Watch Live: THON 2019

One On One With CNN’s Jeanne Moos

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We're lucky that veteran CNN journalist Jeanne Moos has been a part of our newscast for years, and now we would like you to get to know her away from the cameras and the bright lights of the Big Apple.

There's peace and quiet here, a simple cabin on a lake where she spends every weekend away from her home in New York City.

And there's no TV.

"There's no media, no media. That's not true, well, it's just music, no news."

Jeanne Moos grew up in the Pittsburgh area and graduated from Syracuse University before making her way in the news business, a writer by trade, with a knack for making people laugh and an unusual voice.

"In the beginning I had a guy offer to give me free voice lessons, because my voice was so annoying."

We wondered where her hilarious story ideas come from.

Jeanne says just when she thinks she'll run out of material, there's something else "absurd" to talk about.

"Roll my eyes is my favorite thing to happen, that is the kind of story indicator. If you can roll your eyes, it's got potential."

But pointing out the oddities of human behavior wasn't her first gig. Right out of college, she landed at a station in Plattsburgh, New York. It was 1976.

"I was the first woman on the air."

For four years she made history there as a general assignment reporter but only four, she points out. She was fired.

"They begged me to come back after they fired me for insubordination," she laughed.

Jeanne drove to New York City with no money, so she stayed with friends and soon found herself at a little unknown startup, just six months old at the time: the Cable News Network. You may know it as CNN.

"They hired me as a writer [for the] first couple months and then a reporter got let go and he made me a reporter and that was it."

And that led to some big assignments back then: covering the first Gulf War in Iraq, reporting from Tiananmen Square and the Great Wall of China, meeting world leaders and the movers and shakers of the day.

"I had a funny moment with President Nixon where he came out of the elevator, after he was president," she recalled. "Everyone's asking questions and I said, 'President Reagan,' and there was silence and he says, 'I've been called much worse.'"

Jeanne says it was a great time to be a reporter, but she says she missed creative writing. And with her boss' OK, she decided to tell stories the way she wanted.

A few favorite experiences? A moment with a baby chimp, and a more violent encounter with a hippo.

Back at the lake, Jeanne admits she didn't want to do this interview at first. She likes to keep a low profile, and in fact, doesn't even sit out on her dock very much, despite the lovely view.

"People come very close to the dock with their boats. I've been sitting on the dock and watch a fisherman come up here and run into the dock. I said to him, 'Hey you just hit the dock.'"

But she says she's thankful to have had a long career telling great stories, and is grateful that viewers like the ones here in northeastern and central Pennsylvania enjoy what she does.

Just don't try to get her to spill her storytelling secrets.

"There is a formula. I'm not going to tell you what the formula is, but there is a formula," she said. "Yeah, end of story. Zip it," she laughed.

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