I'm Debra Alfarone, an award-winning National TV Correspondent for Gray Television and the Lead Anchor for Gray’s national digital news channel, Local News Live. My journey defies expectations, rising from a high school dropout to reporting from the most powerful addresses in the world—the White House, the U.S. Capitol, and the anchor desk at the network shaped by legends Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite.
Despite a challenging upbringing marked by abuse and neglect, I earned my GED, put myself through college, and started working on Wall Street. Not long after, I found myself in the middle of a terrorist attack on 9/11. I learned in an instant — tomorrow is not promised. The life-saving role of journalism in the days and weeks that followed left an indelible impression. Fueled by a desire to communicate and inform, I transitioned into TV journalism, starting at NY1 and eventually reporting for stations like NBC Connecticut, PIX 11 in New York City, and WUSA9, the CBS affiliate in Washington, D.C.
A pivotal moment in my career came in 2018 at WUSA9 when I was passed over for a promotion. Choosing to bet on myself, I embraced the mantra, "A setback is a setup for a comeback." I launched Debra Alfarone Media, a coaching and media training company. In the five years since, I've coached hundreds of TV professionals and entrepreneurs, helping reporters jump markets and experts ace national interviews.
While coaching for global companies like American Express and BuzzFeed, I received news of winning an Edward R. Murrow award and an Emmy for my anchoring while at WUSA9. Embracing the advice I gave my coaching clients, I doggedly pursued an opportunity at CBS News, and spent three years contributing stories to CBS Evening News, CBS Mornings, and anchoring the CBS News Streaming Network.
Now, as a National Correspondent and Lead Anchor with Gray Television, I combine my talent for anchoring with my passion for telling uplifting stories with my national feature series, "The Good Side." My mission is to give a voice to those who, like my younger self, may not have had one. I’m living a life beyond my wildest dreams, and I’m proof that setbacks are not roadblocks but opportunities for even greater comebacks.
I also share life and career advice I learned going from dropout to dream life on my podcast, “Sh*t I Wish I Knew In My Twenties.” Guests have included CBS Weekend Evening News anchor Jericka Duncan and New York Times bestselling author A.J. Jacobs. It ranks between the top 5-10% of podcasts, according to ThePodcastHost.com.
Debra joins Gray Television/Local News Live
Debra Alfarone joins Gray Television as the lead anchor for Local News Live and as a national correspondent for the station group’s local stations.
SPJ Award for Best Feature /CBS News
“The Forgotten History of St. Emma” airing on CBS Weekend Evening News wins best feature at the Society of Professional Journalists D.C. Chapter 2023 Dateline Awards for journalism excellence.
NBC News Feature on Debra Alfarone
'High school dropout' to 'storyteller': How this TV reporter ditched the negative labels that held her back.
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More About Me
and My Work
My Climb to the Top
From high school dropout to dream life. When I started in TV news, I had little confidence and zero connections. I've asked for every opportunity I've ever gotten, over and over and over again. No one discovered me. I discovered you must ask for what you want with the intention that what's meant for you will never miss you.
My Big Break - National News
Before I even worked in news, I watched 48 Hours on CBS News and cold-called the Executive Producer. That led to my big break—20 years later. Always ask for what you want. Then, back it up with hard work and the right experience.
Edward R. Murrow Award
Months after leaving my major market anchor job in Washington, D.C. to embark on entrepreneurship and coaching the next generation of journalists, I received the honor of an Edward R. Murrow award for my anchoring at WUSA9.
Helping hundreds of journalists jump 5000+ markets
I've created a magical group called The Membership, where members are guided by me as their TV news fairy godmother, coaching with my style of transparency, in-your-face inspiration, and an unwavering commitment to guide you past self-imposed barriers towards creating your dream life.
Telling my TEDx
I had kept the fact that I was a high school dropout closely guarded for years, never wanting anyone to doubt my smarts while reporting. I unveiled my TEDx Talk at the inaugural TEDx Bushwick vulnerably and proudly in the hopes of inspiring and empowering people to know they don't have to be the label society places upon them.
Reporting in NYC
Reporting in my beloved New York City for a station I grew up watching was one of the most exciting times of my career. Covering the fast pace of breaking news and constant live reporting from the scene was an incredible rush.
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