Young alumnus produces the nation’s top headlines as a producer for Good Morning America
2015 grad shares how his Loyola education prepared him to launch career in media and journalism
When Dom Proto, ’15, stepped on to Loyola’s campus for the first time, he knew it was the place for him.
“It just felt right,” says the Branford, Connecticut, native, who instantly fell in love with the community, the people on the Quad, and above all, the dorms. He also jokes that the 70-degree February day helped seal the deal.
“Coincidentally, I flew to Ohio to see my top choice. When we drove to that campus, we didn’t even get out of the car. I said to my dad, ‘I’m going to Loyola,’” Proto said.
These days, you might catch Proto’s name on the byline of the latest Good Morning America story. For the last five years, he’s been a producer at GMA, covering a little bit of everything—from Category 5 hurricanes to celebrity news and much more.
Loyola offered a radio station and a television station that I could get involved in, and that brought back memories of the Dom from 2002.
It’s led him to work with popular names such as Garth Brooks, Chip and Joanna Gaines, Ellen Pompeo, Josh Peck, and members from the Bachelor franchise and Dancing with the Stars.
“The theme is always the same: Share their story with heart, with truth, and make the viewer at home understand the gravity of why those people are on our platform,” he says.
Proto, who majored in communication with specializations in journalism and advertising/PR, says when he was younger, he entertained the idea of possibly becoming a doctor or working in business.
He discovered his passion for storytelling one day in the early 2000s, during the U.S. war in Afghanistan. After watching the hunt for Osama Bin Laden unfolding live on TV at home, a 9-year-old Proto pretended to be a news anchor reporting on the event. He used his bed as an anchor desk and pretended to be one of the local anchors at his hometown news station.
The variety of academic media opportunities at Loyola brought him right back to that youthful place.
“Loyola offered a student-run radio station and television station that I could get involved in, and that brought back memories of the Dom from 2002,” Proto says.
Loyola put him on the right track, so much so that just a few months after graduating, Proto landed an internship at ABC News. The opportunity developed into a full-time role as a digital news associate. For three years at ABC News, he answered phones, found stories to pitch, and relentlessly booked travel for field producers and correspondents.
Slowly but surely, he found more opportunities to delve deeper into journalism. He began field producing live shots on his own, writing articles to be published on abcnews.com, and covering larger stories like the 2018 Volcán de Fuego eruption in Guatemala. His early opportunity at ABC News helped hone the skills he uses for his producing role at GMA today.
As exciting as it is to tell stories of celebrities and top news, Proto will always look back fondly at his time at Loyola and carry with him the motivation to make an impact.
“I love that I can share people’s stories,” he says. “With my job, any time I feature a hometown hero or a small business in America that gives them a platform to shine, it feels like a way to give back.”