By Judith Salkin
It’s been a couple of months since the Coachella Valley has seen one of its most well-respected broadcast journalists.
With good reason: CBS Local2 anchor Brooke Beare has been off the air for most of the summer and fall as she awaited, gave birth and has been getting to know, her daughter Danica.
The little girl arrived in early August, and Beare has spent her maternity leave nurturing her newborn and helping her two-year-old son, Gavin, adjust to be being a big brother.
“Luckily, he’s my little helper boy,” Beare said proudly from her home earlier this week.
The hard part will be leaving them to return to the newsroom on Nov. 4, the day before election.
“My husband and I have tried to do as much as we can without outside help,” she said. Which was easier when it was only one child, she admits. “We both work a late shift and sometimes we’re both not able to be home to take care of the kids.”
Luckily both have parents who live close enough to come out to Coachella Valley and lend a hand “when we really need them,” she said.
For Beare, that means asking her mom to come up from San Diego, where she grew up.
As a teenager Beare would split some of her time between theater classes and being the editor of the Torrey Pines High School newspaper in Del Mar, Calif.
Becoming a broadcast journalist wasn’t on her mind at the time in the mid-1990s. “I loved musical theater and I wanted to become an actress,” she said. “It was my mother who said we should look at some more practical options that would blend my interests in stage and journalism and she was the one who came up broadcast journalism as a career option.”
That turned out to be a good thing for the news viewers here in the Coachella Valley where Beare co-anchors the 5:30, 6:30 and 11:30 p.m. broadcasts on the CBS affiliate and the 10 p.m. newscast on KDFX Fox affiliate, all with Kris Long.
“My mom thought it would be a good way for me to earn a living,” she said. Luckily, Beare learned the truth about making a living in broadcast journalism while attending USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, where she graduated with degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Cinema. “They were pretty upfront in telling us what it would be like once we got out of school,” she added.
Once out of school, Beare began her work life at stations in north Texas towns like Sherman and Dennison. During her time in Texas, Beare honed her skills working on stories that included interviewing former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and the Space Shuttle Columbia tragedy in East Texas in February 2003.
While the professional experience was great, Beare wanted to move closer to home. “I was thinking about ways (toward) working back in San Diego,” she said.
She got a taste of the Coachella Valley working on a cameo in “The Santa Trap,” a TV movie that starred Shelley Long, Stacey Keach and Corbin Bernsen, as a – what else! — TV news reporter and started scouting the possibility of working in the Southwest. “It was a lot closer to home than Texas,” she said.
She landed a position as a general assignment reporter for KPSP and moved to the valley in 2003. Her time in the field has produced several high-profile pieces including convicted murderer Joseph Duncan being named as the suspect in the kidnapping and murder of nine-year old Anthony Martinez of Beaumont; interviewing 2008 Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain of Arizona, and former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina.
She even met her husband, a Palm Springs Police Department officer, while covering the Palm Springs International Film Festival in 2004.
Beare did leave the valley for work, commuting to and from San Diego, after she married.
“But it didn’t work out,” she said. “After about a year, he asked me to see if I could find a job back here.”
It’s a move she’s happy she made.
Since her return Beare has moved up to being a night anchor and still works on special projects.
“(The Coachella Valley) is a lot more sophisticated than other markets of our size,” she acknowledged. “And there is also so much more diversity in the market which makes it an interesting place to work.”
Now with the CBS Local2 and KESQ TV3 owned by the same company, she also sees an advantage for the viewers. “We have more resources to cover the big stories,” she said. “At the same time, I can be aggressive when I have a story I think is worthwhile and there’s the possibility now of it being seen on our other channels in addition to the CBS station. That’s a service to our viewers.”
“After being here for so long, I know the issues and I understand the history behind them,” she added. “It’s not something that maybe I fully appreciated when I was younger, but I understand that it makes me a better reporter.”