Morning traffic anchor Kaitlin Monte is embarking on a new start to her burgeoning broadcasting career. After two years at WPIX she exited for the Fox station in Houston, where she’ll be a general assignment reporter.
Monte, who returned from her honeymoon last week to say goodbye to WPIX, tells Tuned In that she wants to spread her wings.
“I was always concerned that I’d be pegged as a traffic babe.” But Monte says that job is not trivial. “For fear of anyone accusing me of just showing up and reading maps in a pretty dress, it was very important to me that I got other opportunities to do more than that.”
So instead, she’s padding her resume in the Lone Star state.
“My new role is going to give me a lot of different types of experience,” Monte says. “A big goal for me was, before I turn 30, getting as much as experience within the industry as possible…also cutting my teeth. A big element of this was getting a chance to leave New York City.”
For the newlywed Monte, this was the right time to explore.
“We have nothing tying us down,” Monte admits. “I think what matters to me is that I’m doing work that is respected, that I’m doing work that I’m proud of, that I’m able to have a work/life balance.”
In addition to building a family, comfort and happiness are other important factors that she’s “not sure New York always provides.”
Monte, whose previous TV experience was limited to sports or entertainment work on SNY and WNBC as weekend trivia host, almost immediately had an air of confidence handling traffic at the Tribune flagship. Last year, she was nominated for an Emmy Award.
The 27-year-old Monte, a Rochester native, first gained attention as Miss New York. She was second runner-up in the 2012 Miss America Pageant. In 2014, Channel 11 now-former news director Mark Effron hired Monte. She praises his “vision” for seeing what she had to offer.
“PIX was an exceptional environment for me as someone without a traditional background getting into the New York market. My management was extremely supportive.”
Monte got to occasionally expand her duties, reporting and anchoring at WPIX.
“I completely understand why I might not have gotten that shot,” Monte says. “Why would someone with my background be considered?”
So Monte worked hard to prove herself.
“What I lacked in pedigree, I tried to make up for it in work ethic,” Monte says.
But in the end, Monte wrestled with the extremely difficult decision to leave her PIX family.
“I really hope to make them proud, but man it was really hard to make a choice that took me away from them for now.”