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Mike Cote's Business Editor's Notebook: NH's Trish Regan ready for prime time move

By MIKE COTE
October 13. 2018 9:23PM
Fox Business Network anchor Trish Regan, who joined the network in 2015, debuts with a new show at 8 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 15, 2018. (COURTESY)



Trish Regan's move to 8 p.m. on FOX Business Network means she will be riffing about business and politics to a bigger audience.

And that she'll be cracking eggs before the sun comes up.

"Trish Regan Primetime," which debuts Monday, Oct. 15, 2018, elevates the Hampton native from 2 p.m. weekdays to the most coveted time slot on cable TV - one Regan says she's more than ready to command after three years with the network.

"It's where the economy meets politics and where politics meets the economy," Regan said during a recent interview. "There is going to be a lot of focus on the issues that are driving politics right now."

Regan - whose resume includes stints with NBC, CBS and Bloomberg - notes she will be the only woman anchoring a national news show at that hour.

"I don't know how many women historically have had that slot at 8 p.m., but certainly I'm on a very short list," said Regan, 45. "It's a huge opportunity. I'm super excited. I think the nation is going through a fascinating time, and I'm right there on the front lines."

The new gig means Regan has had to rearrange her parental duties. Regan and her husband, James Ben, have a 6-year-old son, Jamie, and twin 8-year-old girls, Alexandra and Elizabeth. The family recently moved from Manhattan to Connecticut, where Regan says she's able to replicate the kind of environment she enjoyed in New Hampshire, though it means a longer commute for her.

"I've had the perfect schedule for a working mom because my show is 2 to 3 every day, which means I'm home in the morning, and I'm home at night," Regan said on Oct. 5, when she was still working the afternoon slot for "The Intelligence Report."

Giving up that perfect schedule was not an easy decision.

"It's tough, I think, for all working parents because you get to a point in your career where you're doing great, and you've worked so hard to get where you are, and you're ambitious and aggressive," Regan said. "And the next step sometimes means that it's going to be at odds with your personal life."

So Regan and her family traded their 6 p.m. dinners for a family breakfast every morning at 6:30 a.m. They made the switch a couple of weeks ago to prepare for the new schedule.

"I was making omelets with the girls both yesterday and this morning. And we sat down, and we had our family breakfast," Regan said. "And we talked about what was going on at school and what was happening that day."

Regan will be able to weather the change with help from her parents, Hampton residents John and Eileen McEachern, who regularly visit for 10 days at a time. "Having my mom there and my dad when my kids come home from school is so wonderful. And I think it's great for my parents, it's great for the kids, and it's really great for me," Regan said. "I know that my kids are in really good hands, and my mom is going to make sure all three do their homework."

New time, same approach

Moving to prime time required Regan to assemble another production team, but she'll have some familiar faces on board.

"I have some real superstars that I'm thrilled to bring with me and to promote," she said. "We also brought some new people in as well. In fact, my team is mostly all female. They're just terrific. It's a fabulous group of journalists that are hardworking and motivated."

While Regan will be playing for higher stakes in her new time slot, her approach will remain the same. Regan loves working on live TV and said she thrives in an environment where she can ad lib and be in the moment. Teleprompters are for introducing guests and not much else.

"I never script questions in an interview - never, ever. If I'm interviewing the President, yes, I'll jot down bullet points, or I may have something the President has said at an earlier date that I want to bring back," Regan said. "That's the research that goes into it. But I never want to be wedded to a script because to me it's all about the ability to react and to be spontaneous."

Regan didn't disclose any guests she has lined up, but she'll hardly have any problem securing them.

"Well, hopefully some people from the White House. The President did actually call. He called me to say, 'That's terrific. Congratulations on the new show.' He said to me in the past, 'Gosh, you're not always that nice to me, but I think for the most part you're fair.'"

Regan said she told President Trump she considered that a real compliment.

"If I don't like something, I can't hide it. You will know. The viewers know. And when I do like something - like lower taxes - you'll know that, too," Regan said with a laugh. "I think that being fair and making sure that we have both sides always is a very important part of what we do and what I do.

"My goal is, even if I feel one way, I want the viewer to be able to hear all sides - and make the decision themselves."

Big issues

Regan says her audience "has an appetite for understanding what's going on in Washington, D.C., and how it's going to affect our economy, how it's going to affect people's paychecks.".

Are tariffs with China good or bad for American business and how will they affect jobs? What's the aftermath of the rancorous, largely partisan debate that led to the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court?

"Everything has an economic angle or a financial angle to it because it's all going to dictate the future of the political makeup in Washington" - a makeup that continues to be reshaped.

"We tend to see the pendulum swing in different ways. And I think after eight years of Obama policies Americans had kind of had it, and they felt like their wages were stagnant, and they had been," she said. "I don't blame Obama for that entirely. That was really the result of the last 30 years."

That result includes the increasing frustration of the middle class and the "hourglass" economy - the people who had neither the access to capital to invest in the markets nor the cushion of benefit programs afforded those on the very bottom, she says.

"Those folks really felt like they were getting a raw deal. And I think it's one of the reasons why we saw Donald Trump become President. Hearing from these people is going to be a big part of what we see in 2020 as well. The mid-terms and 2020."

Contact Business Editor Mike Cote at 206-7724 or mcote@unionleader.com.


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