CBS Colorado’s mother-daughter tech team offers classes for girls and science
During the month of March, CBS Colorado shared the inspiring stories of women working in STEM fields as part of Girls & Science. It is our project to introduce girls to careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
When it comes to engineering, CBS News Colorado has a mother-daughter team. Karyn Diesburg works in our technical operations center, and her daughter Ashley is a television news director.
Karyn has worked at the station for over 30 years, Ashley started part-time in 2019.
Karyn actually started out in front of the cameras when she was in high school, but her heart was elsewhere because she could see into the control room that was broadcasting the programming.
“I found myself correcting them live, looking through a window and telling them how to operate the equipment,” she recalls. “It was live TV and that’s when I decided I was much better behind the scenes than I’ll ever be in front of that camera.”
Her passion has taken her to Denver where she now makes sure our photographers and reporters in the field have the support they need to report their stories clearly, even in the most chaotic moments, like breaking news, big storms and election nights.
“The way I prioritize them is everyone is my first priority. I always treat everyone like they’re the only one on the phone.”
Karyn prepares all of these teams and then assigns them to Ashley’s position as the TV news director.
Ashley explains that she works with a team to take equipment from the technical operations center and a producer who wrote and put together a vision for a newscast. She has to tell a series of cameras as well as live media and sources what to do in a process called “coding”.
But she started as a floor manager, a position where someone runs a teleprompter for the anchors and makes sure they’re clear on the cameras and what happens next.
“During the pandemic, there was an opportunity to learn how to lead,” Ashley said. “It was a really rare opportunity. I learned to direct and now I do the morning show.”
Even with her mother’s support, Ashley still faced naysayers. “People even told me I would never be a director because I started here when I was 20. I was a director. I had no television experience. I took every opportunity that came my way. was offered to me for live, that’s what I really wanted to do.”
And from that experience, she has a strong message for girls everywhere. “Do it. If you put your mind to it, think you can accomplish things even if the odds are against you, you go for it anyway.”
“Even if you don’t feel like you fit the mold, make your own mold, do what you want.”
What does Karyn think of her daughter’s journey, which started on stage before moving on to local television? She knew she would be good behind the scenes.
“I had no idea that was the path she was going to take,” Karyn said. “I never groomed her to be this wonderful director.”