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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Jessica Dean

Class of 2006, Bachelor's

Jessica Dean is co-anchor with Chris May of CBS 3’s Eyewitness News at 5, 6 and 11 p.m. She and May also co-anchor Eyewitness News at 10 p.m. on The CW Philly 57.

Dean came to Philadelphia in September, 2013 from KARK-TV, the NBC affiliate in Little Rock, Arkansas where she has been the evening news anchor since 2011. She joined the station in 2010 as weekend anchor after three years as a reporter, anchor and co-host at KATV there. She began her career as a reporter in 2006 at KNWA/KFTA in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

Dean’s award-winning work has been distinctive in its use of social media to include interactive segments in her broadcasts. She has also earned kudos for her in-depth reports including an investigative series she aired on homelessness for which she spent a night on the streets for a first-person perspective.

A native of Little Rock, Arkansas, Dean is a 2006 Cum Laude graduate of the University of Southern California at Los Angeles where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in broadcast journalism. While at USC, she interned at Dateline NBC.

Dean and her husband, Blake, a business and communications strategist, reside in Philadelphia.


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

Writing! You can really stand out through your writing.
Also, efficiency and multi-tasking...I’ve learned you’ve got to be able to do a lot of things very quickly and well.
Finally, try to become as comfortable as you can with the equipment...chances are that at your first job, you’ll be shooting and editing your own stuff. 

What were your duties at ATVN? :

Anchor, Reporter, Writer/Shooter/Editor, Asst. Director, Floor Manager, Assignment Desk

How did ATVN prepare you for your career?:

Even though the whole one-man band thing can be frustrating at times, it really, really prepared me for my first job. I felt so ahead of everyone else because I knew I could pick up the camera and go. Also, meeting deadlines and time management were two lessons learned that helped me out a lot.

List any additional major(s) or minor(s) you had at USC. What impact have they had on your career?:

The whole USC Annenberg experience...I know that sounds corny, but in my short experience in the real world, I don’t know of any other school that prepares you the way Annenberg does.

What is your advice to aspiring journalists?:

Enjoy ‘SC and know that what you’re learning through your classes and ATVN will really help you at your first job. I honestly don’t think I could have been any better prepared than I was when I went to work on the first day. Also, try to find a balance between journalism and your personal life. Life experiences make you a better journalist. 

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