Alaska State House Republicans have hired a new press secretary, and it’s a name you probably know.
KTUU reporter and fill-in anchor Mallory Peebles will take over the role on January 14th, just prior to the new legislative session starting on the 17th.
When pressed in a phone interview Wednesday night, incoming House Minority Leader Charisse Millett acknowledged that Peebles was her choice and that hiring paperwork making the move official had been completed earlier in the day.
Millett said she has admired Peebles’ work for some time, saying, ”Her reporting on resource development has always impressed me.” But it was Peebles’ skill at crafting the narrative of a story that won Millett over. “She’s great at messaging. She’ll be able to help our members at doing press, condensing what their legislation does, condensing what their goals are.”
The choice of Peebles also seems to reflect a weakness Millett perceived in House Republicans’ communication strategy. “I think one of the things we as Republicans aren’t good at is telling the public how things will benefit them,” Millett said. “We were so busy [last year] trying to make things better for Alaskans that we never messaged it. We never told them what we were doing. We let the Democrats write our message and it wasn’t the right message. It was the adversarial message.”
Millett said she’s counting on Peebles’ media relationships to help advance a new message. “Last year, and in the years before that, we didn’t know how to build solid, good relationships with the press,” Millett continued. “She has a media background. She knows how to sell a story to a person who will tell our story, in our words, and in our language. And I think that is something that we didn’t have. Now we’ll be able to get our message to the press on why we are doing the things we are doing and how they will positively affect Alaskans.”
When asked, Millett couldn’t immediately recall how much Peebles’ salary would be but said it would be in the same pay range her outgoing predecessor Jeremiah Campbell received. According to public records, last year the House Minority Press Secretary made just over $76,000 per year.
Here is Peebles’ biography from KTUU:
Mallory Peebles joined the Channel Two News team in August 2012 and is thrilled to be “taking on the Last Frontier.” Having never stepped foot in Alaska prior to her KTUU arrival, she’s looking forward to every opportunity in which she can explore what she is already referring to as “our beautiful state.”
Mallory began her television career at KEYC-TV in Southern Minnesota. She was a Reporter in Mankato for over a year before being promoted to Weekend Anchor at KEYC. Mallory covered everything from crime and court cases to severe weather and the agriculture beat in Minnesota. One of Mallory’s favorite coverage topics was Natural Resources and the great outdoors, and she very much looks forward to continuing that beat in the Great State of Alaska.
Although Mallory enjoys colder weather, she grew up in the Golden State of California. A self-professed “surfer girl” from the San Francisco Bay area, she’s always led an active lifestyle. A deep well of enthusiasm is one of Mallory’s best personality traits and one she often puts to use in her journalism career as she tackles the challenges that accompany tough assignments. After all, enthusiasm comes naturally to Mallory, evidenced by her role as a cheerleader beginning at the age of 6 and continuing throughout her college years at California State University Stanislaus. There, she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies and a Minor in Journalism.
Mallory got her first start in television through an internship at KTVU (another well-known “Channel 2 News”) in Oakland, CA. She grew up watching KTVU and attributes her chosen career path to the days she spent watching the talented KTVU staff, eventually being personally mentored by many of those same TV journalists.
During her free time, Mallory enjoys shooting bow with her husband and hanging out with her cat, “Bennett.”
Mallory loves the challenge of finding compelling stories in her own community, and she looks forward to hearing from Channel Two viewers if you have any story ideas you’d like to share.