Cathy Gandolfo: Temple Alum Reflects on Convention Experiences

Cathy Gandolfo, a former Temple student and veteran 6 ABC Action news reporter, has covered four national conventions during her career. Gandolfo’s convention experiences include the DNC of 1984, the RNC of 1988, and the RNC of 1992. The DNC of 1984 was her favorite convention to cover greatly because of the history she witnessed fist hand. The presumptive democratic nominee Walter Mondale chose Geraldine Ferraro as his running mate, making it the first time a female was chosen to be on a major party ticket. Cathy also explained that she was initially supposed to cover the RNC in Dallas. However, to her excitement, she was tasked with covering the DNC instead. Cathy said, “I think part of it was because I was a New Jersey correspondent. And they thought it was important for me to shadow the New Jersey delegation.”

As reporter working alongside Jim Gardener and Vernon Odom, Cathy’s main focus was to interview New Jersey delegates to get their thoughts and reactions of key speakers. She touched upon speaking with former New Jersey Governor Thomas Kean, who was chosen to be the keynote speaker during George H.W Bush’s nomination. Another rewarding experience was being able to get a small word from the nominee’s wife, Barbara Bush, about what she thought of Governor Kean’s speech. She explained, “All of the national media was on the opposite side of where I was with my photographer. And as she came off the stage it so happened she was coming towards me.”

While getting interviews was an important job, Cathy emphasized doing your research to become familiar about key issues and platforms surrounding the convention you would report on.

Looking back at her career, she explained nothing could’ve prepared her for the kind of career and success she had. Yet, Temple University helped her discover her passion. She said, “I learned a lot at Temple, but mainly that this was the business I wanted to be in.”

There is no doubt Cathy was satisfied with the 36 years spent with 6ABC, and that the conventions were a highlight of her career. She looks back with great satisfaction and believes she made the most her time as a reporter before retiring.

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