22 Questions With… Cristina Mendonsa

Cristina Mendonsa, news anchor for News10, is arguably the most popular female anchor in Sacramento (well, at least with us, she is!). She was born & raised in the area, started as a writer for the Fair Oaks Post, and eventually made her way to News10, where she’s been an anchor since 1995. During her tenure, she’s won 2 Emmies for her work, and has been nominated for several others.

What you may find interesting is while she has a very high-profile job, she also is very “normal”! When she’s not gettin’ down to Nelly & OutKast, Cristina can be spotted at Priya Indian Cuisine and watching the Matrix trilogy. Get to know Folsom’s own Cristina Mendonsa!

Webmaster’s note: We usually give you 20 questions but Cristina was such a great interview we decided to give you 2 more!

1. What do you love most about Folsom?
I love the beauty and the small town feel. Sutter Street, the Rainbow Bridge, our gorgeous river trails and beautiful parks. Its a wonderful place to live. My husband and I love how green it gets in the winter, the small street festivals in the Summer, the rodeo, the Veterans Day parade, there is something to look forward to year round.

2. What made you move here initially (or did you grow up here)?
I grew up in Carmichael. My husband grew up in Detroit. When I took the job with News10, my husband and I checked out Folsom first. It was a beautiful Summer evening and as we had dinner on the patio of the Hacienda Jon said we HAVE to live here…this is a great place.


3. What’s your home life situation? (family, pets?)
We have two busy daughters at home so the house is non stop action. My husband is an elementary school teacher who is taking a break to stay home until our little one gets into school. He and I both volunteer at the school and spend a lot of time with the kids during the day. Since I work evenings, he and the girls keep busy three nights a week with gymnastics, dance & piano lessons and softball. The other nights, I come home for dinner and the evening is a blur of homework, baths and bedtime routines. Our home is like a lot of yours…crazy schedules, busy kids and a lot of fun.

4. Rumor has it that you are pretty athletic. What do you do? 
Getting a workout in is huge to me for stress relief! I lift weights 3 times a week and run about 15 miles a week. When the weather warms up I’ll be on my bike a couple times a week. I’ve also been taking Krav Maga lessons for a year. Krav Maga is the Israeli military combat training…its basically self defense and fighting. My job puts me in strange places sometimes so knowing how to protect myself is important to me.

5. What is your proudest achievement (personal or professional)?
Like many parents, I would list my proudest personal achievement as my children. Nothing is more important to me than bringing them up to be hardworking, confident and grateful people. Professionally, my Emmy awards and keeping my idealism intact after 18 years in the business.

6. Who is your role model or hero?
I have many. I look up to my husband for his intelligence, selflessness and his skill as a father. I look up to my parents for showing me what was possible from humble beginnings.


7. What’s in your CD player right now?
I actually have an MP3 player if you can believe it. It took me a week to learn how to use it but I am addicted! Right now, I have OutKast, No Doubt, Ramstein, ACDC, Maroon 5, Harry Connick Jr., 50 Cent, Nelly, Cher, Jet and Reel Big Fish. My musical tastes are all over the board. 

8. What’s your best kept secret about Folsom?
I don’t think its much of a secret but we love the Gold Miner. We’re there a few times a week for breakfast because its so comfortable…like being home. We know Kay and all of the waiters and waitresses…great people and a terrific breakfast. They’ve watched our children grow up.

9. What would be your fantasy job?
I’m living my fantasy job. Journalism allows you to be a student for the rest of your life. I love covering a variety of topics. I love researching the stories, writing, interviewing interesting people…its what I always wanted. If I had to choose another career I would be a political strategist. Growing up I loved chess and war games and out thinking an opponent. 

10. What’s your guilty pleasure?
Every night when I get home from work I have a glass of red wine and a small piece of dark chocolate as I read the mail. Its a little thing but a nice “me time” kind of thing. That and regular manicures. I don’t have time for much else. 

11. What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you on the air?
I’ve been caught mid-yawn when I was anchoring the morning show in Denver. I’ve also had a few bouts of uncontrollable laughing, the kind where you snort you’re laughing so hard. That’s always fun, to snort in front of everyone. I was also once kissed on the air by an intoxicated college student while covering a CU game in Boulder.

12. Biggest regret in life?
I have a few minor ones but no major regrets. I do regret that I didn’t learn to speak Spanish and that I don’t play the piano. I also wish my grandparents were still alive. I hear these wonderful stories about them and I regret that I didn’t get to know them as people before they died.


13. Where do you take out of town visitors?
I’ve taken friends and family to Apple Hill, to the wine country, to the capitol. 
14. What’s your favorite cuisine?
I love food in general but my husband and I have to have our Indian food fix at Priya at least 3 times a month. The Chicken Tiki Masala is my favorite, my husband likes the Navrantan Korma.

15. If you could change one thing about Folsom what would it be?
I would love to see more businesses that cater to families. When we lived in Denver there was a restaurant called Dave & Busters. It was a nice restaurant that also had pool tables, an arcade for the kids, live music…you could have a nice affordable night out with the whole family. 

16. If you could interview anyone dead or alive, who would it be?
I have a top 4 list: Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, Stephen King, Diane Sawyer. 

17. What’s your favorite movie comedy of all time?
The Austin Powers series never gets old. I’m more a Sci Fi fan…I can’t get enough of the Matrix series

18. As a celebrity, when out in public, are you approachable or do you want to be left alone?
I like to think I’m approachable. I’m flattered when someone takes the time to say they watch or enjoy what we do at News10. Viewers are our customers! Sometimes I even pick up great story ideas. The only time its hard is when my 2 year old is throwing a tantrum and I can’t give the person the attention they deserve. I’ve had several senior ladies hug me at the grocery store…its nice, makes me miss my grandmother.


19. What’s your biggest pet peeve?
People who lie and people who are disloyal.

20. Is it true that you are the nicest person in Sacramento media? 
Ha! No, that would have to be my partner Dale Schornack. He’s from South Dakota and very much the mid-western gentleman.
He’s also a great reporter, we bounce many story ideas off each other.

21. Your most unusual talent or skill?
I have great reading comprehension. I can’t remember the name of someone I met 5 minutes ago but I can remember facts I read 15 years ago.

22. Please share with us a great website you’d like everyone to know about
I have a few I regularly check on: www.fark.com (funny, sometimes a little blue)www.drudgereport.com , www.janes.com (military site), www.ict.org.il (terrorism website)

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