Across the Airwaves

| February 17, 2011
Vicki Dortch

Vicki Dortch

Mother knows best. And WLKY News Anchor Vicki Dortch has no problem crediting her mom with her career decision.

“I was on vacation in Florida with some girlfriends when the general manager of a TV station in Paducah called,” Dortch said. “I had auditioned for a position the day before I left. When he called and offered me the job my mom answered and said, “˜She’ll take it.’ So thanks mom!”

At the time, Dortch was working in the news department at a radio station in Paducah. The general manager at NBC affiliate WPSD-TV heard her on the radio and asked if she’d be interested in auditioning at the TV station.

“Actually, it was a funny story,” she said. “I was on the dance floor with a guy he knew when he approached me about the job. I auditioned the next day and left for Florida the day after.”

With a little help from mom, Dortch landed the anchor job and the rest is history.

Since 1988, Dortch has been one of WLKY’s most familiar faces and is proud to call Louisville home.

“I’ve lived here for almost 23 years now. My son was born here, my parents are here, my brother and his family are here – we’re all here; it’s home now,” she said.

Originally from Paducah, Dortch graduated from Murray State University with a bachelor’s degree in speech communication and a minor in journalism and marketing. And although she had plans to do news, she had a backup plan, earning her teaching certificate in secondary education “in case the TV job didn’t work out,” she said.

Having served on her high school newspaper staff, Dortch enrolled at MSU interested in writing, but after taking a tour of the school’s radio and TV department, she changed her mind.

“In college, intern at a television station,” said Dortch, giving advice to anyone interested in her profession. “You’ll find out quickly if it’s something you are really interested in.”

Delivering the news isn’t as easy as Dortch makes it look. She anchors WLKY News at 5, 6 and 11 p.m.

“Each day is different, and that is one of the reasons I like the job so much – it never gets boring,” she said. “News is always new, even if it is a continuing story, there is always an update.”

An award-winning news anchor, Dortch moved her way up from summer jobs working the concession stand at her brother’s baseball games to her first broadcasting job at WDXR Paducah.

“It’s like any job; you have to pay your dues, start at the bottom and work your way up,” she said.

“Getting a job in a smaller market where you have the opportunity to do the writing, reporting, producing and anchoring is always good experience.”

From her coverage of The Kentucky Derby to emceeing events all around Louisville, Dortch’s small town charm has worked its magic on Louisville. And her efforts don’t stop there.

Her schedule is packed with work, family time and – when she can – leisure. Her resilience is what keeps her going and what she notes as the most important trait to have in this business.

“Its not a 9-to-5, five-day-a week job.,  I’ve seen a lot of young people discover that the hours and the holidays you work are not for them,” Dortch said.

“I anchor the 5 to 6:30 p.m. news block. Then head home for dinner, spend time with my son, and go back to anchor the 11 o’clock news,” Dortch said.

Behind the hectic schedule, the job is what makes it all worthwhile.

“I’m on the set, the news is coming into the newsroom, the producer is on the phone with the assignment desk, relaying the details to me and I tell the viewers,” she said. “It happens very quickly.”


Son Jonathan, 16.

Favorite Book

I don’t really have one. I like suspense thrillers but the book I treasure the most is “Love You forever” written by Robert Munsch. Every mom with a son should own a copy.

Favorite Movie

So far this year “King’s Speech.”,  I hope it wins the Oscar for Best Motion Picture.

Favorite Actress

Audrey Hepburn.

Best Out “˜n’ About

Lori Kommor’s house or wherever friends are gathered. I enjoy local sports, and there are lots of great restaurants and coffee shops in the city.

Favorite TV Show

“NCIS,” “Blue Bloods,” “Hawaii Five-O.” After midnight I do watch reruns of “The Real Housewives” of wherever and “Top Chef.” They are fun shows to chat with friends about.

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Category: The Profile

About the Author (Author Profile)

Lauren DePaso
Voice-Tribune Staff Writer Lauren DePaso enjoys being a tourist in her own city, exploring the nightlife and cheering on the Cards. A Louisville native, she currently resides in St. Matthews.

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