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People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Tuesday February 10, 2015 01:10PM EST
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- October 29, 1979
- Vol. 12
- No. 18
Melanie Donahoe started in TV four years ago—as a receptionist for San Francisco's KBHK. Today, at 25, she is the Washington, D.C.-based producer of PM Magazine, a high-rated news-feature and how-to show now syndicated in 42 cities. "I've surprised a lot of people because I'm so ambitious," admits Melanie. A Stanford University graduate, she arrived for her first day's work with a package of emery boards but never got to her nails. Instead she quizzed the station manager at lunch-time about his job, then bird-dogged the engineers, editors and cameramen for more info. Within three months she was writing, directing and announcing for the station. (She feels she acquired self-confidence and adaptability as a child when her father, an electronics executive, moved the family 17 times in six different states.) In 1977, Donahoe jumped to San Francisco's KPIX as associate producer of Evening Magazine, PM's pilot. "I worked like a crazy person," she recalls of a schedule that allowed her only two weekends off in nine months. It's a little easier now with a staff of 13, plus six free-lancers and eight interns. But Donahoe won't be satisfied until she heads her own production company. "After all, if you have the power," she says, "you can do something to change the world."
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