Modern Day Mary Richards
Host MORE Good Day Oregon
WORDS Byron Beck | PHOTOGRAPHY Tim Sugden
MAKEUP & HAIR M’chel Bauxal – Gleason
Stephanie Kralevich is the host of KPTV Channel 12’s “More Good Day Oregon,” a weekday, hour-long, entertainment-based news show that broadcasts live from Portland, Oregon.
Kralevich loves comedy (and comedians). She brews her own kombucha, and says she would likely have a “panic attack” if she ever got to meet actor James Franco.
She also loves being part of television news, something that she has wanted to do as long as she can remember.
And this is what you should know about this incredible ball of energy: she’s kind, she’s generous, she has a smile that can light up a room. She hates it when she flubs up and she is incredibly curious about the world, particularly the world of entertainment. In many way’s she’s like a modern, local version of Mary Tyler Moore’s beloved television character, “Mary Richards.”
Portland Interview Magazine recently had a chance to talk to Steph about her life, both on and off the set.
Where did you grow up? Gresham. I’m a 4th generation Portlander, on my Mom’s side. My Dad’s side is all Croatian – that’s how I got this long Slavic last name!
Have you always wanted to be in broadcasting? Ever since I can remember I’ve wanted to work in television. There’s an embarrassing video of me at five years old pretending to be longtime KGW and KPTV Portland news anchor Kathy Smith. This is all I’ve ever wanted to do. As a little girl, I would beg to go sit in the audience on “Ramblin’ Rod” (the long-running morning cartoon show on KPTV).
So, when did you get into broadcasting? In fifth and sixth grade, I was one of the kids on a Multnomah Cable Access show called “Kid Stuff.” It was a “MGDO” (Morning Good Day Oregon) but for little kids. We had cooking segments and interviewed cool people. I was in heaven. My first paying job in television was during my junior year of college. I rolled the teleprompter for the morning news at KEZI in Eugene before heading to classes at the University of Oregon. I then worked as a weekend assignment editor and once I graduated from college, I became a full-time news producer.
Have you spent any time in other cities as a television/broadcast reporter? I worked in Eugene as a producer for a year after college, then one year in Medford, two years in Boise and three years in Spokane. Coming back to Portland in 2005 was like a dream come true. After nine years away, I was home sweet home.
What is your favorite part of your work? Interviewing fascinating people. I am a fan of just about everyone, so nearly every day is a thrill. I also LOVE my coworkers.
What is the least favorite part of your work? I honestly can’t think of anything aside from the pressure that sometimes comes with being “live.” It means anytime we flub a word, mangle a pronunciation or get the hiccups on the air, there are no do-overs, no take-backs. I have had a LOT of bloopers over the years. I’ve fallen, sneezed, snorted, cried, choked…so many embarrassing things, all on live TV. One time during a live shot at a fair, I laughed while drinking milk that had just been freshly squeezed from a cow. Warm milk came squirting out my nose, during a live newscast! Let’s just say it wasn’t pretty. Luckily, it was way back in the VHS days, when clips like that didn’t end up on the internet.
Can you tell us a little bit about your show? “MGDO” is a really fun and upbeat lifestyle and entertainment show. We focus on local entertainment: music, movies, live theater, comedy, and of course food. There’s also health, fitness, local business feature stories and the latest celebrity news.
What time in the morning do you get up and what time do you have to be on set? It varies from day to day…but our five-year-old (Stephanie and her husband, Chris, have a son named Cooper) wakes up at 6 am, even on weekends. I get to the station at around 7:30 am because the show begins at 9 am, so I am on the set ready for “teases” during our morning news at 8:50 am.
You have a great look on television. Are the latest styles important to you? I like to comb the sale racks at TJ Maxx, Nordstrom Rack and the fun little boutiques around Portland. I don’t think I’m really ever “in-style” because on television, I usually have to wear solid colors with minimal accessories. Broadcast news consultants have told me during the past 17 years to avoid wearing anything distracting on the air. That really rules out trendy accessories and any stylish “flare.”
Who has been your favorite person to interview and why? So hard to choose just one! John Malkovich because he’s part Croatian, he loves Portland and he’s an amazing actor. John Stamos is a close second because, well, it’s John Stamos.
Who would it be hard to interview because you admire them so much? I would likely have a panic attack if I ever got the chance to interview Paul McCartney or Brian Wilson or James Franco. I’d also probably pass out upon meeting Jim Gaffigan… I get starstruck by just about every comedian. I’m a comedy superfan.
What do you think of being a reporter in this day and age? I’m really grateful to be covering entertainment/lifestyle news now. I was a general assignment reporter for many years and it can be a stressful job when you’re assigned a story that’s controversial, tragic or upsetting in any way. Now that I am a mom, I don’t think I could handle covering any sort of tragedy involving a child. I would just cry in my live report.
Do you have dreams of being a national broadcaster? Nah, I never want to leave Portland. I truly have my dream job.
What does the future hold for television journalism? Things are changing so rapidly…we are doing more digital content with each passing year. People will soon be getting their local news from their smart phones. Oh wait, that’s already happening. But even with the constant advances in technology, for decades to come there will still be a need for journalists to gather local news and report it.
Who is someone you’d like to interview? Carnie Wilson (the daughter of music legend Brian Wilson). She just opened a bakery in Sherwood, and as a longtime fan, I can’t wait to meet her.
Can you tell us a little bit about your personal life, away from the studio? I like to read and watch movies and cook and brew my own kombucha. My husband and I go to stand-up comedy shows, if they end before 9:30 pm… yes, I’m that lame. (Laughs)
What do you do to relax? I like to read a magazine cover to cover or binge watch an entire tv series in one sitting.
If you could be anyplace but Portland, where would you like to be right now? On the beach in Croatia!