You Should Know … Valerie Preactor


Valerie Preactor, 23, is a Jewish woman in sports.

(Courtesy of Valerie Preactor)

Preactor grew up in Reisterstown and went to George Mason University for a degree in communications. Now, Preactor is a sports anchor and reporter for WBAL NewsRadio and 98 Rock.

She currently lives in Pikesville.

What does your day-to-day look like?
I am on the morning show, so I get up at 2:30 in the morning and I’m at work by 3:30 and then I am live on the air at 5 a.m. and I work. I’m on air until about 9 and then I’m pretty much done after that. It depends if we’re in season like the Ravens season or Orioles season. Right now, we’re kind of in between. I’m pretty much finished work by about 10:30 and then I go home and have the whole rest of the day to do anything else. While we’re in season, I’ll go to the clubhouse and talk to the players or go to the locker room at the Ravens facility and interview different people on game days. That’s a totally different schedule.

Did you always know you wanted to do this?
No, totally not. I wanted to be a marine biologist when I was in high school, and then senior year, I realized that I liked writing. I went undecided into college when I realized that being a marine biologist wasn’t a proper job for me. I didn’t really know where that would lead. I went to school in Virginia, and they had a really good communications program. I just fell into student media and really loved sports and playing sports. I figured if I can’t be a professional athlete, which was never on the table, I would be a reporter. I did sideline all through college and then ended up getting a job right here in Baltimore.

How do you feel as a woman in sports journalism?
It is so cool. I realize how special it is to have this role because I walk into a sports stadium, and I’ll walk into those press conferences with coaches and players, and I am one of very few women in there. It’s usually me and maybe two or three other girls. It is so empowering to be a woman in sports because not only am I keeping up with the guys that I’m working alongside, but there’s times where I feel like I know a little bit more than that or I look at it at a different perspective. I think that’s what’s important about being a woman in sports is that women think about it differently. So we’re able to break it down and explain it in a different light and give a different perspective than I think a normal guy would think about sports. I think being a woman in sports brings a whole new light to the game. It also has the ability to bring in other people that wouldn’t really consider themselves sports fans into the market and into the medium.

How would you describe your relationship with Judaism?
I live with my parents, and they’ve raised me so well with going to Sunday school and being a bat mitzvah. I’m very in touch with my Judaism. We do Shabbat dinners as much as we can when we’re together on Shabbat and every Jewish holiday. … [Passover] is my favorite Jewish holiday. My family does the best seder. We have so much fun with it, and I think it’s just being together. Even when it’s not a holiday, any type of Jewish occasion I think is always a good time to be together with your family.

What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part about my job is the unexpectedness of it all. I never really know when I go into the office in the middle of the night what I’m going to be talking about. That really
develops overnight, and it’s never the same, especially with sports. Sometimes it gets so monotonous. You think you’re looking at the same game, but there’s always an unexpected play. There’s always something that will surprise you. I feel like I can never get bored because there’s always something new.

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