Journalist and Television Talk Show Host, Arthel Neville
Arthel Neville currently anchors the weekend newscast America's News Headquarters (Saturdays, 4-7 PM/ET) and is a contributor on The O'Reilly Factor. She has anchored on America's Newsroom, Fox & Friends First, The Strategy Room, and FoxNews.com, and guest-anchored on Fox & Friends and America Live with Megyn Kelly.
Prior to her most recent role on FNC, Neville was the host of CNN's, "Talkback Live with Arthel Neville," making her the first African-American woman to host her own daily show on the network.
After CNN, Neville served as the West Coast bureau chief for 20th Century Television's "Geraldo-at-Large" and as the lead anchor for "Fox 5 Morning News in San Diego" and KSWB-TV's four-hour weekday newscast.
Neville also hosted and produced her one-on-one celebrity interview show, "Extreme Closeup," on E! Entertainment Television, becoming the first high-profile black female entertainment reporter. Following her groundbreaking show, Neville launched "Extra" for Warner Bros. Studios, where she delivered entertainment headlines to millions of homes every evening. Neville also co-hosted Fox's national morning show "Good Day Live." In addition to this, she has guest hosted on "The View," "Live" (with Regis Philbin), and co-hosted the Miss Teen USA Pageant with Dick Clark and the Miss Universe Pageant to a worldwide audience of over 60 million people.
Neville started her career as a general assignment reporter for KVUE in Austin while a journalism student at the University of Texas. In 2003, she was recognized by the university for her contribution to broadcast journalism with the Outstanding Young Texas Ex Award.
As friendly as she is beautiful, Arthel Neville has a way of putting people at ease, which is key to her success as is her serious commitment to having fun and being healthy.
DR: Tell me about the work that you do.
AN: I'm a news anchor. I work for the Fox News Channel.
I mainly anchor newscasts on the weekend but I work during the week as well. I am one of the main fill in folks who back up anchors.
What I believe that I bring to the table, or what I try to bring to the table is true fairness. Really. I know that sounds "pie in the sky" but that's what I really, really do try to bring. Because I really believe we have gotten away from really being thoughtful about what information is available to us.
I have no agenda. In the perfect world everybody would get along. And so my thing is this, it depends on the subject matter. You could see me on the air having a good time with someone who is extremely extreme, whatever that is. Okay? But yet, we can turn around and joke around. For instance (this guy is not a prime example but a milder example of what I am talking about.), I recently had somebody on set who does polling. Actually, ironically and surprisingly to me, it was a poll about Father's Day and they chose who was the best dad broken down along political lines. So I'm like, "Really? Are we really going to do this? A poll about who is the best father based on your politics?"
Okay. So it turned out that Bill Cosby won. That was great. Dr. Cosby, I love him. It makes sense. So, I told him that I know Dr. Cosby and I think he's great and I said to the guy "You gonna do it? You gonna do it? And he breaks down and was like, "Hey, hey, hey!" And I was like "Hey, hey, hey!". Then he looks at himself and you know he's got a little girth around the mid-section, and he looks at himself and is like, "Oh, I see. So I kind of look like him?" And I was like, "That wasn't a set up". So then I said, "I challenge you to bring me a poll where people can think other than along party lines". He goes, "That's not gonna happen." And I was like, "Come on. Are you kidding? I challenge you." But the point is, it's not his doing. He's doing his job as a pollster. But the point is, I guess you would think that he probably is more conservative in his thinking but yet there we were sitting there and I tapped into Fat Albert, "You now you wanna do it", kind of thing. And that's my point. That's what's beautiful about America. We can have whatever beliefs we have in terms of how we see things, how we see life, how we see politics. But at the end of the day, tap into the people aspect. We are all people and we all have something, something in common.
DR: I personally would like to see more of that on the news shows - more fairness and presenting the actual facts for a change and offering people information that supports them in drawing intelligent conclusions. I don't see a lot of that. Do you feel like an ambassador, in terms of being fair? Do you feel fairness is becoming a trend in journalism? And if not, is that something that you'd like to see more of?
AN: I mean there is definitely more opinion infused. It used to be limited to the prime time hours. But across the board it kinds of sneaks into daytime.
I can't speak to an industry. Specifically, I hear your question about whether I feel like I'm an ambassador, which makes me wince because I don't want to be an ambassador to anything that is divisive.
DR: Well, I mean I think what you are doing though, is healthy. It's being somebody who is open to all different points of view and to hearing what all kinds of people have to say because information is healthy...
AN: Some people think they know what I think or what I feel or what position I am going to take and I'm like, "No you don't. You don't because guess what? Unlike you, because you are walking into this door with an assumption because of what you see, unlike you I actually have an open mind and I probably tap into more layers of position than you think I do". That's the way it should be.
And it's okay. Everybody has the right to believe what they want to and think how they want to and feel strongly about it and passionately about it. You know, I'm just saying kind of like, let's broaden our perspectives a little bit more and just be thoughtful. Open yourself up to it, let it flow in, digest it and when you come out on the other end, even if you come out with your same stance – fine. At least I know you heard another side and you saw another side. And that's across the board.
DR: I know that you are someone who believes in living a healthy life. Can you talk to me about that? You certainly look great. You are beautiful but it's not just your outer beauty, it's obvious that you live in a healthy way. I know that is something that you like to promote.
AN: Definitely. I mean it's a lifestyle. I don't believe in fad diets.
There are times I have to tighten up like if I went crazy on vacation or if I took a break, cause I normally eat healthy and I'll give you an idea of how I eat. But there are times I need to tighten it up because I went a little crazy. But even then, that just means getting back to where I know I should be.
