Saturday 20 January 2018

Former RTE star is making waves in NYC

Katie Van Buren. Photo: Brian McEvoy
Katie Van Buren. Photo: Brian McEvoy

Alison O'Riordan

A YEAR after emigrating from Ireland, former RTE Two presenter Katie Van Buren has landed a job with an American TV network in New York.

A host for Fuse, which is dedicated exclusively to music entertainment, she has no regrets about walking out of a presenting position with the RTE entertainment show Juice, which she still describes as "the dream gig".

"I'm so blessed to get that job. It was and still is probably the biggest and greatest achievement of my life," she said.

Katie said the aim of Fuse, which is owned by The Madison Square Garden Company, is to "bring the viewer closer to their favourite music, artists and bands".

"It's exactly what I wanted, so I'm thrilled. I'm obsessed with music and particularly with music festivals, so Fuse is a perfect fit for me," she said.

"I host Trending 10, I do breaking news blasts once or twice a day, artist interviews and music festival coverage."

The hardest part of the new departure was learning to have the patience to wait for her ambitious plans to come to fruition.

"I knew no one at Fuse, but everyone I would meet, I'd ask if they knew anyone there.

"People say with New York and the entertainment industry it's all about who you know," she said.

"In New York, your most important contact could be sitting right next to you in a coffee shop just waiting for you to say hello.

"Within three weeks of arriving, I had meetings with MTV talent execs through a lawyer I had started chatting to in a coffee shop," said the brunette, who started out in America last July, working with MTV and Bloomberg TV before she landed her dream job.

The 25-year-old, born in America to a New York father and Limerick mother, is proving popular with US audiences.

"Less than a fortnight ago, I got to cover the red carpet for the 2013 Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas and interviewed Miley Cyrus, Akon, David Guetta, Jason Derulo and Carly Rae Jepsen."

With many young Irish TV presenters doing so well abroad – such as Laura Whitmore, the presenter for MTV Europe, and Ruth O'Neill with E! Entertainment – what exactly are the key ingredients these female TV stars we're exporting have?

"Positivity, determination, unwavering faith and guts are the tools," said Katie. "Also, a huge part of it is knowing who you are and being comfortable in your skin. Personality is what fuels this industry."

Leaving RTE after two years came as an afterthought. Katie went to New York for eight weeks last summer with a return flight booked.

"I arrived in an apartment in Brooklyn last July that I found online and knew from that moment I was here to stay.

"By the time August had come round, I'd already made so many connections and was working full-time for MTV's Money From Strangers. I count my blessings as every day is such an exciting adventure."

Sunday Independent

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