Afrobella of the Week – Alison Stewart, Anchorbella

I’m a bit of a news junkie. I think it all started immediately after 9/11 — being in America when that happened really impacted upon me, and gave me this burning desire to know what was going on in the world at any given moment. To this day, I stay glued to the 24 hour news networks. I wake up to Robin & Company on Headline News, at night I like to watch Brian Williams, and — allow me to completely out myself politically — I watch Countdown with Keith Olbermann just about every night.

Mind you, I’m not always on the same page with Olbermann’s views, but I find the show immensely entertaining. I love how he pronounces Bill O’Reilly’s name. I love how regular correspondent Craig Crawford of Congressional Quarterly talks — when he gets excited, he’s like a southern Don Knotts. I love Oddball and Worst Person in the World, and I even love when Keith Olbermann is out of the office. Because then the brilliant and lovely Alison Stewart gets to sit in.

Back in MTV’s Nineties heyday, Alison Stewart was part of the MTV News crew. I miss that aspect of MTV the most — perhaps the ratings on The Week in Rock would never have been able to compete with those of My Super Sweet Sixteen or the endless repeats of Pimp My Ride that seem to be on every weekend nowadays, but I really miss having a weekly music news show on the channel. It gave the program an edutainment edge that is almost completely lacking nowdays, save for the work of Sway, Suchin Pak, and Gideon Yago (and yes,Kurt Loder still works at MTV — click here for an amazing clip from his earliest days in 1988, when he was still fresh-faced and bright eyed. I’ll always love the Loder).

Alison Stewart came to MTV in 1991, and I remember her being very involved in MTV’s 1992 Choose or Lose campaign. Even though I was a young teen living in Trinidad at the time, that election seemed so compelling and interesting. Clinton versus old man Bush versus Ross Perot was a fascinating political fight to the finish, and I find it interesting that all these years later, the same two names still are vying to run the country. Bush, Clinton, Clinton, Bush… Political dynasties die hard, I suppose.

I distinctly remember Alison Stewart being a part of that exciting time in young people’s journalism, because she inspired me to blaze my own trail. Seeing a young, bright, go-getting reporter type who had such a fresh look – a mane of fabulous, free-form curls, and a complexion that stood apart from the then-typical reporters on American television, struck a chord with this little Caribbean girl.

She won a Peabody for her efforts at MTV, and left the network in 1996. Post-MTV, I lost track of Alison Stewart. According to her Wikipedia page, she went to CBS and jumped around from program to program, reporting for 48 Hours and my beloved CBS News Sunday Morning. (that show makes you feel like you’re sitting in a rocking chair on a porch and watching the sunrise. It’s slow, steady stories about the most random and interesting topics. I love it, and if that makes me a dork, so be it).

Following a brief stint with ABC, Alison made the move to MSNBC and it seems that she’s found her feet. She hosts The Most, a news show that I’ve never seen because it airs at noon daily, when this chica’s stuck in an office cube. But on occasional evenings when Olbermann’s out, Alison gets to show her claws and speak out against the issues the Countdown staff are shedding light on. If you don’t like your news opinionated, if you angrily use terms like “the liberal media,” or if you are a Bill O’ Reilly fan, you’ll probably hate me for posting the following clip. But I’m gonna, and here’s hoping our possible political differences won’t drive you away from Afrobella forever.

Alison Stewart is about to make yet another career change — she’s in the process of creating a 24-hour multimedia news service on NPR, and she will be co-hosting a morning drive show. Hooray! The Bryant Park Project sounds fresh, interesting, and engaging, just like Alison Stewart is. I’m looking forward to tuning in, and finding a news source that speaks directly to listeners like me.

Congratulations, Alison! You’re Afrobella of the Week!

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Comments

  1. Back when I wanted to be a journalist, I really admired this chick. Good to see you do a post on her. I too enjoy CBS News Sunday Morning. My mom & I watch that every Sunday morning as we get ready for church!

