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Inside Edition Hires America’s First Trans TV Reporter

Inside Edition Hires America’s First Trans TV Reporter

Zoey Tur

Zoey Tur, a former helicopter pilot, will join the show as a special correspondent. 

Inside Edition, the CBS syndicated news program has hired Zoey Tur as a part-time on-air reporter, and is billing her as "America's first transgender television reporter."

"They took a chance on me," Tur told The Advocate in a recent interview, "but CBS and syndication are overjoyed."

Though it's "sweeps," a time in television when programming is used to maximize viewing numbers, Tur doesn't think that her hire is a publicity stunt. "This is not some little trial balloon thing like MSNBC is doing streaming Janet Mock," she said, "They've made a commitment to me."

Tur, who was originally known for bringing the country live coverage of the O.J. Simpson Bronco chase from her helicopter in 1994, began taking hormones in May of 2013 - before the boom in transgender visibility in the media and on television, when series like Orange is the new Black and Transparent hadn't even started. Since then people like Laverne Cox have made their presence known, and issues with transgender equality have been illuminated.

"I was told I shouldn't transition, and if I did I'd never work again," she said. "And then I started getting calls from people, and I was getting aggravated. I was good enough to interview but not good enough to get hired." But now, the man nicknamed "Chopper Bob" for his skills at the controls of a helicopter, is reporting on a major network as the woman, Zoey.

While the way Tur identifies herself may draw attention, she insists she isn't there as a token minority. "I am not covering stories as a transgender reporter," she said. "I'm a reporter who is transgender. Otherwise it would be like having a black reporter only cover stories about blacks or a Hispanic reporter covering stories about Hispanics."

"I came out to be on television as a person, as a woman," she added. "And this can be a great thing for my community."

Watch the video of how Inside Edition introduced Zoey below.

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