Q&A with WTNH News 8’s Teresa (LaBarbera) Dufour ’01

teresa-labarbera_4x6BY MELISA FINK ’14

Tere­sa (LaBar­bera) Dufour has held most jobs in a broad­cast news­room: reporter, pro­duc­er, anchor and host. Dufour says each of her job expe­ri­ences, begin­ning from when she was still a jour­nal­ism stu­dent at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Con­necti­cut, were invalu­able steps lead­ing her to the next opportunity.

Fun fact: On New Years Eve 2013, Tere­sa mar­ried busi­ness­man Bran­don Dufour in a lav­ish affair at the Palace The­ater in Water­bury, CT and changed her pro­fes­sion­al name from LaBar­bera to Dufour.

In a Q&A, Dufour explained the arc of her career in jour­nal­ism since grad­u­at­ing from UConn in 2001.

Where are you cur­rent­ly employed?
News Anchor/Host at the ABC affil­i­ate in Con­necti­cut, WTNH, News 8.  I am the morn­ing traf­fic anchor on Good Morn­ing CT. I have 27 live hits dur­ing our three-hour show. After the news, I change roles and I am the host of Con­necti­cut Style. It’s a lifestyle show that airs Mon- Fri., 12:30–1 p.m.

What were some of your pre­vi­ous job titles?
Oh, I’ve held them all! I was a radio pro­duc­er and anchor, an assign­ment edi­tor, asso­ciate pro­duc­er, pro­duc­er and reporter before I made it to where I am today. It’s great to expe­ri­ence all aspects of the news­room so you know the job of each team member.

How did your UConn education/connections help you in your career as a journalist?
My senior year I interned at the CBS affil­i­ate in Hart­ford. It was the most ben­e­fi­cial expe­ri­ence in my col­lege career. I learned the ropes of the news biz and I made con­tacts and friends I still have. In fact, they hired me as a reporter sev­er­al years lat­er because of my ded­i­ca­tion as an intern.

Why did you choose to major in journalism?
I want­ed to learn how to write for TV and radio, some­thing you wouldn’t learn with a com­mu­ni­ca­tions degree.

Do you remem­ber your sud­den death sto­ry in Newswrit­ing I? If so, what did you write about?
I don’t remem­ber the sud­den death sto­ry, I’m usu­al­ly okay with dead­lines!  I do remem­ber how­ev­er Prof. [Mar­cel] Dufresne’s copy edit­ing class and cry­ing at 1 a.m. try­ing to get my front page done.  I also remem­ber the first pack­age I put togeth­er, shoot­ing, writ­ing, edit­ing and pre­sent­ing. It was the ice cream process at the [UConn] Dairy Bar.

Did you have a favorite professor?
Prof. Bar­bara Meagher. She was a men­tor, and lat­er, a friend. She was an anchor at ABC6 in Prov­i­dence and taught us how to do live shots, edit and put togeth­er news­casts. We had a field trip to her sta­tion and we sat on the news desk. At that moment, I was hooked!

Is there any­thing you wish you did while you were still at UConn? Any regrets?
I real­ly wish I had stud­ied abroad. It’s one of the few times in your life you can pick up and go, and have room and board. Don’t miss out on that opportunity!

Fol­low Tere­sa Dufour on Twit­ter: @teresalabarbera