Susan Somers Kozinski

Soon after Susan Somers Kozinski started working at ABC News in 1980, she heard about another job opening there, and she called David Sloan. They had met during their first year at Rutgers University–Newark, in an English composition class in Hill Hall, and worked together on the student newspaper, the Observer. And they started working together again, as researchers for Good Morning America.

“It’s really something how all of us ended up at ABC News and all walk down the same hallway,” says Kozinski NCAS’76 about the cluster of five Rutgers–Newark graduates, who often bump into one another on the second and third floors of ABC News headquarters on the Upper West Side of New York City. “I call them all ‘my boys.’ I’m the only girl in the group.”

She was producing medical stories for Good Morning America when her son was born in 1988, and she left her full-time job, becoming a permanent freelancer. “I was able to lighten the load through those formative years for him,” she says. “I mommy-tracked. I did not want to miss out on the school plays and being a den mother.”

She might work two or three days one week, and six days the next. “On 9/11 as everybody was leaving New York, I packed a suitcase and went in,” says Kozinski, who has been to or covered every national political convention since 1976.

“What I have done most the last 15 years is what they call ‘crash for air,’” she says. “I’m like the opposite of Dave. He has a project they start thinking about and they formulate for months and months. As the house is on fire, I’m there writing the story before the facts are even coming in, because I have 40 minutes to get this on air.”

Christopher Gianetti

As a boy, Christopher Gianetti often tagged along with his father to the kind of glamorous job he decided he would like to have himself one day: working for NBC in Rockefeller Center. Johnny Carson was still in residence, and he sometimes visited The Tonight Show. For college he followed his father, the late Anthony Gianetti NCAS’51, to Rutgers–Newark, and he was all set to follow him to NBC, too—until President Jimmy Carter intervened.

“I was supposed to be working on the Olympics,” he says. But there were no Olympics that year for NBC, or for the United States, after Carter boy­cotted the Summer Games in Moscow to protest the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan. Gianetti NCAS’80 ended up at ABC instead, putting his business administration degree to work doing cost reports for World News Tonight and Nightline. “Business administration is a good way of getting in—everyone is always interested in costs. So I took that route.”

That route soon led him to the same kind of work his father did, the television equivalent of air traffic controller: managing all the video coming into the network from far afield. “I ended up doing the exact same thing at ABC that he did at NBC,” says Gianetti, who is the supervisor of the News Acquisition Center and who sometimes brings one of his daughters to work the way his father did with him. “I was familiar with how he did his job; it kind of gave me an advantage.”

His father used to come in sometimes, too, after his retirement, to see how technology had evolved since operating the first color camera in 1951. “He would see how they went to digital over the years, how they changed things,” Gianetti says. “It just keeps on accelerating.”

Joshua Hoyos

Political science was Joshua Hoyos’s major at Rutgers–Newark, so he knew this was a big story: a phone call between President Obama and the president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, had taken place in September 2013, the first time the leaders of the two nations had spoken in more than three decades.

“I was there all night long, massaging the piece and trying to make it better and better,” says Hoyos NCAS’14, who was working an overnight shift at ABC, preparing stories for the 7 a.m. news broadcast. Just before air time, he made it even  better, managing to squeeze in an update about the protests that  greeted Rouhani’s return to Tehran. “We had developments that were happening quite literally minutes before air.”

It was the weekend of his 21st birthday, and he still had another semester of coursework to finish at Rutgers. “There were times when I’d be doing college papers while in an edit room,” he says. “I can still go into certain edit rooms and log in and probably find on the desktop papers on European politics and English essays.”

He had met David Sloan, the executive producer of 20/20, while working in Rutgers–Newark’s development office the summer after his first year and was chosen for an internship at Good Morning America the summer after his sophomore year. “It was supposed to be 13 weeks, and now it’s 2015 and I’m still at ABC,” says Hoyos, now 22, and an editor on the national  assignment desk. “They can’t get  rid of me.”

Alex Aleksic

Alex Aleksic has 60 seconds each evening to convince you to watch ABC’s World News Tonight. “Short, sweet, and simple,” he says about the one-minute segment that opens the broadcast. It’s called “Headlines”—teasers for select stories deemed to have the best chance of gaining the interest of viewers—and for the last three years, he has been the editor. “It’s tough to put five ideas into a one-minute script that will grab viewers’ attention and make them want to stay along and watch the broadcast.”

Aleksic NCAS’89 immigrated to the United States with his family from Sarajevo in the former Yugoslavia in 1975 at the age of 9. When he chose his majors at Rutgers, political science and theater arts, his career goal was  to work at the United Nations. But then came an internship at WOR-TV in Secaucus, New Jersey, working on the station’s live morning show. “I didn’t think my path was going to take me in the direction that my career did,” he says. “It was a total accident.”

He was hooked by television, as surely as he hopes to hook ABC’s news viewers now. The internship turned into a full-time job at WOR, and then another job at CNBC, where he worked his way up the production ranks, until he moved to ABC News as a video editor. “At Rutgers, we used to study all the major networks’ broadcasts, so it was a career dream job to land at one of them,” he says. • — Kevin Coyne