Q&A with Courtney Friel

Courtney Friel, news anchor, KTLA-5

Guest speaker
Chasing The News … Stone Cold Sober
August 26, 2020 

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Courtney Friel has been a news anchor at KTLA-TV, the number one news station in Los Angeles, since 2013. She also hosts the highly successful podcast “Keepin’ It Friel: Conversations on Recovery.” In 2007, at the age of 26, Friel was hired by Fox News Channel as a national news correspondent and fill-in host for “Fox & Friends,” where she worked for six years. She remains to this day the youngest on-air talent ever hired by the cable network. Previously she reported for CBS, ABC and Fox affiliate stations as well as shows including “America’s Most Wanted,” “Extra,” and “E! News.” Friel has more than a decade sober and speaks around the country on the topic of sobriety. Friel was born and raised in a suburb of Philadelphia and currently resides in Los Angeles with her fiancé and two children.

Courtney Friel

Q. If you are in recovery, what was your Drug of Choice? When did you stop using?
A. Alcohol, Cocaine, Xanax, Adderall, Ambien. 09/09/09

Q. Have you ever been arrested and if so, for what?
A. No, thankfully

Q. Do you think addiction is an illness, disease, a choice or a wicked twist of fate.
A. I believe some people’s brains are just wired differently and can’t just have one drink, we want to keep going and turn into not our best selves. If that’s an illness or disease then so be it.

Q. Do you log on to ZOOM 12-step meetings? How often? Do you share?
A. Yes, I am doing AA Zooms and I speak at them more than I share.

Q. Have you added anything to your Tool-kit to help keep you sober during the pandemic?
A. When I feel really stressed I set my phone timer for 20 minutes and just write all my feelings and thoughts down in a notebook. By the end I’m almost in a trance.

Q. Where did you grow up?
A. In the suburbs of Philadelphia

Q. From what school or teacher did you learn the most?
A. Probably the most useful lessons I have learned in life (to not take things personally, not make assumptions, letting things go, etc.) has come from the book “The Fifth Agreement” by Don Miguel Ruiz. I can’t recommend it enough!

Q. If you had an extra million dollars, which charity would you donate it to?
A. I would give it to the K-Love radio station which runs exclusively on donations. They play Christian music that is so uplifting and it helps so many people when they’re going through tough times.

Q. Do you have any children?
A. Yes, my son Cash is 9 and my daughter Cameron is 8.

Q. Have you started any new projects because of the quarantine?
A. I am trying to learn Spanish!

Q. If you ever retire would you prefer to live by the ocean, lake, river, mountaintop or penthouse?
A. Definitely by the ocean!!

Q. What is your favorite hotel or resort?
A. Hotel Chelidonia in Santorini Greece, which is the most beautiful, peaceful, romantic place on the earth in my opinion.

Q. What is your biggest or littlest pet peeve?
A. I can’t stand when people don’t follow through on what they say they will do.

Q. Who has had the biggest influence on you throughout your life?
A. My parents, my children, the news business, my romantic relationships and AA have all played big parts, but GOD has been my constant throughout my life.

Q. If you were giving a dinner party for your 3 favorite authors, living or dead, who would they be? (choose 4 if you think one might be too drunk or stoned to attend.)
A. Wayne Dyer, Don Miguel Ruiz, Brene Brown

Q. What books are you reading now?
A. Just finished “Becoming” by Michelle Obama and starting Rob Lowe’s “Things I only tell my friends”.

Q. What is your FAVORITE Radio show, news show, podcast?
A. I just finished binging all 6 seasons of Schitt’s Creek and I’m obsessed. As for news- that has to be the KTLA 5 News where I work! Also love “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver”.

Q. What is your FAVORITE APP?
A. Currently it’s the Life app that tracks my intermittent fasting hours!

Q. Are you bingeing on any TV series? If so which ones.?
A. Dead to Me, Working Moms, Grace and Frankie are all recent shows I’ve watched during Covid- and now I’m starting “The Good Wife”.

Q. Which movies have you watched the most?
A. Titanic and Zoolander

Q. Who is your FAVORITE Director?
A. Judd Apatow

Q. Who is your favorite sober celebrity?
A. Edie Falco

Q. What is your FAVORITE Band/composer/musical artist?
A. I love me some Taylor Swift!

Q. What is your FAVORITE Broadway musical/play?
A. Book of Mormon and Jersey Boys

Q. What is your FAVORITE City?
A. Laguna Beach!

Q. What is your FAVORITE Museum?
A. The Capuchin Crypt in Rome. It’s a small space underneath a church filled with bones and skeletal remains of 3700 bodies.

Q. What is your FAVORITE Restaurant?
A. The Olive Garden

Q. What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
A. Make sure you have children because the news business will kick you out one day and won’t love you, but your family will!

Q. What is the best piece of advice YOU’VE given?
A. Always be yourself, be nice, and work hard. That’s my standard line!

Q. What is the greatest risk you have ever taken?
A. Writing a book called “Tonight At 10: Kicking Booze and Breaking News”.

Q. What is your biggest regret?
A. I don’t spend time thinking about regrets. What’s the point. My life has unfolded as it was supposed to.

Q. What is the proudest moment in your life?
A. Becoming a mom, becoming an author, doing the career I always wanted to do growing up, but getting sober is my biggest accomplishment!

Q. What is your favorite Weekly News Bulletin?
A. This one!