She’s an award-winning journalist who contributes to a morning show viewed by millions.
But “TODAY Show” journalist Darlene Rodriguez is a Bronx gal at heart — who got her start 20 years ago as a cub reporter covering stories uptown for BronxNet, the local public access channel.
The Soundview-born, Morris Park-raised newsreader will join Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. and Lehman College President Dr. Ricardo Fernandez as honorees Thursday at the public access channel’s 20-year anniversary.
“They gave me a great opportunity,” Rodriguez told the Daily News Tuesday. “They have hard working, passionate people who are trying to produce good television. I felt that passion from the beginning, and I admired them.”
Rodriguez, a married mom of three now based in Westchester, said she recalled reporting on the closing of iconic department store Alexander’s on Fordham Road — and freezing up and spouting jibberish amid a scrum of reporters with then Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer.
“I was terrified,” said Rodriquez, an anchor of Today New York, the local NBC morning show and a contributor to the nationally broadcasted TODAY Show. “And Fernando Ferrer, being as kind as he was, he turned to me and gave me an answer.”
Housed on the Lehman College campus, BronxNet has morphed into a six channel media entity that offers production training in addition to local news, politics and arts programming.
“It’s tremendously exciting to serve the people of the Bronx as we grow,” said Michael Max Knobbe, BronxNet’s executive director. “Darlene is a shining example of how the workforce opportunities that BronxNet provides can result in someone being a media leader and role model.”
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