Editor’s Note: Five years ago we had an idea. Being a woman-owned publication, it made sense to celebrate women who were making a difference in the industries we cover. So, we started a feature for Women’s History Month called “Reel Women.” Over the last four years, we have gotten to know leaders, mentors and visionaries from a variety of creative industries. This is our 5th Annual REEL WOMEN. For the month of March, let us introduce you to some very special women like Executive Producer, TV Talk Show Host Whitney Reynolds.
Whitney Reynolds is the Executive Producer, Host and the “Chief Inspo Officer” of the Telly Award winning and Emmy Nominated Whitney Reynolds Show. The set and production office is located at CineCity Studios. Prior to launching her nationally syndicated program, she worked in news for NBC and went on to launch her first talk show on that network. During college at Baylor University she interned for Good Morning America and fell in love with the national stage and its potential reach. When Whitney was just 25 years old she stepped into owning her own show and creating Whitney Reynolds Media.
In addition since 2013 she has hosted a motivational “give back” segment on iHeart Radio and in 2021 launched a national iHeart Podcast, Pop and Positivity. She also authored Beyond The Interview and has a column in Cancer Wellness Magazine. Over the years Whitney has helped in fundraising over 2 million dollars for local and global charities through her media work. She currently sits on the Advisory Council for Dress For Success and is on the board for The Service Club of Chicago.
Born and raised in Oklahoma, Whitney’s learned how to combine southern charm with big city hustle. Her motto is: “If the door closes, find the darn window.” Whitney lives in Chicago, in the Roscoe Village neighborhood with her husband (Dave), twins (Marlowe + Acher) and shih tzu (Sir Crouton). When she’s not on camera, it’s guaranteed you will still find her talking, she simply loves people and their stories.
Let’s meet Whitney.
What’s your origin story?
We created a show that my family needed back in the 90’s. When I was in second grade I had the TV dream already placed on my heart yet it was a life changing event that formed my current mission. I knew if I ever gained this type of platform, I would be a safe space for stories like mine. Reminder the nation: YOUR STORY MATTERS!
How did you get into television?
I own, host and EP The Whitney Reynolds Show. There was never a day in my life that didn’t envision what’s here now. Sure it’s grown over the years but I truly was born with this dream and hustling ever since.
Who were your mentors?
I’ve had many over the years, however when my show went national and I still owned it, I knew I needed a strong business mentor. I am beyond grateful Melissa Bernstein of Melissa and Doug said YES! Similar to my story she started in her garage (I taped in my house) and turned it into something amazing that’s changing lives!
While there will be others, what do you consider your biggest achievement to date?
Holding the title Twin Momma and Executive Producer. We’re spinning (and breaking) a lot of plates over here, but I couldn’t be prouder.
What drives you to create?
I love storytelling. THE END. J/K but that truly storytelling deep stories that inspire change drives the vehicle and revs our show’s engine. Love being the driver’s seat for it all!
Award you crave, but haven’t won?
NOMINATED… Yet haven’t won my Emmy. Now I’m competing in Daytime so it’s a whole new level of #Let’sGo
What shows/movies/songs are doing the best job of portraying strong women on TV?
Truly digging Miley Cyrus “Flowers.” I love my husband yet I LOVE that I can buy my own freaking flowers!
Is there still a boys club in television?
YES. Yet the women’s club has become kinder and more self aware, we open our doors for all.
Coffee, Lunch or Happy Hour. Name a famous woman (living or dead) you would like to attend each function with.
Coffee with Oprah to tell her thanks for creating appointment, mission driven, story tellin-vision!
Lunch with Real Talk Kim, her videos speak to me and she just can keep talking with just herself! She honest, truthful and that lunch would be powerful.
Happy Hour with Whitney Houston. I am a product of the 80’s & believe my parents named me after this great talent. Her songs are my “happy place” & after a drink I sing them even louder. What a cheers this would be.
What keeps you up at night?
I set alarms for everything and every now and then I put the wrong AM VS PM in there! Oh well- who doesn’t need a 3:30 am reminder to get the kids… If and when it happens, an extra kiss is given and I’m reminded not to be OCD with alarms. lol
What’s up with Beyoncé being nominated for 4 Best Albums of the year but never winning?
I get it, read question 6 again. 🙂
AWARDS AND HONORS
- Emmy Nomination, The Whitney Reynolds Show
- Telly Gold Winner, “People’s Choice 2022”
- Telly Bronze Winner, “National Programming 2022”
- I Am Woman Award, “Endure Charities, Chicago Bulls 2022
- Telly Bronze Winner, “Overcoming Racism, 2020”
- Stevie Award Winner, “Video Of The Year”
- Cover Story, Hindsdale Living Magazine
- Humanitarian Honoree, We Dream In Color
- Board of Managers, The Service Club of Chicago
- Racial Justice League Member, YWCA
- Central Advisory Council Member, Dress For Success Worldwide
- Judge, Illinois International Pageant
- Council Member, Baylor Women’s Council
- Board Member, Saving Lives Foundation
ALSO READ: MORE REEL WOMEN
ALSO READ: REEL 360 — REEL WOMEN
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