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Swimsuit Hottie-Turned-‘Anchorwoman’ Lauren Jones Throws Local News New Curves

[IMG:L]Lauren Jones’ resume might include swimsuit model, WWE Diva, Barker’s Beauty and an attempt at the Miss New York crown, but the blonde bombshell hopes to prove she’s got more to offer than meets the eye with her latest job: local TV anchorwoman.

Jones landed the gig in Tyler, Texas, despite her lack of journalism experience, when KYTX’s general manager Phil Hurley decided Channel 19 needed a ratings boost. Rather than hire a hotshot new host, he found a Hollywood hottie and created a scripted reality show about brains, beauty and learning the ropes of broadcast journalism.

While Anchorwoman certainly stirs up controversy about credibility and ethics, Jones insists the show isn’t meant to mimic or make a joke of the journalism profession. “The show and my existence in the newsroom was not to mock journalism and it wasn’t to mock anything in broadcast journalism. Basically the concept of the show is the experience of the underdog.”

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Jones opened up to Hollywood.com about some of the challenges of her new career path as she gears up for Fox’s Anchorwoman premiere on Aug. 22.

On the learning curve: “At first I started out doing softer stories such as penguins at the zoo and Tyler [citizens] going out and enjoying summer activities. I was covering lighter stories and it was a lot of fun. But as time went on, I covered harder stories. One of the more difficult stories I covered was when an intoxicated woman hit a 16-year-old boy. When we arrived at the scene, there was blood in the street. This was all new for me. I’ve been in entertainment, my past is modeling and WWE, so everything I did was exciting and fun and happy and comedic and whatever. Then all of a sudden, I’m thrown into this sort of environment and new situation–and I was unprepared for that. So that was quite difficult for me to deal with, but I got through it.”

On her new coworkers: “On day one, I had harsh critics. But we were trying to boost the ratings for the channel so it was a team effort, but you know there is always going to be that competition. There was one girl in particular who maybe was a little bit tough on me. She was a hardcore journalist. She had the traditional background, so for me to come in with an untraditional background created quite the competition. She felt threatened by that probably a little bit and there was a little cattiness. It is hysterical.”

[IMG:R]On serving her community: “The people who were watching the news, they were well served because I was taught to do the news as any news anchor out there, any person you see on TV (anchoring), I learned what they learned. I just learned it in a boot camp…I was doing the best job I could do and they wouldn’t put me in the anchor seat if I didn’t know what I was doing.”

On brains and beauty: “If you have a beautiful anchor doing the news, that’s fantastic if someone will stop at your channel and watch the news. But if that anchor has no personality and can’t deliver, doesn’t have the facts and isn’t a good reporter and isn’t a good journalist and didn’t go out into the field that day and cover a story and efficiently report it back to the viewers, that viewer is going to get over that girl’s looks and move on… If that person isn’t smart and well equipped to handle situations [like] what if the teleprompter goes out and we are still live and the viewers can still see you? How is that person going to handle that situation in the heat of the moment? These are all factors that go into it.”

On the thrill of the chase: “I’ve gone through withdrawals. When you are seeking out the story and you are on a hot chase it is the adrenaline of seeking out the chase and beating the other reporters…Who would not want to be a reporter? I love it. I’m addicted.”

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On her critics: “I think what will surprise them the most is that I’m genuine and it is something that I truly set out to accomplish. There is no mockery going on here and that’s a rumor I hope to dispel. It is something I’m very passionate about and I’m giving it my all and I’m trying my best, and sometimes I mess up and I laugh at myself and sometimes other people laugh at me. It is fun. How often do you get to go behind the scenes and watch a person learn something new? And you get to see my mistakes. That is the funny part because you can relate to those things because everybody has mistakes when they learn something new.”

[IMG:L]On her favorite news anchor: “I love Katie Couric. I think she has such a wonderful career and I hope to emulate something like her. I know she’s going through a little trouble now, but I think she is sophisticated and beautiful and powerful and I just admire her a lot.”

On returning to Channel 19: “The offers are flying in–in abundance–so for me it is trying to make the best decision and see what could broaden my career. And also because I learned this job in Texas and made good friends, I would love to go back there. I still have a lot to learn, I’m no absolute pro yet…I know a lot of the bigger people are calling, but I kind of want to learn a little bit more first and if they really want me maybe they will wait a little bit. We’ll see what happens.”

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