Gregory Piccioli, B.A. ’89 is an Emmy Award-winning television producer.
Member of Adelphi University’s Profiles in Success program.
Senior Producer of the Wendy Williams Show
Favorite Professor: Helen Stritzler
Advice for current students/new graduates: “You have to put 100 percent into your work. Ask if there’s anything extra you can do. You have to be eager. You won’t be handed things. You have to work for it and show you can do it.”
As Gregory Piccioli, B.A. ’89, sat in the audience of the Geraldo Rivera Show when he was sophomore at Adelphi in 1987, he looked around the studio and said to himself, “This is pretty cool. I think I’d like to do this,” and with those words, he set out on a path that would lead him to become a daytime talk show producer for over 25years. And, little did he know, that his first job as a producer would be with the very show that sparked his interest in working in the daytime talk show industry.
“[After seeing the Geraldo Rivera Show] I went back to Adelphi and asked about switching my major. I then switched to communications,” Piccioli recalled. “As a communications major, I was required to do an internship so I wrote the Geraldo Rivera Show and they eventually hired me as an intern.” After Piccioli earned his degree from Adelphi in 1989, he was hired by the Geraldo Rivera Show as the mailroom boy. “In this business, you need to start from the ground up,” said Piccioli who within a few years had worked his way up to a producer on the show. He worked as a producer on the show for the next few years until the show ended its run in 1998.
Piccioli then moved on to become the coordinating producer at the Sally Jessy Raphael Show, a position he would work in for the following five years. Then, for the next 11 years, Piccioli worked as a segment producer at The View. About his time working at The View, Piccioli said, “Barbara Walters was a mentor beyond mentors to me and it was also amazing to work with another living legend, Whoopi Goldberg.”
Over the course of his career, Piccioli also had stints with shows like the John Walsh Show and briefly worked at the Fox News Network. In 2016, after working for a year as a producer on the Dr. Oz Show, Piccioli won an Emmy Award for Best Informative Talk Show.
Following his Emmy Award-winning role as a producer for the Dr. Oz Show, Piccioli took on his current position as the senior producer of the Wendy Williams Show. His primary responsibility is producing the “Hot Topics” segment of the program, a 20 to 25-minute commercial free segment that is unlike anything else on television. “It depends job to job what producers do. Producers generally put shows together and have segments to work on,” Piccioli said about being a producer. “You supervise a team under you and organize the people putting the show together. You’re given a celebrity or expert who’s booked and you prepare the show. You do research and pick out those nuggets of information you think you can produce in a way that hasn’t been seen or heard before.” Some of his earliest experience producing came from working on projects at Adelphi.
Prior to coming to Adelphi, Piccioli had taken some time off from school after graduating from Lynbrook High School and was working as a bank teller. He would often visit a friend who attended Adelphi while she worked for a radio show on WBAU, the University’s former student-operated radio station. “We would hang out and I would help her put on the show,” he remembered. “It was fun. I liked Adelphi.” When he discovered that his employer offered tuition assistance, Piccioli enrolled at the University.
Piccioli credits Adelphi for helping to prepare him for a career, that he admits, can often times be stressful. “It’s a lot of pressure but through the years I’ve developed a thick skin,” he said. “You can’t let something bad from a previous show affect your show today. And you’re never off. On the weekend you may be home but you are working, checking emails and updating things.” He then went on to say that success in the daytime talk show industry takes a little bit of luck and a lot of hard work. “I’m one of the rare people to have worked so steady in this industry. It’s a fun business and creative business but it’s also very risky. I’m lucky to have worked steadily for over 25 years in a career that I love. I was only out of a job for maybe three or four months. It takes a little bit of luck to be successful in this industry, but the big thing that can help you move ahead is work ethic. Almost everyone knows each other in this business so if you make a good impression, they remember you and recommend you. It’s like being a part of a small family. To be successful you have to be creative, determined, and most of all, hardworking.”
Published December 2017
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