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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Christina Olivares

Class of 2004, Master's

Christina Olivares was born and bred for the world of horse racing. Her mother worked at the infield at Santa Anita, where she met Christina’s father, former jockey and trainer Frank Olivares. By the age of four Christina was already taking horseback-riding lessons five days a week; she got her first pony when she was six years old. She competed successfully in the world of hunter-jumpers, spending most weekends at horse shows with other Southern California riding connections such as Kristin McCarron, Ashley Stevens, and Kristin Mulhall.

With her father competing in the Southern California circuit, Christina spent her summers as a teenager working for him at Del Mar. She remembers waking early to go hot-walk and pony for her father and building sand castles at the beach with Bill Shoemaker.

After graduating from Mayfield High School in Pasadena, Christina went on to the University of Southern California where she immersed herself in the full range of campus activities, everything from football games and sorority functions to campus leadership and philanthropies. She studied journalism and entertainment communications at the Annenberg School for Communication and gained extracurricular experience working for entertainment programs such as MTV News and Extra.

As a senior in college, Christina began working for HRTV as a weekend reporter and features producer. Upon graduation she was hired full time at HRTV where she continued as a reporter. She also co-conceptualized as well as produced the weekly countdown shows Target Louisville and Pursuit of the Cup. It was here that Christina was spotted by TVG and recruited as a full-time reporter. In this capacity she affords fans the inside advantage of her exceptional background in racing and her familiarity with the connections.


What are the top three skills journalism students should learn in college?:

There are a lot of situations that you just have to experience and learn from.  Work on your writing.  Practice live reporting in front of the mirror.  And use your time wisely.

What were your duties at ATVN? :

Reporter, Camera Operator

How did ATVN prepare you for your career?:

Class with Toni Guinyard was the best training I could have recieved.  Everything at TVG is live and Toni really focused on that skill with me.

What is your advice to aspiring journalists?:

Take risks!!  Do your research.  Ask questions.  Watch your tapes.

What should graduates keep in mind when negotiating their first job?:

Get an agent!  Ha!  In all seriousness, be very aware of the stations expectations of you and understand how and when you can move up.

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