KFBK News Director and Senior Editor Judy Farah has more than 25 years news experience in New York, Los Angeles and Sacramento. She's edited the KFBK Afternoon News with Kitty O'Neal the past 16 years while also directing the newsroom by assigning stories to reporters and scheduling guest interviews. Farah started out as a newspaper reporter on the East Coast, covering major stories as a reporter and editor for The Associated Press in Los Angeles, including the 1984 Olympics, the Oscars, Emmys, the presidency of Ronald Reagan and the criminals trials of the Night Stalker and the Hillside Stranglers.
Farah came to KFBK in 1996, and has helped direct coverage of five presidential elections, five governor's elections and the killing sprees of Yosemite Killer Cary Stayner and Scott Peterson. She reported live for two 13-hour days for KFBK from the 9-11 terrorist attacks. She was also the editor on KFBK's 2011 exclusive report that the Sacramento Kings were considering moving to Anaheim.
A graduate of William Paterson College in New Jersey, Farah has won three Edward R. Murrow awards, including one for Best Writing, while at KFBK. She's also earned three awards from the Northern California Radio Television News Directors Association for Best Series, Best Newscast and Best Sports Segment. She has also written for the Wall Street Journal, TV Guide, Los Angeles and Parents magazines. She was honored with a Jefferson Fellowship in 2009 and traveled to Japan, China and Hong Kong to study the Asian economy. In 2010, she was awarded a RTNDA RIAS Fellowship to travel to Germany, Belgium and Prague to study the European economy.
Farah currently is a national blogger for The Huffington Post and often speaks on news and social media. You can find her on Twitter @newsbabe1530
In her free time, Farah enjoys the outdoors by hiking along the American River bike trail and kayaking. A wine enthusiast, Farah's produced a monthly wine segment on KFBK the past five years and enjoys visiting our local foothill wineries.
I sit lazily in bed with a cup of coffee, propped up against pillows with my dog and cat snoozing nearby and the sounds of silence coming from my daughters' bedrooms as they continue their sleep. My bedroom is filled with a soft light from the early winter afternoon, a sight I don't often get to see because I'm usually at work at this time.
It's the day after Christmas and my family is still in bed, including me, I'm almost embarassed to say, after noon. It's an abnormal scene. Usually my alarm goes off at 7:45 a.m. to the sounds of the coffee pot sputtering while I lean over to turn on the radio to KFBK and grab my iPhone from its charger to read the hundreds of emails and Tweets that have come in overnight. For the next hour, I text, email and call my staff from home to plan the news day ahead before I head into work for my later 11 am to 8 pm editing shift.
For the past week, I languished. I lingered. There were no screaming digital clocks I had to obey for the KFBK Afternoon News telling me to get this interview on right now! It took a few days for my personal body clock to get off the news roller coaster. During the holidays, sorry guys, the woman -- single or married -- is overloaded. On December 23rd alone I drove all over town, making more than ten stops at stores, to ensure the perfect holiday. On Christmas Day, I crashed.
I also need to point out that relaxing, chilling, vegging during the holiday week once the chaos of Christmas Day is over is different than going on vacation. On vacation, you relax, but you still go out and have adventures and explore. I'm still in Sacramento; I'm still at home. It's not easy for a news person to slow down. By our nature, we are andrenaline junkies who work ridiculous nonstop, overtime, overloaded hours and are always on call. Trying to slow down is like a jetliner landing and the pilot pulling back hard in reverse on the throttle for landing. Stop. I can rest now.
I had big plans for my daughters and I who were reunited for the first time in three years for Christmas. Wine tasting here. Day trip to San Francisco. Happy Hour there. Finally cleaning out their closets for good. But none of that happened.
Instead, we slept and stumbled through the kitchen making unconventional breakfasts of holiday leftovers. Spinach dip, crab bisque, sushi, fondue, ham and favorite homebaked cookies were all fair game. We stayed in our pajamas and sweats too long and spent way too much time on the couch watching the silliest shows -- including "1000 Ways to Die."
And maybe that's what the holidays are also about and how families draw close. The holiday dinner is lovely but it's those subtle, understated, completely relaxed and spontaneous moments of being together with random conversation about life, love, living, politics, religion, absurdities and sharing it together while wearing sweats and socks that bonds us together.
I return to work today. I'll miss one daughter sleeping with both a Blackberry and iPhone at her fingertips, and the other foraging through kitchen not so quietly for late night holiday snacks.
I'm rested. I'm recharged. I finally succeeded in slowing down...if only for a week.