It’s quite a ride

So, whenever you change course, take a turn, move in a new direction – it can be scary. When I left Channel Two – I was totally at peace. I knew it was my time to leave, to be home with my babies. I was so blessed to be able to do it. I was grateful to my managers for letting me our of my contract with two years left.

I was loving every minute of just being a wife and mommy.

Then, I started to feel my creative juices wondering what was going on. I needed an outlet. So, I started writing for the BN/Gusto which let me work a bit. It’s fun. I basically get paid to take my girls to super cool, fun places and write about it. Win.

But, then – you know, that seemed to not be enough for me. As a person. A writer. So, I forged ahead. I am working on my Master’s Degree from the  S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.  It’s intense, but rewarding for sure.

Still, me being me .. I couldn’t let my idea of my own site fade. That conversation with my husband about a festival of Buffalo stuff was the catalyst. I knew I would be back in this world someday. On my terms. The truth is, I get messages and emails every single day from viewers that were encouraging me to do something. So, I figured why not. It’s been a long journey.

Every night I would put my babies to bed and go to work. It felt good to make calls, send emails, ask questions. During my time at Channel Two, I worked mainly on feature stories (besides those darn product tests) and some hard news – I wrote about inspirational people, people who’d overcome more than most of us could imagine. I wrote about people who pushed through their grief, fear, sadness, and pain – to help others. To make a difference. Make their mark in the world. It was like fresh air going into my lungs – it was so pure. That – is what I miss. So many of those folks are still in my life – still my friends – some great friends, in fact. They’ve encouraged me, too.

I know that I am not reinventing the wheel here – but, this is about celebrating. The time is now. Right now. I am born and raised in WNY. I am so proud to raise my kids here. So happy to be able to work here. To be able to work from home – with my babies. So happy to be able to call so many of the people who’ve given me stories over the years – to check in on how things are going. To fill you all in.

The fact is – this is a trend across the country. Former news reporters and anchors leaving their jobs and starting something on their own. And I also believe the people who love the positive stories – will read them all. On all the sites – and that is really amazing. Don’t you think?

Really this was all about that festival. The site was going to just be a way to promote the festival. It evolved as I figured it out. As I thought about what I could take on. We added merch – because – why not! We have so many things to unveil still – the graphic artist I work with must have wanted to kill me! We stayed busy for the past few months. Like since October – working on shirt designs. So many to come, but you know – sometimes you have to start out slow. And yes, I know there are many places to buy Buffalo gear – I love them all – The Buffalove, the 716 stuff – not to mention the incredible work that 26 Shirts is doing. Wow. Awesome! All folks who want to celebrate Buffalo. Aren’t we lucky to have them!?

I’m lucky.

My husband and girls want to help with the site – so watch for their stuff, too.

I have big plans, hopes and dreams. I hope you’ll stick with me during the growing pains. I hope you’ll let me know what you think. Good or bad. I hope you’ll share stories with me.

It’s been a day. One day. And I am over-the-moon with the response, feedback and support. So, thank you.



Mary Friona

Mary Friona

Following my heart with my husband and four daughters. An Emmy Award winning journalist lucky enough to work in television & radio for 20 years - seeing wonderful places, meeting great people and telling their stories.

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