From Friday night practice sessions to 'The Big Money Show'

When Jackie DeAngelis ’02 was working as a financial researcher and writer at  CNBC, she longed to try out what it would be like in front of the camera. So, on Friday nights after the broadcasts were over, she’d hang out in the studio, writing scripts and filming herself on the anchor desk.

The managing editor thought she had potential, but the vice president of news said she still needed a lot of work. So, it was back to Friday nights in the office and putting together new reels.

Those extra work sessions paid off for DeAngelis, who is now a co-host of “The Big Money Show” on FOX Business Network, where she handles breaking financial news and analysis, interviewing industry titans, politicians,  government and economic officials.

An Asian studies and history major in the College of Arts & Sciences, DeAngelis said her broad liberal arts background served as her  foundation as she attended law school and eventually found there interests in economics, markets and policy.

two women in graduation robes
DeAngelis, right, with classmate Elizabeth Richards Bing '02, also an A&S grad.

Her Asian studies major, her time living in Asia and her fluency in Mandarin and Farsi helped her land her first job out of Cornell, at Oaktree Capital Management, where she worked in the emerging markets group.

“They wanted someone who could build relationships and trust with companies in Asia,” she said. “I’d lived there and I knew something about how to do business there.”

After a few years on Wall Street, she went to law school to broaden her skill set and during that time, earned that CNBC job on “Mad Money,” where she says she fell for journalism as a career and started those Friday night sessions to earn a reporting spot.

Her first reporting job for CNBC International in Bahrain coincided with the Arab Spring uprisings, so she jumped in as a general assignment reporter for NBC.

“All of a sudden, I was reporting on the ‘Today Show,’ ” she said. “I loved the rush of it and felt so privileged to be on the ground doing this work.”

From there, she spent 10 more years at CNBC, where she was the network’s chief energy correspondent, as well as the anchor of the online commodities program, “Futures Now.” She joined FOX in 2019.

“When I started in business news, I wasn’t an expert on oil or commodities or energy, but I had the work ethic, the study skills and the ability to learn about things independently,” she said. “I read as much as I could, and I talked to experts.”

These days, her work days begin early in the morning, when the show’s staff meets to talk about the major issues of the day, deciding what stories they should cover and what guests they should try to line up.

“Sometimes we’ll book guests in advance, but most of the time we’re working on the fly, trying to bring in different perspectives.”

three people on a TV set
DeAngelis, right, with co-hosts Taylor Riggs and Brian Brenberg on the set of "The Big Money Show."

DeAngelis, along with co-hosts Taylor Riggs and Brian Brenberg, launched the show in January of 2023 , so part of the challenge of her work has been molding the show into what it is now.

“That’s part of the excitement of every day, figuring out how we are evolving and what unique services we can bring to the viewer,” she said. “A big part of a three-person show is that chemistry – getting to know each other and bouncing ideas off each other.”

Though DeAngelis doesn’t get back to the Ithaca campus often, she does feel strong Cornell ties. Her brother Louis DeAngelis ’99 was also an Arts & Sciences graduate and she has fond memories of the beauty of campus and their time there together.

“I remember being there and feeling the impact of the people who came before me and what they went on to achieve,” she said. “I wondered where all of this would take me.”

She listens in on, and sometimes covers, the current debate about the value of a college education, but says it was life-changing for her.

“For me, it was about living on my own and figuring out who I was going to be,” she said. “And because I was in A&S, I  studied a lot of different things, and it was that academic adventure that has allowed me to be more adventurous in my own life.

“Having this confidence and this solid background, I’ve always believed I could climb any mountain. I don’t think I’d be the same person without it.”

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