After graduating UK with a degree in broadcast journalism and heading west for the first few years of her career, Michelle Arnold is back in her old Kentucky Home and loving it. From covering horse racing for TVG at events such as the Belmont to moving to a small town in Iowa just for the experience, Arnold has seemed to have done it all.
Now a prominent newscaster for WHAS11, she can still be seen covering a vast amount of stories, from restaurant openings to crime coverage. Off camera, Michelle enjoys exploring local cuisine, shopping, and cheering on the Louisville Cardinals! She tells GRACESHIP about her love of sports, food, shopping, fitness, and some inspiring advice and input on how she managed to get to where she is today.
GRACESHIP: You spent your early career out of the state in places such as Los Angeles. What brought you back to Kentucky?
MICHELLE: “Getting jobs in broadcast journalism is pretty difficult. Places don’t need you at the beginning, you need them. I got a job as a production assistant at Keeneland and from there I got to go to LA because that is where TVG was based. After that I went to Iowa so I could get the experience that I needed to work in a market like Louisville. We have a great dining scene, great sports scene, lots of local businesses and corporate businesses here too.”
GRACESHIP: What kind of products do you use to look best on camera? Is this something you like to take charge of or something that is done for you at work?
MICHELLE: “TV, especially local television, is not as glamorous as most people think it is, so we do it all ourselves. In local news you want to have a pretty consistent look. You don’t want to look different from day to day, which is actually very hard for me because my work fashion is completely different from my everyday fashion. I like Bonne Bell Cappuccino Lip Lites, I’ve worn that since I was 11 and I don’t plan on stopping any time soon. I think contouring is very important. The best foundation is Make Up For Ever. Smashbox Photo Studio Primer is really good. Honestly, I love the Jordana eyeliner from Walgreens. I carry those everywhere. I love the Victoria’s Secret lipglosses, they usually have a deal on those and they are natural looking. And then mascara I love L'oreal Voluminous.”
GRACESHIP: What designers do you like to wear on and off camera?
MICHELLE: “I love American Apparel. I have a lot of clothes from there as far as basics. I love UofL shirts, I buy a lot of those. I love Rebecca Minkoff, anytime I can get any of her purses from Gilt. I get on Gilt a lot to try to find deals. I love thrift shops and Forever 21. Because of my skin color I can wear a lot of colors that people don’t like, like mustards and brights, so usually I can find things on sale at stores because people didn’t like the color. Work clothes are totally different. I’d say work clothes I get most at Target, The Limited and Zara. I get a lot of shoes from a website called GoJane.com.”
GRACESHIP: What is the most exciting events you have gotten to cover?
MICHELLE: “The Belmont was very interesting for TVG, when Big Brown was going to hopefully capture the Triple Crown. I really like sports, so everything we’ve gotten to do with the Sugar Bowl and the National Championship has been awesome. I love food television and cooking tv, so anytime I get to cover any local restaurant in Louisville, local businesses, I love that.”
GRACESHIP: What is your favorite restaurant in Louisville and how did you discover it?
MICHELLE: “ I love a lot of restaurants. I love Hammerheads. Last summer, me and my husband kept showing it to people. I ate it for 5 weekends in a row and the food is so hearty that I got kind of burnt out on it for a little bit. I love Indian food, so I love Dakshin off of Bardstown Road. I know it sounds cliché, but sushi is my favorite food and I just love Sapporo. I love Coal's PIzza, they’re my favorite pizza. I love Mojitos. Mussels and Burger Bar is definitely one of my favorites, I love everything there!”
GRACESHIP: What is your typical fitness routine?
MICHELLE: “I’m a Pure Barre instructor, that’s the main thing I do to keep in shape. If it’s something I have to do on my own after working all day, if I sit in traffic or I have errands to run, I can be talked out of working out real easily. I like group classes because I’m competitive and it encourages me to not stop.”
GRACESHIP: Do you have any career advice for other people aspiring to get into broadcasting?
MICHELLE: “Every opportunity I’ve gotten is because I have not been afraid to reach out to somebody who is more experienced and more qualified than I am. The way I got my job is through Rachel Platt. When I lived in Iowa, once every few weeks I would email prominent journalists in Louisville. I would ask them for critiques and how I could get better and Rachel and Dawne Gee were the only two women who would write me back with tips. Finally Rachel said ‘you’re getting better, I’m giving this to my news director.’ Find somebody that you admire. Find somebody that’s good at what they do and don’t necessarily copy them, but see what drives them and what makes them good at what they do and learn from it. The people who are really passionate about what they do and caring, they will reach back out to you.”
GRACESHIP: Who are your favorite people to follow online? Anyone we should check out?
MICHELLE: “As far as bloggers and style, I love Sincerely Jules, and she has a great instagram. And there’s another girl on instagram, Song of Style, her and her sister have great style, lots of great shoes, great bags, same with Sincerely Jules. It’s really effortless style. I follow a lot of fitness people on instagram because that’s the popular thing right now. Sometimes they have little reminders or tips that I wouldn’t have thought about for food or exercise. I just think social media is a crazy thing. If you’re not careful, you’re looking at it constantly. I love clothes, I love purses, I love shoes, but I’m trying not to be tempted by those things all the time.”
GRACESHIP: What would your dream job be?
MICHELLE: "I would love to be on ESPN. I would love to be a sideline reporter, or FOX Sports. If I couldn’t do that I want Padma’s job on Top Chef. Everyone always thinks I would want to be an anchor one day, I’m not really convinced that that is what I would like to do. My favorite thing about working in my hometown is that I get to discover corners of Louisville that I never knew existed and areas of town and just people. As a child and teenager I kind of lived in my own little bubble. Now everyday it’s something different and I love that."