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CBS Colorado mother-daughter technical team offer lessons for Girls & Science


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    DENVER (KCNC) — During the month of March, CBS Colorado has shared the inspiring stories of women working in STEM fields as part of Girls & Science. It’s our project to introduce girls to careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

When it comes to engineering, CBS News Colorado has a mother-daughter team. Karyn Diesburg works in our technical operations center, and her daughter Ashley is a newscast director.

Karyn has worked at the station for more than 30 years, Ashley started part-time in 2019.

Karyn actually started in front of the cameras when she was in high school but her heart was in another place as she could see into the control room that was putting programming on air.

“I found myself correcting them live on the air, looking through a window and telling them how to run the equipment,” she recalled. “This was live TV and that’s when I decided I’m much better behind the scenes than I will ever be in front of that camera.”

Her passion led her to Denver where she now makes sure our photographers and reporters in the field have the support they need to clearly report their stories, even in the most chaotic times, like breaking news, big storms and election nights.

“The way I prioritize them is that everybody’s my first priority. I always treat everybody like they are the only ones on the phone.”

Karyn gets all those crews ready and then hands them off to Ashley’s position as a newscast director.

Ashley explains she works with a team to take the material from the technical operations center and a producer who has written and put in a vision for a newscast. She has to tell a series of cameras as well as media and live sources what to do in a process called “coding.”

But she started as a floor director, a position where a person runs teleprompter for anchors as well as making sure they are clear on cameras and what’s happening next.

“During the pandemic, there was an opportunity to learn how to direct,” Ashley said. “It was a really rare opportunity. I learned how to direct and now I do the morning show.”

Even with her mother’s support, Ashley still faced some naysayers. “I was even told by people I was never going to be a director because I started here when I was 20. I was a floor director. I didn’t have experience in TV. I took every single opportunity that was handed to me to direct which is what I really wanted to do.”

And from that experience, she has a firm message for girls everywhere. “Do it. If you put your mind to it, think that you can accomplish things even if all the odds are against you, you still go for it.”

“Even if you don’t feel like you fit the mold, make your own mold, do whatever you want.”

Just how does Karyn feel about her daughter’s journey that actually began on stage before making it to local television? She knew she would be good behind the scenes.

“I didn’t know this was the path she was going to take,” Karyn said. “I never groomed her to become this wonderful director.”

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