Being Miss Maumee Valley

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


I am so excited- I have been selected the new Face of Fox Toledo- a job in the entertainment field only three months after receiving my Theatre degree! Thank you so much to everyone who wished me well during the interview/audition process for this position; your support was very encouraging!

I have a confession to make though, I’ve known I was the winner since Monday morning.
Fox Toledo’s website isn’t updated yet, but I know that press releases have gone out, so I can finally blog about it! It’s been so hard not to share the news with you, my loyal blog readers; I did continue writing, just not posting. Read below for my experiences over the past two days:

Monday, August 28, 2006

This morning I awoke to a wonderful phone call from Betsey Russell (Creative Services Director at Fox Toledo) telling me that I had been selected the new Face of Fox Toledo! I immediately called Loren and my parents and sent text messages to four of my closest friends. However, with a 2:30 meeting scheduled, I didn’t blog because I wanted to make sure the job and its requirements were indeed what I expected and wanted.

My non-blogging instinct was a good one, as I was asked not to broadcast the results until the website was updated and promos aired on Wednesday. Similarly, the other two competitors in the Top Three weren’t given their disappointing news until after I accepted the position at the meeting.

Throughout my years of pageant competition, I learned the importance of taking ownership of a title during the interview. At first I was so shy about my desires and my answers in the interview room had an oddly apologetic tone, it was as if I didn’t think the judging panel would believe me. In retrospect I clearly didn’t believe in myself. My last two years at Miss Ohio I was finally not afraid to tell the judges that I wanted the job and the crown. The ability to take ownership is exactly what landed me this job with Fox.

In my meeting this morning, Ray Maselli (General Manager of Fox Toledo), told me that one of the other finalists was neck and neck with me; we both possessed different, but fantastic attributes. In the end, I won thanks to my passion for the job. Just like in my last few pageant interviews, I stated several times in my final Face of Fox Toledo interview that I WANT THIS JOB!

I spoke about my pageant experience in both the first round and my final interview and I feel that much of what I’ve learned from pageant competition helped me secure this position. It’s funny though, that pageantry is also tied to the one concern they have with me- that my pageant polish and “classy” and “Hollywood” image (Ray’s words, not mine) may be intimidating and people may feel I’m unapproachable at public events. That’s a common pageant stereotype that some women sadly uphold- that we’re plastic Barbie dolls protected in a bright pink box. (Talent sold separately.) I always strive to break that stereotype by being approachable; I love public appearances and I assured Ray that he has no cause for concern.

After our meeting Ray showed me around the entire (very large) studio and introduced me to all the staff that was buzzing about. Everyone was very welcoming; some even remembered me from last year. I noticed as we went from office to office that everyone had little yellow school buses made from stress ball material sitting on their desks and in the hall was a large banner that said “get on the bus.” Ray explained that one morning he surprised his staff with a school bus; he asked everyone to pile on, sit with someone they don’t normally work with and get to know them. From the day long seminar/retreat came the “get on the bus” slogan, a Fox Toledo simile for team work and pulling your weight.

Ray’s positive attitude and innovative solutions are no surprise considering he is associated with
Dale Carnegie Training. In fact, two of my final interview judges run the northwestern Ohio branch and in addition to being the new Face of Fox Toledo, I also won a $1,600 scholarship to the course! For those unfamiliar with this, Dale Carnegie wrote a series of incredibly popular books, including How to Win Friends and Influence People (1936), on public speaking and personal development. The course I will be in runs for twelve weeks and is held right in Maumee. I could have jumped in the session which just started, but I’d have to miss two weeks in a row due to prior engagements, so I’m waiting to begin that training in November.

Tuesday August 29, 2006

This morning I did my first paid work as the new Face of Fox Toledo! Tuesday mornings are the in-studio shoot for the weekly spots. I went in and observed Leah for a while, just to see how things are done.

Basically, the Face of Fox Toledo does a ten second promo for each of the sitcoms in the “comedy block;” this includes shows like The Simpson’s and Malcolm in the Middle which air from 5-7 p.m. on weekdays. There are six shows, so every Tuesday I’ll be recording thirty ten second promos, plus other five second station ids and sometimes promos for other community events. I watch many Fox shows, but I had never realized that Leah was on six times a day; and now I will be!

