A familiar face to Dayton television viewers, Megan O’Rourke started broadcasting news in the Miami Valley over 10 years ago.
She is currently the morning news anchor for ABC 22/Fox 45. A graduate of Xenia High School, O’Rourke went on to earn her degree from Miami University. Her first network job was in Idaho from 2003-05, before returning home to join the staff on WDTN from 2005 to 2014. O’Rourke then spent two years, 2014-16 in Cincinnati with WXIX. She has now been with ABC 22/Fox 45 for a year.
1. Are there any anchors who inspired you to pursue the career?
I grew up in the Miami Valley and remember watching so many talented women on our local news, but Marsha Bonhart always stood out to me. Marsha is elegant and carries herself with tremendous poise. I remember thinking how confident and strong she always came across. I was fortunate enough to work with Marsha for more than 9 years and we were desk mates for some of that time. It didn’t take long to learn that she was exactly the same person behind the scenes, as on air. Strong, confident, poised and elegant… but, also fiercely loyal, compassionate and kind. All qualities I strive to have.
2. What is an event/happening you covered that is most memorable?
After more than a decade in this business, I’ve been blessed with many amazing experiences and opportunities. I’ve flown in stunt planes, met celebrities and covered Presidential visits. I’ve reported in the middle of some wild weather. However, most of my career was centered on being a “crime beat” reporter. It wasn’t always easy, but I always felt that I had a responsibility to tell the victim’s story.
The one story that still stands out to me is the Klonda Richey case. She was attacked and killed by her neighbors two dogs in the middle of the night. I didn’t understand how it could happen. How could no one have called for help? I talked to friends and family who told me she was terrified of these dogs and had tried to get help in the past. She had called police and even went to court to try to get a restraining order, but nothing was done. Klonda couldn’t tell her story, so I felt the very least I could do, was make sure she still had a voice. I petitioned, and won, to have court records unsealed. The community was outraged and eventually criminal charges were filed against the dogs’ owners. State lawmakers have since tried to pass legislation in Klonda’s name to strengthen the penalties against vicious dog owners that attack.
3. How has your life changed since becoming a TV personality?
Life really hasn’t changed. I’ve spent the majority of my career working in my hometown. I go to the same places, still spend as much time as possible with my family and friends. I guess the only thing that has really changed is my crazy (sleep) schedule. Waking up in the middle of the night isn’t ideal.
4. What did you most recently binge watch? (at least whatever binging your schedule allows)
I have to be careful! My schedule can be dangerously *too* good for binge watching! I’m typically home by noon every day. I try to nap right away, but will turn on Netflix and get sucked in. My latest binge has been catching up on the first few seasons of “Quantico.” I’m a sucker for a good drama.
5. If you could have reported on any event throughout history, what would it have been?
That’s difficult! There are so many.
I think it would be the 1974 Xenia tornado. I wasn’t born yet, but grew up in Xenia. That storm shaped by hometown and changed the people there. My grandfather was also a Greene County Commissioner at the time of the tornado and helped in the rebuilding. I would have loved to have seen his leadership in action.
6. Do you have to shop for all your on-air clothing? How big of a chore is that?
Yes. I shop for all my own on-air clothing. It’s not really a chore because I love shopping. The only tough part is trying to find pieces that everyone else doesn’t have too. We all have the same image consultants and get the same advice “solid, bright colored dresses.” Needless to say, my closet looks like the rainbow.
7. What is your worst habit?
I hoard emails. Hitting “delete” and losing something forever gives me anxiety. At last check, my personal account had topped 94,000. I’m now going for a record.
8. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Easy answer- my nose is bent and my mouth is crooked.
I used to hate it, but now I consider it character.
Truth is… now, I’m not sure I would change anything.
The way I see it, I’m a work in progress. I’ve made lots of mistakes. I’ve learned. I’ve grown. Every day I change a little bit more, hopefully for the better.
I’m still nowhere close to perfect and I’m okay with that.
9. What has been your most embarrassing on-air moment?
There have been many. One that always comes to mind was when I was just a few months into my professional career and anchoring the morning news. It was a story about the war in the Middle East. “Shiite” Muslims popped up on the teleprompter. I mispronounced it (it sounded like a curse word). I said it several times and it just kept getting worse. I was mortified. I couldn’t get off camera quickly enough.
10. What is the best part about working in Dayton?
The best part about working in Dayton is definitely my family. My first job out of college was in Idaho Falls, Idaho. I spent 2 years, 20+ hours away from home. That was tough. Initially when I moved back in 2005, Dayton was supposed to be short-term. Once back, everything changed. My dad battled with some serious health concerns. My sister had two babies. We lost my grandfather. Good and bad I’ve been here for it all. And nowadays, there is nowhere else I want to be.