Never in a million years did I think I would start my own company. It’s not that I didn’t have goals, it’s just that I was quite happy working for someone else as a journalist. I had an extremely successful career.
But, never say never right? I’m excited to announce the official launch of my website SylviaPerez.com and my new business Sylvia Perez Productions. My new company starts a little over one year after I left ABC7 TV in Chicago. I worked there for 24 years as a news anchor and health reporter. I was sad to leave the company after they unexpectedly cancelled my 11 o’clock newscast. I thought that meant I couldn’t do what I love to do most, tell stories.
Well, I was wrong about that. My new production company will enable me to not only to continue to tell stories but I’ll be bringing you stories that really matter. In an age when TV news is only airing stories that reach their so-called desirable “target audience”, those were often stories that would make me cringe, my hope is to tell stories people care about and make a difference.
My first project I’m currently involved with involves my love for the military. I was the youngest of 5 children raised on military bases around the world. My dad was in the Army, my brother was in the Navy and my husband was in the Army when we first married. I’ve always felt a connection to the military. My goal is to tell the stories of those who serve and also let viewers know how making that unselfish decision impacts the entire family.
I’ve already shot several touching and inspiring stories. First, there’s the father who lost his son to the War in Iraq. He has turned that life changing experience into a positive force and is now reaching out to other families who have lost loved ones. Have you ever heard of Gold Star Families. Well, Jim Frazier is working his hardest to make sure EVERYONE knows exactly who they are. Then, there’s the story of a vet who was declared 100% disabled. He suffered severe injuries after his humvee was blown up by an IED. He single handedly went to his state lawmakers to convince them to change a law that would allow disabled vets to afford their homes. Finally, the untold story of our homeless female veterans. It’s a big problem. You will meet several who served their country only to find themselves with both physical and mental health issues related to PTSD and sexual assault in the military by their fellow servicemen. These stories may seem sad but they are mostly inspiring. That’s why I’ve named my series Homeland Heroes:Tragedy to Triumph. You will hopefully be seeing them on both broadcast and digital platforms very soon. I’ll keep you posted.
I’m also excited about doing medical stories, after all, I was the “Healthbeat” reporter at ABC7 for more than 20 years. We always found health was a topic people were interested in. News you can use I call it. I’ll be focusing on everything from Gastroesophageal reflux, I love saying that, to gout. I also want to cover topics that affect our daily lives and what’s really being done to cure different diseases. I want to give people an outlet of resources to take control of their own health.
So, that’s it in a nutshell. I’ll also being doing media coaching and more public speaking events. As I said, I love to tell stories and love to use my experience as a veteran journalist to help other professionals who may not feel as polished when it comes to on camera appearances or public speaking.
It’s going to be a great year and I hope you will check in on occasion to see what Sylvia Perez Productions is up to.