By Bonny Osterhage
Photography by David Teran
In August of 2020, Stephanie Serna started setting her alarm a lot earlier as she took over the anchor spot on “Good Morning San Antonio.”
“It’s set for 2:30, 2:40, and 2:45 a.m., and I also set my husband’s phone as a backup,” she laughs.
Serna, who grew up in San Antonio, got her first taste of journalism while working on the newspaper at John Jay High School. She followed her nose for news to UT Austin, where she realized that broadcasting was her true calling.
“There’s a much quicker turnaround in broadcast journalism, and I liked the urgency and instant gratification of it,” she describes.
After working at stations in both Waco and Austin, Serna was hired as a freelancer at KSAT in 2009 and spent six months dividing her time working in both the San Antonio and Austin markets.
“I would wake up and forget what city I was in,” she says. “Keeping them straight on the air was a challenge too.”
By 2011, Serna had secured a permanent position with KSAT as a reporter for GMSA before working her way up to her current seat behind the news desk. She says she is happy to be back in the city and community where she grew up.
“San Antonio has a spirit and passion that brings people together, you always see that and especially during this pandemic,” she says.
In addition to her new role as morning anchor, Serna juggles the roles of wife and mother. She and her photojournalist husband met at KSAT and have a seven-year-old daughter. With her unusual schedule, life can get hectic, but she tackles it all with a “laid back” approach.
“It all works because I adjust a lot and don’t keep a rigid schedule at home,” she explains.
She also makes time for exercise. An avid runner with nine full marathons under her belt, Serna says running is her “stress relief” and keeps her “grounded and sane.”
Although she is still fueled by her passion for storytelling, there were plenty of days this past year when the stories were harder to tell. That’s when Serna thinks back on the advice once given to her by her mother.
“She always told me that you never know who’s watching and that you might just make a difference to one person,” she shares. “I want to continue to try and make that difference.”