LaSalle Blanks is a Connecticut native, and is thrilled to be back working in his home state!
LaSalle grew up in Fairfield, and after college at Northwestern in Chicago, he began his reporting career in Lansing, Michigan. After Lansing, LaSalle worked in Rochester, New York, and then 20 years in Norfolk, Viginia, before returning home to Connecticut, starting at News 8 in March of 2017.
LaSalle has won 3 emmy awards, a Virginia Association of Broadcasters Award, a Virginia Associated Press Award, and he’s been named Best Male TV anchor in Hampton Roads, Virginia, for several years during his time there.
Because he grew up in Fairfield, LaSalle says he is a die-hard Yankees fan, but admits he did fall in love with the Chicago Cubs during his college years. As LaSalle put it, “That’s easy to do if you spend any time on the North side of Chicago. And watching from those rooftop buildings across the street is a MUST for any baseball fan — no matter who you root for.”
8 Things you didn’t know about LaSalle Blanks
Favorite memory/story from working in TV news?
Seeing my name appear on the Wheel of Fortune puzzle board
What inspired you to work in news?
Every morning before school I used to watch Bryant Gumbel host The Today Show. I was fascinated watching him interview world leaders and American leaders and it sparked something in me. I remembered him as the studio host of NFL pregame shows back in the 80s and when I saw that he was also able to perform well with political leaders and intelligently discuss important news topics of the day — it sparked something in me and I knew my path in life — even as a kid just watching TV waiting for the school bus every morning.
What is your favorite restaurant in New Haven?
Ooooh that’s a toss up. I’d have to say Pepe’s because it was the very first one I tried out when I got to town.
I can tell you my favorite WEST HAVEN restaurant is Jimmie’s of Savin Rock. I remembered my mom used to take me there when I was a kid and when we went it was usually because I did well on some project in school or something. So, I remembered that place when I started at News8 in March. Now I’ll go to remember good times with my mom or I’ll go on a late weekend afternoon to enjoy the beach and the surroundings — everyone is smiling, I love the people out there playing music….it’s just a fun environment and it’s beautiful right there on the water.
Who is your favorite musician/band?
That’s easy. Michael Jackson FOR SURE…hee! hee!
What is the best concert you ever went to?
Hootie and the Blowfish on the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. I got to hang with the band for a little while before the show so that made it even more special.
What’s the best dish you can make?
(besides hot dogs?) My scrambled eggs will definitely start your day with a smile!
If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
Hmmmm….that’s tough. If it’s to a place I’ve already been that answer is easy — Chicago. Going to college there allowed me to see just how beautiful it is right on the shores of Lake Michigan, hitting the beach and seeing the amazing Chicago skyline, driving down Lake Shore Drive (check out the beginning of “When Harry Met Sally” and you’ll see what I mean). Seeing people rowing and playing beach volleyball, and softball, and biking…it’s just awesome. And I haven’t even mentioned Wrigley Field or the Magnificent Mile or Navy Pier……..that could take a whole page and I don’t want to bore you.
If it’s traveling to a place where I have not yet been, that place would have to be either Hawaii or Australia (unless Outback Steakhouse counts???)
What’s something you don’t know about me?
I’ve won two adult kickball national championships with teams I captained back in Virginia! And before you laugh because it’s adult kickball — we actually won $10,000!!!!!!! Our first national championship title was in Las Vegas and our second was in San Antonio, Texas. Yep — we traveled the country playing kickball! My teammates are like family to me. Being with a group — striving for the same goal — pushing each other and rooting for each other is a tremendous feeling.
I felt that way with my graduating class at Notre Dame of Fairfield. The Class of 88 was like a family and that was a very special time in my life.
At Notre Dame, I was also Student Council President and co-captain of the baseball team. I played 1st base, batted 3rd in the lineup, and we were fortunate enough to win the CCIAC title my junior and senior years (I think) and make it to the state playoffs. We didn’t win a state title — but when I look back — those great team memories always stay with you. Connecticut is where I was born and raised and I am very thankful for that. It gave me a fantastic foundation and I was very fortunate to have had great teachers and coaches and mentors in the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, and great friends and family. I owe a lot to Connecticut. I’m very happy to be back and give back.