In a fun and intriguing segment on Cleveland’s FOX 8 News, the news anchors each took a DNA ancestry test with Ancestry.com. Their results were revealed live during the broadcast, much to the delight of both the anchors and the viewers.
Natalie Herbick, co-anchor of FOX 8 News at 4 p.m., shared her results on-air this past November. She told La Gazzetta that her results weren’t surprising. She is 25% Italian, which comes from her mother’s side of the family. And although her results showed she is 34% Eastern European, stemming from her Hungarian and Slovak roots, and 17% Irish, she definitely identifies with her Italian roots the most. “I love being a ‘mutt,’ so to speak, and I’m proud of my heritage, but I feel that I identify so well with the Italian culture because we were so heavily influenced by it growing up. My mom instilled many traditional Italian attributes in us: put family first, give more than you receive, the more the merrier, and the fiery passion for life.”
Natalie, the oldest of three siblings, grew up in the suburbs of Pennsylvania and graduated from the University of Pittsburgh. A communications and theater major, she applied for an internship with KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh on a whim. And that internship facilitated her news career. She anchored three evening broadcasts for WTOV9 in the Steubenville/Wheeling market after producing and reporting for the same station. In 2013, her job took an abrupt turn. She finished her stay with WTOV9 on a Saturday reporting on a criminal case that was the most highly publicized story of her career and picked up Monday with FOX 8 in Cleveland flipping pizzas on her first shoot with New Day Cleveland, which she still co-hosts today. And she couldn’t be happier!
“I get to travel all over northeast Ohio visiting and interviewing shop owners and restauranteurs. In fact, trying out different restaurants in northeast Ohio is a hobby of mine. I’m always on the search for the best Italian restaurants in our area.” Just a couple of her favorites? J Bella Italian Restaurant in Strongsville and Luca Italian Cuisine in Cleveland. “J Bella has some of the best tomato sauce I’ve tasted in a long time!” she told us.
When asked what other Italian traditions she celebrates, Natalie answered with a huge smile. “We always do the feast of the seven fishes on Christmas Eve. And, over Christmas, we break out my great-grandma’s pizzelle iron and make the traditional Italian cookies together.” “But, my favorite tradition is our Sunday spaghetti and meatball family dinners. I often drive back to Pittsburgh to spend time with my family on the weekends. Sometimes we still make our homemade pasta together.” While Natalie has yet to visit Italy, it is high on her bucket list. “When I step foot in Europe, the first footprint I leave will be in Italy!” During the weekdays, you can catch Natalie on New Day Cleveland at 10 a.m. and co-anchoring the local news at 4 p.m. on Cleveland’s very own FOX 8 News Station.