UA alum shot for the stars, now she gets to work with them
Madison Brodsky, a University of Arizona alumna who graduated in 2017, has discovered her talent for entertainment journalism. Since graduation, Brodsky has worked as a TV reporter for programs such as TMZ and TooFab News.
Brodsky’s interest in entertainment news started in her early childhood when she and her mom would watch E! News before going to bed every night.
“She used to buy me these little baby heels, and we would get into pajamas every night, put on our heels, get into bed and watch E! News together,” Brodsky said.
Brodsky did not start professionally pursuing entertainment reporting until she came to the UA. Originally, Brodsky declared herself as a psychology major; however, after realizing that she could pursue entertainment reporting as a major, she quickly transferred to the broadcast journalism program.
After declaring her major, Brodsky wasted no time and quickly began taking steps toward becoming an entertainment reporter.
“I think what I did in college was the most important part in where I am now because I went the extra mile,” Brodsky said. “I kind of made journalism my whole life.”
During her freshman year, Brodsky got her first taste of journalism when she wrote as a reporter for The Daily Wildcat. Then she went on to intern for news outlets such as LA Fashion Magazine. Brodsky said she also learned the groundwork for journalism through her course work in the UA School of Journalism.
“Our staff at the University of Arizona School of Journalism is one of the best groups of people I could ever hope to learn from,” Brodsky said.
Brodsky said she had to figure out the entertainment reporting industry on her own. She did this by creating her own show, “Twenties and Trending,” in which she would discuss recent topics and events in entertainment news.
“I would fly out to LA, and I would [interview] whoever I could get,” Brodsky said.
Her ambition and talent for reporting soon caught the attention of her professors.
“A lot of the time, teachers would say, ‘You’re so good at what you do, you could really change the world through storytelling, but you have to go through news,’” Brodsky said. “I kept saying, 'But news isn’t where my heart lies.'”
The skills she learned through her coursework at the UA and her many internships showed her that hard news can be a valuable foundation for any kind of reporting.
“I’m still using all the skills that I learned at [the University of] Arizona every single day," Brodsky said. "I’m still storytelling; I’m still making a difference; it’s just within a different industry.”
Madison’s mom, Robin Brodsky, said her daughter always had a natural talent for writing, but her ambition and independence are what really contributed to her success.
“It’s really her own journey, She did 95 percent of it on her own. She had a little monetary help from us and a little bit of guidance from other people in the industry, but really it was mostly on her own,” Robin Brodsky said.
Brodsky’s former broadcast journalism instructor, Christopher Conover, who is a reporter for Arizona Public Media and a UA School of Journalism adjunct instructor, said despite the fact that Brodsky was traveling to Los Angeles consistently throughout the semester, her work ethic and quality of assignments never faltered.
“Her assignments were always done on time, and she put a lot of thought into her pieces,” Conover said.
Aside from the quality of her coursework, Conover said Brodsky’s drive and enthusiasm for the entertainment news world is what ultimately set her apart from other students.
“I think she has a desire to succeed at what she’s doing that’s a little different from most students,” Conover said. “She knew what she wanted, and she was willing to make those personal sacrifices in order to get it, and as we’ve all seen, it’s working.”
Brodsky said her decision to follow this passion has contributed greatly to her success as a reporter and has also influenced her overall happiness in her career.
“When you find your passion, you’re going to end up working 10 times harder than you are just for any job,” Brodsky said. “When you work harder, you’re going to move up the ranks and you’re going to end up making the money. You just have to have a little patience.”
One of Brodsky’s friends, Kaitlyn Riley, first met her at an event for their sorority freshman year. Brodsky always had an extraordinary work ethic and motivation to succeed in her career, according to Riley.
“She knew exactly what she wanted to do and who she wanted to be,” Riley said. “She had her whole life already planned out, so I think that’s why she worked so hard in school.”
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It is imperative to have well-developed time management and organizational skills in any profession, according to Brodsky.
Her workday is not by any means the traditional job. Instead, Brodsky’s day begins at 5:30 a.m. and ends at 4:30 p.m. In that time, Brodsky writes about 20 stories on top of daily broadcasts, junkets and red carpet events.
Editorial Director and Founder of The Populist Joseph Kapsch was Brodsky’s editor when they both worked at TooFab News. He recognized Brodsky’s drive for entertainment news the first time he met her.
“I saw the fire and the passion that I had at her age,” Kapsch said. “I saw so much of her willingness to want to learn and that she was a go-getter.”
Kapsch said many of the interns that are looking to have a career in entertainment news want the success but are not necessarily ready or eager to put the work in to get there.
“Madison has big aspirations, but she is also willing to put in the work it takes to do it,” Kapsch said. “I was so impressed with her because she was coming in as an intern and she was well advanced even at that point.”
After he decided to hire Brodsky as an intern, Kapsch said her work ethic continued to impress him. He described her as one of the few people who has that intangible “X factor” that is required to succeed in the entertainment industry.
“She had a work ethic that any editor looks for,” Kapsch said. “She was always willing to go the extra mile to get the job done.”
Brodsky has so much passion for her career that her rigorous schedule doesn’t even feel like work sometimes.
“I wake up every morning so excited to go to work,” Brodsky said.
Brodsky left TMZ and TooFab News and will be working for a different publication in the entertainment industry soon. She cannot announce the name yet but is excited for the change.
“I figure we’re all going to be working for her at some point,” Conover said.
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