ST. LOUIS — Laura Simon is a FOX 2 reporter and weekend newscast anchor. A high school visit to a university started her journey in journalism. She worked for years in smaller cities before coming back home to St. Louis. 

“It was such a truly serendipitous thing for this to all pan out right here in St. Louis, because this is where I wanted to end up,” said Simon. “I feel very thankful I was offered a job here. It’s everything I envisioned it to be and more.” 

“Here at Fox 2, I’m the weekend morning anchor and I cover general assignment stories Monday through Wednesday on our weekday morning show. I also cover our Medical Minute stories, which air every Wednesday. I’ve always been passionate about health and fitness and wellness, so I’m really excited to cover this beat,” said Simon. 

Getting the spark

Simon’s career in journalism was sparked by a college visit in high school. She went to Ball State University and was able to see for herself how journalism school and a college newscast worked. 

“My junior year of high school, I decided to take a high school journalism class because I was thinking about my future and what I wanted to do for a career,” Simon said. “My advisor was Aaron Manful. He’s still there at Francis Howell North High School in St. Charles. He really helped validate my interest in this field and challenged me by having me work on the school newspaper and a newly launched video podcast.” 

Simon ultimately chose Columbia College in Chicago, despite her initial preference for Mizzou. She worked on a live college newscast and a newsmagazine show, which aired on CAN-TV, a Chicago cable channel. All of her professors worked in the field they taught about and one of her favorite courses was investigative reporting taught by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Sam Roe. 

“This was before 2010, it was kind of cool that, we were part of their pilot program, which I think has now really evolved since my time there,” said Simon. “The classes helped me learn how to do things for both print, video, and audio. All the different multimedia aspects of journalism, and high school helped pave the way for college. I graduated from Columbia with a degree in broadcast journalism with a focus on television.”

She also interned at WMAQ-TV where she learned alongside some of the best producers, assignment desk managers, reporters, and anchors in the country. Her supervisor allowed her to go out and shadow reporters and photographers. One of her most memorable assignments was covering Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Olympics. The International Olympic Committee was considering four potential cities where the Olympics would be held, one of those cities in the running was Chicago. Simon helped prepare the team for their coverage of the selection and even got to interview people for the live special report.  

Starting a career in broadcast news

After graduating from college, Simon worked at a Nexstar station in Joplin, Missouri, covering the EF-5 tornado recovery. She later joined news stations in Kirksville, MO/Ottumwa, Iowa until she got the opportunity where she spent several years as an anchor and reporter in Northwest Arkansas. 

“A news director there saw my reel, and he asked if I’d be interested in anchoring a weekend morning newscast. It was a two-hour show on Saturdays when I started there and a three-hour newscast on Sundays,” said Simon. 

Simon worked as a weekend morning anchor/reporter in Arkansas for four years before she was promoted to weekday morning anchor in April 2018.  

“Life kept me in Arkansas a little longer than I had planned because that’s where I met my husband and his family,” said Simon. “It will always be my home away from home.” 

The pandemic forced Simon to anchor from home for six months in 2020. Despite the challenges, she used Facebook Live and other methods to share news, emphasizing her platform as a place to lift people’s spirits during the uncertainty. 

Returning home

St. Louis was always in the back of Simon’s mind. It’s where she grew up. Her goal was to come back here.

“When this opportunity came up here, it was truly my dream job,” said Simon. “I’ve always loved anchoring – but I also missed being in the field because I feel like as a journalist, I connect more to the stories I’m telling behind the anchor desk when I’m out reporting too.” 

Simon joined Fox 2 in September 2022. 

Simon said she is motivated by her viewers. She strives to be fair, accurate, objective and authentic in her reporting.  

“This is a stressful career at times, but so rewarding and worth it,” Simon said. 

Physical activity helps Simon cope with stress and maintain balance. She enjoys trying new foods and exploring new neighborhoods, finding hidden gems in the St. Louis metropolitan area.

Walking and working out helps Simon cope with stress and maintain balance. She enjoys trying new foods and exploring hidden gems around St. Louis metropolitan area. 

“On my days off, as a morning reporter and anchor, I prioritize getting a full night’s sleep. It is essential for me to recharge and rejuvenate,” said Simon. “Additionally, I love reading. One of my favorite books is ‘The Four Agreements’ by Don Miguel Ruiz. Those are: Be impeccable with your word; don’t make assumptions, not to take things personally; and always do your best.”