NTTV experience helps UNT alum launch career in entertainment social media management

Written by: 
Jessica DeLeón

Coralee Trigger ('13)In 2010, Coralee Trigger (ʼ13) was fascinated by a situation faced by Conan O'Brien.

O'Brien was prohibited from appearing on TV following his fallout from The Tonight Show, but it didn't stop him from appearing live in concert. So he planned a tour that he announced on Twitter and the website,, which was innovative for its time. And Trigger, a converged broadcast media major, knew what direction she wanted to take her career.

"I wanted to be around people who made that happen," Trigger says. "To see such a large network personality embrace social media the way he did was really inspiring. It was a shift. I could tell Conan valued his digital team. They were so innovative then and now — and I wanted to learn from his people."

Trigger not only worked as an intern for O'Brien's TBS show, but she later worked as new media coordinator for The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Now a freelance social media producer, she uses the broadcasting and digital media skills she learned at UNT to give her clients, such as bloggers and Hollywood Game Night, the image they want to project on the internet.

As an intern for O'Brien, Trigger made coffee and restocked the fridge, but she also got to animate fan art, create promotional bumpers for air and work on his YouTube page and website.

After her internship with O'Brien's show, Trigger landed a job on The Ellen DeGeneres Show after printing out her resume — filled with NTTV producing experience and freelance gigs for building websites and digital brands — and delivering it to the show's office.

She learned how to think like DeGeneres, while helping produce the positive messages and stories for which she is known.

"One of the big things about Ellen content was that everything, in some way or another, supported the mission 'be kind to one another,'" she says. "So I got to go home every day knowing that everything I did that day was to spread a little kindness — and I am so grateful for that."

Coralee Trigger with Emmy Trigger is part of the team that won the 2015 Daytime Creative Arts Emmy for Outstanding New Approaches - Enhancement to a Daytime Program or Series.

For Hollywood Game Night, celebrities get to hang out, drink and play games with host Jane Lynch for charity.

"It's a really fun show that doesn't take itself too seriously and my job was to bottle that energy through producing digital-exclusive segments to be shared with the fans on social media," she says. "One of my favorites was getting the cast of The Walking Dead to play charades on Facebook live. They would act things out and the people watching on Facebook would guess and get shout-outs when they guessed correctly."

Trigger now plans to start a social media coaching/consulting business. She has worked with a former classmate, Sazan Hendrix (ʼ12), on her YouTube channel.

Trigger credits UNT for giving her opportunities to create her career path. During her first semester, she worked on NTTV, where she learned about production, produced her own content and won her first of four student Emmys.

She says principal lecturer Phyllis Slocum (ʼ05 M.A.) was a great teacher and advisor.

"NTTV was a wonderful playground for me — a sandbox, if you will," Trigger says. "Phyllis made sure we didn't eat the sand, but for the most part we just had fun making stuff and learning from each other.

"I think the tenacity you need to be successful in the world of entertainment and digital media was something I practiced continually during my time at UNT."