My longtime pal Janet Shamlian has joined CBS News as a correspondent based in her hometown of Houston. Her reports will be featured on all of CBS News’ platforms, including CBS This Morning, CBS Evening News, and CBS’ 24/7 streaming news service, CBSN.
"I am over the moon to be joining CBS News and thrilled the network believes Houston deserves a network correspondent to cover our city," says Shamlian.
Shamlian has a journalism degree from the University of Missouri. Her trophy case includes a prestigious Peabody Award, an Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Award, and a bunch of Emmys.
I asked Shamlian about her favorite stories. Although she's flown aboard Air Force One and covered headline events like Hurricane Katrina, her favorite piece remains a feature about a family in Louisiana that made and gave away adaptive bicycles for children with special needs: "I think of one girl I met, Izzy, every day."
Fun facts: Her first job in Houston was with Channel 11. The lead anchors were Steve Smith, Sylvan Rodriguez, and Giff Nielsen. She was a "damn good" amateur figure skater. She is always on call as a reporter, so she keeps a packed suitcase and passport in her wallet, which came in handy last month when she was in Las Vegas for a story, and CBS asked if she could divert to Canada.
Her favorite meal on United’s international flights is short ribs with vanilla ice cream with caramel sauce for dessert. Her most fun off-camera moment was off-roading with J.J. Watt. Her favorite food at Astros games is a particular hot dog with sauerkraut and spicy mustard. She is a terribly annoying backseat driver, even in the front seat, as I have been victimized several times.
There’s no denying that Shamlian is an award-winning reporter with unrivaled writing skills, which is a fading talent in broadcast journalism. She’s produced some heart-rending, powerful stories. She was the first U.S. journalist on the scene of the 2016 Bastille Day terror attack in Nice, France.
She was on the ground in Orlando to cover the Pulse Nightclub attack. Most recently she covered the mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso. She describes covering deadly shootings as "the worst days of my professional career. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone."
Personal note: If you ask me, Shamlian’s best production was son Max. When I was the manager of the AA Biscuits in West U Little League, Max was my No. 1 draft pick and had a stellar year at shortstop and pitcher.