FOR someone who couldn't get admitted into the University of Oklahoma School of Journalism, KWTV-9's Shon Gables has come a long way in a short time - a fast track she hopes will take her to the networks.
Gables, weekend morning anchor and weekday reporter, is leaving KWTV to become a weekday morning anchor and reporter at NBC affiliate WDIV-4 in Detroit, the nation's ninth biggest market. Her last day at KWTV will be April 13, her 29th birthday.
As bad as the May 3 tornadoes were for parts of the metro area, they were a blessing for Gables, who graduated from OU in 1992 with an economics degree. She was inundated with job offers from stations that had seen KWTV's tornado coverage, turning down bids from stations in New York and Los Angeles, the No. 1 and 2 markets.
The Detroit station offered her the opportunity to report and an appealing work schedule. Monday and Tuesday she will work long days, reporting after her morning show. But the rest of the week, the single mother will get off at 9 a.m., allowing her to spend time with her son, Ryan, 4.
WDIV is the home of former KFOR-4 anchor Devin Scillian, who ironically received numerous job offers following another Oklahoma City tragedy - the 1995 bombing.
Gables' path to Detroit contains numerous detours that almost derailed her career dreams. A native of Hobart and 1988 graduate of Geary High School, she struggled as a freshman at OU, making Cs and Ds and lost her scholarship.
"I went from being the ugly duckling - I couldn't get a boyfriend if I walked down the hallway naked - to being Miss Socialite."
After a semester at the University of Central Oklahoma, she returned to OU and studied economics. She also enlisted in the Army, spending seven years in the reserves.
After graduation, she briefly was a sales representative for Clairol. She and husband, Bryan Abrams, lead singer for "Color Me Badd," moved to New York.
"We had this jet-set lifestyle. I did every frivolous career in New York," she said.
That included modeling, hosting the "Soul Train" TV show, serving as an airlines ticket agent and a clerk in a law firm.