You might recognize Jenna Lee. After ~ all, she spent 7 years as a national news anchor in ~ Fox News Channel. Yet after marrying a marine SEAL and beginning a family, Lee walked far from the profitable and high-profile project in new York City to follow she passion and create other she felt was lacking — smart, non-partisan news.

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The news via “Happening Now”

Lee, a san Francisco native and graduate the Columbia University’s Graduate institution of Journalism, began her career through Fox simply as it launched Fox business Network. After 3 years spanning financial and consumer news, she do the jump to Fox News Channel, anchoring the news regimen “Happening Now.”

“There was a emotion that over there were details parts of the day that the network committed to straight news, shows that to be commentary free. I felt choose that’s what us were doing at ‘Happening Now,’” she said.





However, that feeling started to readjust for Lee throughout her time at Fox.

“I sensed that the island ns was on for straight, non-partisan news was shrinking.”

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A whirlwind romance

During this time together a network anchor in brand-new York, she met and also began date her now-husband, Lt. Cmdr. Leif Babin, a former Navy SEAL who proceeds to offer in the navy Reserve. The 2 met at a star-studded advantage for the marine SEAL Warrior money held in ~ the Waldorf Astoria. 

“I walked into the hotel, and also everyone remained in their business dress uniforms. I’d never been to an occasion like the before, and I mental it feeling intimidating,” Lee said. 

She and Babin gained to talking and decided to continue to be in touch, even though she was in brand-new York and also he was stationed in san Diego, California. Eventually, “staying in touch” brought about a long-distance relationship, which turned right into a significantly longer distance relationship once Babin deployed to Iraq for seven months. 

“I hadn’t get an impression up around anyone that was active-duty military, for this reason it to be a brand-new world for me — from finding out the abbreviation to figuring out just how to get on base, ns realized just how much i didn’t understand about military life.”

Lee claimed she and other journalists interviewed military figures and covered military-related story regularly. However, come see military life increase close was different.

“It offered me an ext of an knowledge of simply how solid military households have to be … it’s not just the deployments. It’s around the months leading as much as those deployments, the months afterward, the stress and anxiety of the what-ifs — it to be eye-opening.”


New life in NYC

Lee and also Babin married in 2011 and also lived in brand-new York City while including three children to your family. Together Lee’s contract was up for renewal, she faced a complicated choice.

“I loved my job, and I had worked really hard to acquire to a position that permitted me come broadcast prior to an global audience, yet deep down, i knew ns was in ~ a critical crossroads,” Lee said.

She felt the network was relocating further and also further away from right journalism and in the direction of much more partisan commentary. 

“I got into the journalism organization to inform, not to provide commentary. I couldn’t fake that. The not who I am.”

A huge decision

After a decade functioning from Fox’s studios, Lee walked away.

“It to be a scary decision. Ns made a choice not come re-sign my contract.”

As she thought around her following steps, Lee knew she still thought in journalism and also its power to inform. 

“Big things space happening, and information makes us feeling smarter and more in control. The public demands to have actually places whereby they can go to acquire the facts, the basics about what is walk on in the world.”

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She began thinking about what human being really require from the news.

“I knew that in order for news to be consumed in a an ext healthy way, the means we deliver it had actually to change. The amount of multi-tasking you need to do as an American woman now is incredible.” 

Lee states she had to number out how to fulfill today’s audience wherein they room in their lives. “We’re for this reason busy that finding time to read the newspaper every morning or watch the night news every night is a significant challenge.”

SmartHer News

Lee launched in 2018. Between the website and Instagram, she’s arisen a digital platform giving fact-based, non-partisan information about what’s happening in the world, quickly and also concisely. 

“You can acquire a smart snapshot of the day’s news while you’re waiting in heat at the grocery store, or when you’re waiting for your following meeting come begin,” Lee said.

Facts fuel SmartHer News and Lee prides it s her on the platform’s commitment to unbiased news. And also while walking away from a TV news huge was challenging, creating something new and different is what she was intended to do.

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“We’re three years in, and also our audience is growing, we’re launching a new website, the an exciting time for SmartHer News.”

Visit come learn more about Jenna Lee’s efforts. 

You can discover this story and much more in our June problem of Military family members Magazine. Download the here.