After Leah was done with her weekly spots, I hopped in and we did a few together, in which she introduced and welcomed me. In the promo for this weekend she asked what I was going to do now that I’m the new Face of Fox Toledo, I replied “I’m going to spend Labor Day watching the Comedy Block on Fox Toledo, of course!” In a more generic promo that will run after Labor Day I answered with “I’m going to take over your job!” Leah and Hailey, the producer, thought it would be really funny if I pushed Leah out of the camera frame! But as to not have my debut come off as extremely rude and offensive, we played it jovially and even recorded a third “safe” version.

These promos are filmed on a “green screen” which is what weather forecasters also stand in front of. Computer graphics are added behind the person. (So your favorite weather person is actually pointing to a plain green wall and watching themselves on a monitor with the map imposed behind them.) The technology is very nondiscriminatory, meaning if you wear green or even teal blue on the green screen, you’ll become a floating head! For the Face of Fox spots a white background is usually added. I never realized how much of my wardrobe is comprised of green, bluish green and white until I was told I couldn’t wear those colors! And Leah would usually change five times per shoot, so the viewers see a different outfit each weekday…. Oh darn, a reason to expand my wardrobe!

Thursday morning I’ll film a few more promos and Friday night will be my first public appearance at the Hardcore Sports high school football tailgating party sponsored by BW3 and Jim White Honda. Leah will be at this, and most of the public appearances throughout September showing me the ropes. Our in studio work was great, and I can’t wait to hang out with her even more as the Faces of Fox Toledo!


  • Abby, Congratulations. I always sensed that you had the "sticktoittiveness" to perservere. I am so happy for you. I have been following your blog and cheering for you these last two years at Miss Ohio. I cheered for you before too, but obviously I cheered a little more for April. :) I am sure you are totally thrilled and your parents are extremely proud. I will let April know tonight. I know she will be happy for you also. Best wishes! Sincerely, Myrna Bowler (April Cobun's mom)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:18 PM  

  • Congratulations Abby! I am so excited to see you on Fox Toledo every night while I watch Seinfeld reruns!! You are awesome. -- Allie

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:33 PM  

  • hey its jamie from facebook! just wanted to say congrats! thats so awesome, haha i do something similar but not as high up there, im on the bcsn promo team that does the commercials for all the games.ill see you at miss maumee valley in a little over two months :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:19 PM  

  • Abby Congrats!! I know Tim and Vikkie are so PROUD of you. Keep up the great work. Too bad that Fox Channel is not on down here so your family can watch you. Your grandparents would love that.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:35 PM  

  • Way to go Abby! It's so awesome for you! I was so glad to hear that you'd won! Way to go :)


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:09 PM  

  • Abby, I am soooo happy for you! Congratulations!!!

    By Blogger Amy Allen, at 8:40 PM  

  • congrats Abby, I was very happy to find out you got the job!!!! And GOOD LUCK at Miss Ohio USA! You are on a role!!! Debi {Heather's mom}

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:12 AM  


    This is so incredible for you. I am very happy that you have been given this opportunity. Run with it and have a wonderful time doing it.

    By Blogger Ohio Queen, at 6:16 AM  

  • Abby!!!

    Linda and I are so proud of you!! Betsy and Elizabeth Davis also sends their congrats! Elizabeth Davis now works with Betsy at J. W Cooper's. You need that job in order to pursue the dream!

    Talk to you soon!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:21 AM  

  • Congrats Abby!! That is awesome...I tell ya, pageant girls, we are a powerful presence in the work force!!!

    By Blogger Zaina Marie, at 8:25 AM  


    It's so wonderful to hear from so many people!


    By Blogger Abby Bollenbacher, at 8:50 AM  

  • Hey Abby, Congratulations. I'm so happy for you. What an exciting year you have ahead of you. I just wish I could get the Toledo station so I could see you at work. I can't wait for Jaycie to get back on land so I can let her know. Have a great time with the new job. Judy Dotin

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:34 AM  

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