Brevard residents may recall the sense of trepidation they felt when the Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore was sighted, broadcasting from the Space Coast prior to hurricanes. People often referred to his ominous arrival as “The Angel of Doom.”

There is a completely different response when locals spot Spectrum News 13’s Greg Pallone.

Though he has covered some of the most serious stories about Central Florida in recent history, such as the horrific attack on the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, or America’s return to manned launches atop SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, Greg’s informed, yet cheerful and approachable demeanor have made him a trusted source for local news.

Intuitively, viewers and residents seem to sense the affinity and connection he has to the area, with a clear focus on the vibrance and unrivaled uniqueness of the community, instead of the broadcaster’s own persona.

“I gravitated to the local market because I realized, all stories, no matter how national or international their impact might be, start as local stories.

They are always about a particular place, at a particular time,” he said.

Early Signs

His first inclination about a future in broadcasting came when a teacher approached him about leading the Pledge of Allegiance and reading the daily announcements each morning over the school PA system in Marietta, GA., when he was a young boy. Greg said he found himself enjoying the role and becoming comfortable behind the mic.

While he was in high school, a metro-Atlanta traffic reporter landed his helicopter on the school soccer field—another “too cool” experience that caused him to gravitate towards broadcasting, whether behind the camera or in front of it.

One of the most strategic professional decisions he would make came a few years later when, as a senior at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, he turned down an internship at CNN in Atlanta, accepting a position at a local station, instead.

“Instead of getting a ‘sort of’ corporate experience an intern has at a huge conglomerate, I was able to get hands on, real world training in everything from storytelling, logging interviews and editing film, to how to properly coil an electrical cable,” he said. All of these incidences seemed like small steps at the time, but they were giant leaps for his career.

Storyteller

From a practical standpoint, Greg thinks everyone should start in a small-town environment. “If you are going to make mistakes, which you will, make them in front of an audience that is measured in tens of thousands, not hundreds of thousands or millions,” he advised.

He stayed on as a hire at the rural station where he interned, moving next to Atlanta, and then to Savannah, where he landed a role as main anchor and managing editor at the ABC and Fox television stations in Savannah. It was during that time when he realized that the coveted anchor position in a studio was not where he wanted to be. “I am a field guy, I wanted to interact with people face-to-face,” he said.

Right around the same time, the opportunity with Spectrum News 13 presented.

“I hadn’t heard of Brevard County, but when I researched, I found, ‘Oh, the space center, Oh, Cocoa Beach,’ and with my passion for space, it looked like a great opportunity.”

Space Coast Landing

After a one-hour interview, they offered Greg the job of his dreams: field anchor and Brevard County news reporter on Florida’s Space Coast.  Afterwards, elated, he and his future wife Katie toured the community and decided it seemed like a perfect environment, with everything wonderful that Florida had to offer.

After a one-hour interview, they offered Greg the job of his dreams: field anchor and Brevard County news reporter on Florida’s Space Coast.  Afterwards, elated, he and his future wife Katie toured the community and decided it seemed like a perfect environment, with everything wonderful that Florida had to offer.

Pallone had worked in Brevard for just four years when the Shuttle program was scuttled. But he didn’t lose heart, even though many of his friends and colleagues wondered where he was going next, assuming the area was about to suffer an extinction of sorts.

“We understood how incredible a piece of technology the Shuttle was, but opening up commercial space was the next step, and NASA focusing on deep space was the future. We saw this with this recent SpaceX launch, it is an incredible time,” he said. “I don’t know of another area growing in this technology sector like the Space Coast, we are becoming a Silicon Valley.”

At his core, Greg sees himself as a storyteller and he believes the best way to tell a story is to treat everyone involved with equal levels of dignity and respect.

“Fundamentally, it is following the Golden Rule: To do unto others as you would want to be done to you. That lays the foundation for getting the access you want, because you always want to tell the story through someone’s eyes. That is the best way to create connection and empathy, to really make something newsworthy.

I don’t see myself as a TV reporter, but as a storyteller,” he said.

Eric Wright
President of Publishing at | Website

Eric Wright is an innovative leader, dynamic speaker and published author. He turns complex principles into simple and practical life applications. For over 25 years, Eric has taught leadership and management seminars on four continents, served on various economic development and visioning councils, and authored hundreds of published articles and three books.

As President of Publishing at SpaceCoast Magazines, Eric oversees the production of business and lifestyle journals, along with numerous specialty publications. Through these journals, Eric offers entrepreneurs and business leaders a trusted voice connecting communities across Florida and the US.

Eric and his wife, Susan, live in Indialantic, Florida, and have three married sons and four grandchildren.