Pat Ciarrocchi, Respected News Journalist for KYW-TV and Co-Host of Talk Philly, Stays True to Wilmington Roots
First lady of Philly news: Newscaster Pat Ciarrocchi got her start in Wilmington. She remains strongly connected to the city
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Those ties to her community are deeply satisfying to Ciarrocchi. She says she’s never had a desire to work anywhere else. “I’ve always believed that being part of a community I love, and working in a market large enough to do network-quality work—that would be most satisfying,” she says.
Ciarrocchi has earned her success, having racked up a host of regional and national industry honors, including multiple regional Emmys and awards for communications excellence from a variety of groups, including those representing women and Catholics.
As a Catholic, Ciarrocchi was a natural when it came to covering stories about the church. These have run the gamut from inspiring—the canonization of Philadelphia’s Saint Katharine Drexel and John Paul II’s 1989 visit to the U.S.—to tragic, such as the sex abuse scandal. “It was gut-wrenching to look at the terrible violation of children at the hands of people they trusted and to see how the church protected the institution first,” Ciarrocchi says. “That was an assignment that was personally disturbing for me, but never once—not for a moment—did I think about not doing it.”
Despite her fame, Ciarrocchi’s “office” is a cubicle in the sprawling newsroom—a window view the only indication of her status. Family photos are scattered about: Ciarrocchi with her mother and two younger brothers, with her husband and two adult stepsons. She was 42 when she met her husband, a man, she says, who “reaches right into my soul, sees it and reads it back to me. It’s a wonderful gift to have someone like that as your life partner.”
Using Her Influence to Help Others
A framed saying hangs prominently on a cubicle wall: “We are all called upon to do great things with love.” It’s a philosophy that guides her work and community involvement.
Ciarrocchi’s first foray into fundraising came when at 9 years old, she raised $38.75 in a backyard carnival for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, an idea inspired by Sally Starr, the recently deceased host of the former Delaware Valley children’s television show “Our Gal Sal.”
Ciarrocchi never forgot the power of the medium to support philanthropies. She goes beyond what’s required for KYW-TV’s fundraising efforts by seeking out and reporting the compelling stories of people helped by the charities. “She feels an obligation to give back,” says Calabria, who calls Ciarrocchi “my station sister.”
Ciarrocchi has served on the boards of numerous nonprofits, including the Easter Seal Society of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and Rosemont College.