I love food. I don't deprive myself. I don't diet. I don't skip meals. That's the worst. I try to subscribe to five meals a day. I wake up and have my breakfast. I don't always do a mid-day snack but definitely breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack. Then I'll have my dinner and then maybe I'll have a snack at night.
I've never been technically diagnosed as being hypoglycemic but I know I am. And I know that the sort of things I eat affect me. I know what fuel to put in my body to keep me going.
I work out. I try to work out at least four times a week. It's not a lot, knock on wood. It's not a lot but it keeps me going by keeping my bones strong, by keeping my muscles strong and by getting my circulation going and getting my cardio going.
You've got to move. You've got to keep moving.
DR: What is your relationship between your choice to live healthy and your ability to be effective at your job.
with Arthel Neville
"Guiltless Entertaining with Arthel" implies that when we have parties... we take a pause from our normally healthy eating habits... let our hair down and just have fun.
Taku (my husband) and I love to invite friends over for parties. I usually like to do themes. Here are some examples:
"Fried Chicken & Champagne" Party
I fried so many chicken wings for that party I swore off frying thmem for a long time!
"Cheap Bottle of Wine" Party
Everyone had to bring a cheap bottle of wine, I made PB-n-J sandwiches on WHITE bread. I provided Boones Farm Strawberry Hill; my childhood favorite! LOL! I'm from New Orleans! We got to take a (supervised) sip early. Don't get me wrong, we weren't allowed to booze it up... just a few sips every now and then.
"Cupid Shuffle" Party
If you didn't know how to do the dance before you got there, you learned it at the party! It was a blast. A room full of my guests doing the Cupid Shuffle!!! Walk it out!
We've also catered parties, of course. We had a fabulous party at our loft in Atlanta. "Agnes & Muriel's" laid out their delicious Southern Food spread complete with (one my fav's) Fried Green Tomatoes. We hosted Fleetwood Mac! (Note: "Agnes & Muriel's" closed in 2009)
"Soul Food & Sake" Party
We get take out from Dinosaur BBQ in Harlem and pair it with a couple of different types of Sake.
AN: Well I bring a lot of energy to what I do. I feel good and that means I can push that much more energy out. If I've got a good base and foundation from which to work than I can give that much more and I'm constantly giving it.
DR: I think a lot of people think of it as a luxury but its necessary if you want to be effective..
AN: It's really true "Mind over matter".
DR: What is the source of your inspiration or the thing that drives you to success?
AN: Combination. There is never one direct answer to anything. Faith, a drive to inspire, a drive to motivate, a drive to give and that's it. And a drive to share.
Now listen, I'm like the next person. Of course prosperity is wonderful and I want to be prosperous like the next person but I don't want it to be ostentatious. I don't need it to show off. I want that just because I want to be able to be free to live comfortably and to take care of the people I love so that they can live comfortably and to be able to give to people who may need something too. It's pretty simple. I don't think its some magic potion I have going. I think most people who live that lifestyle feel the same way.
DR: Life just seems better when you have a commitment to make life better for others.
I think another thing I try to share with people I know – Don't let someone else control your behavior and how you are going to react to a situation. If they did "this" then you are going to be mad at them? You're not hurting them, you're hurting yourself. That negative energy that you are holding onto is hurting you and only you. I try to get rid of it. But look, I get depressed. Ok, melancholy. I can't say I get depressed. I get sad. I get emotional. I'm hypersensitive which is good and bad, as you probably know because you can be tapped out by the things around you. But, I try to just keep it moving. I try to just keep it positive. When someone reacts I don't take it personally. It's not about you.
DR: Imagine what the world would be like if we gave up being offended...
AN: I'm not saying don't get offended.
DR: Uh, huh?
AN: No, no, no, no. I get offended. I get insulted. I'm not impervious to being touched. What I am saying is, how I react to it is my choice.
DR: Okay. Good distinction.
AN: Now trust me. Don't be fooled. I am who I am and I'm from where I'm from. Sometimes you just have to go there.
DR: I think by any standard you would be considered successful. As you look back and look forward, is there anything that you want to do that you haven't done?
AN: Yeah there are things I want to do that I haven't done. I'm not making excuses but you have to be true to yourself. You don't compromise. It doesn't mean that you're not diplomatic and you don't understand the professional dance that is there no matter what it is that you do, but I'm always going to be true to myself. If that means getting passed over for a position because I have to sacrifice my integrity, then it's not going to happen. Have I not gotten some things that I've wanted? Of course. I won't be specific.but, yes. I feel like if I were more willing to overlook certain things than perhaps I would have gotten it. That pisses me off. Those are some of the things I have to work through on the treadmill. Life is not fair. I get it. But when you see things that are unfair right in your face continuously, you just have to keep working through that.
DR: And how do you do that?
AN: God, my husband, my mom, my close friends, and it's exhausting. That is probably the most exhausting part is seeing that over and over and over and having to go, "That's okay. It's all good. You have a higher purpose. Everything is in its place. Everything happens for a reason. It's all going to be revealed to you. It is revealed to you. Just wait and you are going to even see more". I have success. I just mean that this is a different path. You just have to walk it.
I'm not perfect. Please don't take that impression. I hope you don't take that impression. I don't think I'm perfect. I'm certainly not but I really, really, really live to do the right thing. And you know that saying "Nice guys finish last"? Well I tell you what. There is something to that.
DR: I'm hopeful that is not true. Call me naive. Let's just say that my hope is that the good guy wins and that the story is not finished being written...
AN: It's not.
DR: Well, I think it's really generous of you to share your thoughts like that and to share your challenges. So many people are challenged by life and they could look at someone like you and think it's just all very easy. But to know that you have disappointments and conversations with God and treadmills and that you press forward is really very helpful to people.
So Arthel, a hundred years from now what do you want to be remembered for?
AN: She did her best to sprinkle positive energy, positive fairy dust around wherever she went.