bachelor of Humanities to create her own journalism degree. This led her to a life-changing internship at Dateline in New York, in the 30 Rock building, during the summer of 2001. At this time, she was still contemplating if the best outlet for her love of writing was television, and she got a firsthand look at what it was like to be in front of the camera every day. Her internship carried throughout the summer, throughout August, and into September — and then 9/11 happened. As she watched professional journalists handle themselves with grace and poise in the midst of tragedy, she was inspired, and as she saw journalists deliver important information, she felt motivated to serve the public .
After her experience at Dateline, Sonni continued interning in the digital news space. When she was living in Pittsburgh, she was hired 2 weeks out of a college at a local news station as a trainee. As a 21-year-old in a challenging market, she had to work twice as hard to prove how capable she was — but even with all of her experience, no one was going to put a 21-year-old on the air without training them first, and she waited six months before getting her chance.
“So they told me that I was going to be on the air for the first time,” said Sonni. “I go into my news directors office — and I will never forget this — and he was like, ‘So here’s what your schedule looks like for the first week. We’re going to have you on weather.’ And I was like, ‘Excuse me? Weather? I’m not a meteorologist!’ I’m the type of person who doesn’t want to fake the font; I haven’t studied it, I don’t have a comprehension of it. And he was like, ‘Well, you have however many weeks to figure it out, so figure it out.’”
Sonni went to the chief meteorologist asking for tips and “Meteorology 101” books, hoping to amplify her understanding of weather so she could better communicate it.
“What people don’t know is that nothing is scripted in weather,” said Sonni. “You stand in front of a blank wall and you talk for three minutes.” Although she initially struggled and panicked, she learned how to successfully ad lib, fill time, and captivate an audience.
She moved from weather and general news reporting to anchoring, and the rest is history.
These powerful experiences jumpstarted Sonni’s incredible news career, which spanned 15 years and gave her a seat as a high-profile anchor in Orlando on Fox 35.
What prompted a successful, talented, well-respected journalist to call it quits? What was the final straw? Turns out, it was a variety of straws. Missing out on normalcy wore Sonni thin. Late-night newscasts led to missing dinners, calling to say goodnight, and not being able to read bedtime stories to her children or tuck them into bed. At the station, she would get into her car during breaks and call her mom, sometimes even crying, because she missed her family. It was this craving, this desire for normalcy, this longing for the often mundane, that made Sonni realize — it was time. It was time for someone else to take her seat behind the desk and in front of the camera.
Supermom and Content Creator
Now, Sonni’s a stay-at-home mom who’s using her God-given talents to showcase the craziness, stress, and joy of motherhood. By creating honest content that other moms can relate to, she’s established an impressive following on social media. Sonni digs into hard-to-talk-about topics concerning pregnancy, raising children, and relationships. But she isn’t just talking; she’s telling stories.
“I loved — and I still love — giving people good stories and good information,” said Sonni. “It’s about stories. It’s about sharing information. It’s about connecting people. It’s about being the trusted resource to point people in the right direction. And that’s thrilling in its own way.”
Sonni has a gift of relating with people through her authenticity, humility, and passion. Her love of storytelling, digging deeper, educating people, and sharing her life is changing the lives of countless others.
What Fuels Sonni?
Family. Her husband. Her beautiful children. Gratitude. Curiosity. Many things fuel Sonni Abatta and drive her to keep creating rich content. I hope you loved this story as much as I loved hearing it. You can follow Sonni on all major social media platforms; check her out on Twitter and Instagram @SonniAbatta and online at https://sonniabatta.com/.
About the Author
Tom is the chief coffee brewer, CEO, digital marketing strategist, and kickass content creator for brands across the globe at On Target. He loves nothing more than helping small to medium-sized businesses find their online voice and growing their leads, prospects, and sales.
On Target Digital Marketing is a full-service digital marketing agency located in Orlando, Florida. Through branding, web design, content creation, and social media, we get brands found and talked about online. To learn how we can help your brand grow and thrive, call 407-830-4550 or fill out our contact form. Thanks for reading and sharing!