I’m Vicky Nguyen. I’m an anchor and senior investigative reporter at KNTV NBC Bay Area.
The Back Story:
I was born in Saigon, Vietnam. My parents fled the country in the dead of night on May 4, 1979. After two days, two nights, and a Thai pirate attack on the open ocean, our 40 foot boat landed on the coast of Pulau Bidong, Malaysia. We stayed in a refugee camp there for 14 months. I learned to walk on the beach and I wore crotchless pants because “elimination communication” wasn’t just a crunchy granola lifestyle choice. My parents were boat people who survived and endured to give me a better life.
A family in Eugene, Oregon sponsored us to America. And thus began my love affair with Cabbage Patch Kids, Hello Kitty, and Happy Meals, along with pho, mung bean dessert, and xi muoi, all the makings of a Vietnamese-American childhood.
After growing up in Eugene, Reno, San Jose, and Santa Rosa, I went to college at the University of San Francisco. Not because we’re Catholic, but because they offered a generous academic scholarship, making it cheaper to go to a private Jesuit school than to Cal. I also got rejected from Stanford. Apparently they didn’t want another Asian pre-med kid. Which is their loss, really, since I turned out be an Asian TV reporter. VERY original.
I moved across the country for my first television job at Central Florida News 13 in Orlando. 2000 miles from my family and my Future Husband. Career-wise it tested my mettle. I was a “one man band.” I shot my own video on a 20 pound DVC Pro camera, carried my own 15 pound tripod, and gritted my own teeth politely every time someone looked at me pitting out and trudging along in the birthplace of O-Town and said, “Wow, that looks heavy. How does a little thing like you carry all that?” My favorite was when people yelled “Hey, it’s Connie Chung,” when they saw me with my camera. Seriously, Florida is more dated than you think.
I became the Biggest Little Reporter in the World when I moved to Reno. Where I could, and did, play the slots during my shift. The 150 bucks I won with my photographer Jeff is still the biggest jackpot I’ve ever hit.
I will always remember the night I came home from work at KOLO-TV in Reno and saw the flashing light on my answering machine. I hit the play button and heard “Hi, this the news director at FOX10 in Phoenix. Saw your tape at Talent Dynamics. Wondering if you would be interested in coming to Arizona...” Midnight phone call to the Future Husband, who was deep asleep but woke up long enough to say "Phoenix???" Looked up flight times between San Francisco and Phoenix. Called the news director back and spent 3 years working weekends. Met some of the best people I’ve ever known in this business at FOX10.
Then it was time to come home. I started as a freelancer at NBC Bay Area when it was NBC11 back in 2007. The stars aligned and after many iterations from general assignment reporting to special projects to my current role as an anchor/senior investigative reporter, it's nice to be back in the Bay.