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Ellie Hogue Dodge

While Arlington resident Ellie Hogue Dodge is best known for covering the stories that matter in Fort Worth (as a roving radio reporter for WBAP) she believes some of the most valuable information and advice comes from moms. Dodge has found a way to balance a demanding career and raise a “perfect” child with the help of her husband, Shaun (also in the radio business) and a support network of moms who allow her to “pick their brains.”

How did you get into the radio business?
After I graduated from UNT, I assumed I’d be this funny, Howard-Stern-esque type of disc jockey. Then I realized that I’m the only person that thinks I’m funny—so I kind of fell into news. And I’ve been with WBAP for pretty much my entire career. I’ve been wanting to do more fun [stories] though, because the crime gets old after a while.

Did your priorities as a reporter change once you became a mom?
After a while you get kind of jaded. I covered bits and pieces of a really, really bad child abuse trial in Dallas County … it’s even hard to think about that story today. That’s why I try and balance it out with some happier stories. Once my child was born (Sadie, age 2), breaking news kind of took a back seat. I’ve gotten close to some really hazardous situations. I try not to do that anymore.

What’s it like to juggle a stressful career and raise a child?
I was lucky enough growing up that my mom was a stay-at-home mom and I figured that’s how my life was going to be. I would even pre-judge women who were working moms. I had my own ideas about them. Now that I am one, I understand that there are so many different kinds of moms out there. Even though I never wanted to raise my child in daycare, we love the school that she goes to because she has a blast. Ideally, it would great to be a stay-at-home mom, but I love my job and Sadie has a lot of fun with the other kids. Long story short: She goes to daycare and I am fine with it, but I wasn’t for a really long time.

What does your daughter think of mom and dad being on the radio?
She knows that mommy and daddy work on the radio, but she doesn’t know enough about our voices and how they sound on the radio. When we are in the car, every time there is a man on the radio it’s daddy; every time there’s a woman on the radio it’s mommy.

What would you say to Sadie if she wanted to be a broadcast journalist?
I want her to do something big and great. I think every parent does. I don’t care what it is, but I just want her to make her mark. She could invent something … or maybe she could be a really good mom.

Have you considered having another child?
Every parent thinks they’re kid is perfect. I’m included in that [group]. I kind of feel like we’ve got perfection already—I don’t know that we can duplicate it.

What was it like be a pregnant, roving reporter?
Doing my job being pregnant was not fun. There were times where I’d have to sit on the floor. There were a couple of school board meetings and some round-table events that I had to cover where I ended up sitting on the floor … big and pregnant. That was always weird. If you see a pregnant lady on TV, that’s reporting out in the elements, you should have a lot of sympathy for her because she’s going through a lot. Trust me.

If you could travel into the future to talk with Sadie as a teenager, what advice would you give her?
Don’t let yourself get too anxious. Don’t let yourself get too stressed out. And don’t want to try to grow up too fast. Just take your time. Just chill. I think that would do a lot of people a lot of good. Just take a breather and chill.

What’s the secret to your success as a mom?
Once you become a mom you really need to have a support network of other moms. Especially, moms that have kids your child’s age or even older. You can learn from their mistakes and pick their brains. It’s also great to know moms in the [broadcasting] business who I can go to and call upon with questions on a myriad of things. At first I struggled to find people because I had a kid later in life and all of my friends’ kids were older.

Favorite guilty pleasure TV shows?
Jersey Shore

Favorite restaurant?
Café Express

Favorite song on the iPod?
“Party Rock Anthem” LMFAO (“That’s Sadie’s jam!”)