  2. Hey Jazzy! I totally expect this to be one of those Afrobellas of the Week that very few people comment on, but I wanted to give Alison Stewart her due. I am really looking forward to what she does at PBS!

  3. Good morning Bella,
    thanks for the article on Alison Stewart…I think she’s a wonderful reporter and I remember her from MTV as well, wishing I was in her position…laugh. I’m happy she made A.O.T.W. she’s earned the spotlight, I look forward to her furture work as well. Have a good day!!!!!

  4. I am also a big fan of CBS’s Sunday Morning. I finally have my husband a fan of the show.
    I just discovered your blog, and I love it!

  5. MochaSiren says:

    Hey Bella,

    Glad to see you feature Allison. I’ve read many articles on how she has gotten quite a bit of criticism over the years for staying curly. I say good for her for staying true to herself!

    BTW, You should consider Maysa Leak, a great “thirtysomething” jazz singer as an Afrobella of the Week. I wrote to you about her in your exercise/music post just before Father’s Day. She’s a Baltimore native who made in big on the London scene before most of us in the US had heard of her. She is very talented and severely UNDERrated! Check out http://www.maysa.com. Thanks.

  6. I love Allison Stewart.

    Before she swicthed over to network and cable news, she was an anchor on Channel one news. Channel One news was a news show 10 minute news show for high school and middle school(?) students that gave a quick rundown on current events.

  7. What a great post. I love Alison Stewart. I remember her from her MTV days too. So happy for her success. Now, if I could just have her secret for how she keeps her curls looking so good that would be awesome! I can’t believe she is 40. I hope I look that good by the time I reach her age.

  8. Great post, a change of pace from your usual entertainment based bella’s of the week. I definitely remember her back on MTV, I was only a young teen then but found her fascinatng because she was one of the few black women on MTV, My cousin is a anchor woman in Boston NBC station and I actually got to meet her 2 years ago, she’s a lovely and down -to-earth person. Thanks for featuring her. Oh and thanks for the nostalgic Kurt Loder Link, its funny my hubby and I were just wondering if he was still on MTV.

  9. I love CBS Sunday Morning! I miss the news on MTV too!

  10. Bella – you have a loyal following of dorks with you. We love you. I also remember when MTV’s news use to be HUGE. What’s interesting is her hair looks better now than it did then. Not that it was a mess in the 90′s. She must have changed products. :0)But I love her curls. I’m still trying to find mine! HAHA

  11. Aundrea says:

    I’m usually just a lurker but I thought I’d comment today. I looovvveee Alison Stweart. I’ve watched The Most a couple of times when I skip….when some of my classes are cancelled. It’s a really entertaining and random news show, which are always the best kind.

  12. I’ve always liked Alison, especially in my newspaper days. She was a source of hope, LOL. Great pick!

  13. Natural Sista says:

    Hey Bella,

    Is Alison the woman who use to rock the short semi cropped leather jackets and hats? She looks different…I don’t know what it is. Anyway, she was great on MTV news!

  14. Mezzo_Soprano says:

    I enjoy reading the Afrobella of the Week. This is one Afrobella I have never heard of. I grew up watching MTV just like the rest of you all and have never seen this Bella before. When was she on?? Was this before or after Fragglerock? :)

    Congrats to Allison, its great to see sisters doing great things!!

  15. i’m a huge alison fan, and like you it started back in her rock the vote days :) i still have my cutout of the express front page when clinton won :D there was something about those days :)

  16. Ya, she’s great! Alison Stewart has always been one of my favorite hosts of World News Now(news for insomniacs)on ABC. She was hella funny and a great anchorwoman, she hosted with a young Anderson Cooper for like a year. They would always pull pranks and have parties at the end of their broadcasts. I bet they have some on youtube. Good pick, Bella!

  17. She’s so awesome! Thanks for spotlighting her this week:)

  18. jerseybred says:

    Great hair. I remember the “Choose or Lose campaign” very well, but not Allison? *off to investigate*

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