If you’d asked seasoned news anchor Michelle Hopkins a year ago if she imagined herself in front of a camera again, she would have said no. But when an opportunity with her former station, WCPO Channel 9, presented itself, she says she had to “follow her heart.”
Hopkins left news in 2010 to pursue other passions, including a community outreach position at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Returning to television makes sense in many ways for her after spending 20 years learning the industry, though her new duties hosting the Cincy Lifestyle weekday morning program with Pete Scalia and Mikhayla Hughes-Shaw have come with new hurdles. In December, she also took on the role of director of communications at the Cincinnati Women’s Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation.
Reflecting on her most recent career transition, Hopkins says, “Life is funny, right? God has a sense of humor.”
When did you realize you wanted to return to TV? During the pandemic, Children’s Hospital asked me to host videos, and I loved it. I thought, I wish there was some way I could continue. Within months, Channel 9 and I started talking. Sometimes you have to take a step back to take a step forward.
What’s it like to make a major career shift mid-life? I’ve always been the kind of person who likes a challenge. I figured I don’t have a ton of years left to work, so why not do something I really love? So it’s a shift, but in a way it’s coming home.
How has television changed since you left in 2010? Things have changed a lot. I’ve been blessed to work with a photographer on some stories, but other stories I’ve been out there with my trusty iPhone. And I’m constantly updating my Instagram account. You have to keep evolving and challenging yourself; that’s the way I like it.
What’s something you like about Cincinnati? I love the running community here. I got into it about a year ago. I don’t want to say how old I am, but it’s kind of different for somebody to getting into running later in life. I joined the Black Girls Run group and started running and haven’t really stopped. I’m going to do two races this weekend. I’m going for the awards bling, right?
A lot of women struggle with having a career and being a mom. Did you? I’ve done the juggling act. You’re always worrying, How am I doing? Are they learning what they need to know from me and my husband? That has always been so important to me, to be present for my kids. My daughter’s career is in the legal division at NBC Universal, and my son is in social media and marketing for the Chicago Cubs. So it turns out I did OK.