For André Moreau, it is not necessarily the story that is memorable, but the people involved in it.
In his 40-year television news career, the longtime Baton Rouge anchor has forged connections with countless story subjects—listening to them, reporting on them, and hoping to “leave nothing behind,” as he puts it like that.
He’s covered earthquakes and hurricanes, presidents and popes.
After a career spent primarily in the capital, save for a 14-year gap that included stints in Columbus, Ohio; Detroit, Los Angeles and San Diego, Moreau is retiring. Ahead of his final broadcast — “Louisiana: The State We’re in” Friday night on LPS — he took the time to review past highlights and speculate how his future image will what it looks like.
the unforgettable stories
Morrow said that although he has covered the president and the pope, he always remembers the stories of the people of Louisiana.
On July 20, 2012, 24-year-old James Holmes, armed with multiple guns, was accused of opening fire on audience members at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado; 12 people were killed and 70 injured, including Barbara, who suffered a broken leg Ton Rouge teen Bonnie Kate Pourciau.
In the early weeks and months after the shooting, Moreau covered Pourciau for WAFB Channel 9, where he was a co-anchor from 2008 to 2016. Ten years later he was in Pourciau (now Zoghbi, she in 2014) for the LPB section.
“She’s still using crutches. It’s her knee. She’s in pain every day,” Moreau said.
She is also very optimistic. “Choose joy in chronic pain, find beauty in brokenness,” her Instagram bio reads.
Moreau has a generally optimistic outlook on life.
“It happens to everybody. You get knocked down and often don’t want to get up, but you have to,” he said. “Keep going, have faith, believe in yourself.”
Also etched in Moreau’s memory: the residents he encountered after Hurricane Laura’s devastation on Lake Charles in 2020 and Hurricane Ida’s devastation on Grand Island in 2021.
Just this month, Morrow returned to Lake Charles for an update.
“We’ve been with them since then because they’re kind of forgotten. Grand Isle isn’t forgotten, but Grand Isle is always because of where they’re located (on the narrow stretch of the southern tip of Louisiana) strip) and troubled barrier islands in the Gulf of Mexico).”
“They’re in a better place now,” Morrow said of Lake Charles, in the southwestern part of the state. “I’ve had a few touches with Mayor Nick Hunter because my thinking is … the message we’re releasing is really important to everyone in our state, if it’s relevant to our state.
“You might have, you know, cops and robbers and gunshots and shootings and all that stuff,” he continued. “We (LPB) won’t cover the details of it, but we will certainly cover the big picture of how it happened.”
A year after Ida, Moreau returned to Grand Isle to film the follow-up story, and it was a very personal transformation.
“We have a big house on Grand Island that my older sister and her husband own. After Katrina, it wasn’t quite up to code because it was basically built in the 60s, 70s. I’ve been Been there since I was 18,” Moreau said, pointing to a photo on his phone of the elevated timber structure before the hurricane.
“We took people (spectators) to what I thought was a camp. Nothing was left except some stakes. No stove, no fridge, no furniture, clothes probably in the bay.”
From Model to Journalist: The Backstory
Moreau, the youngest of 10 siblings in a Baton Rouge family with strong Louisiana ancestry, attended University Lab School and LSU, where he majored in advertising. After doing some modeling for local department stores, Morrow chose to spend his final semester as a student at LSU in New York, taking correspondence courses and working at a modeling agency.
“It’s really a commercial establishment. I thought, ‘Oh, that could be high fashion.’ So I did a few things, not that much. But by the end of the summer, I was ready to come back here and graduate .”
His first job after leaving LSU was helping his then-brother-in-law start a hunting and fishing publication, a 16-page tabloid that eventually became a highly successful Louisiana athlete. Nine months later, Morrow, a longtime LSU fan, was hired by Tulane University’s fundraising department to direct the national field study responsible for cultivating and identifying major donors. When the deepest pockets pointed to California, Duran saw the need to open a satellite fundraising office there and wanted Morrow to run it. However, that didn’t happen.
About a month before he planned to move into his Golden State apartment in Delray-by-the-Sea, KALB, Alexandria’s Channel 5, called to redirect Morrow’s career to television broadcasting.
Testing the waters of sports broadcasting, Moreau sent out audition tapes and KALB expressed interest in him.
“When I look back, I’m thinking, you’re crazy for doing this. But that’s what I did,” he recalls.
Channel 3’s Lafayette Station KATC interviewed him after only 80 days in Alexandria. Then came the WAFB, where he was a sportscaster until 1994. His out-of-state career continued until 2008. After three months at NBC4 in Ohio, he switched from sports to news. In 2008, following the retirement of WAFB’s George Sells, Morrow returned to his hometown CBS affiliate to co-host the 6 pm and 10 pm newscasts with Donna Britt. In 2017, he moved to the town of LPB as an anchor.
Last month, the Louisiana Broadcasters Association honored Morrow with a 40-year career Lifetime Achievement Award at its 2023 Prestige Awards Ceremony.
retire, minus the couch
Moreau is a lifelong health and fitness enthusiast, and despite his age of 65, he sees giving up the 40-hour week of drudgery as a way to do more.
His passion projects include:
- Joni & Friends is a global faith-based organization that helps those affected by disabilities through programs and outreach, including summer camps for people with disabilities and their caregivers. The organization held its first Louisiana camp in June.
- The Renand Foundation is another nonprofit that saves Haitian children who have been wrongfully sold into the country’s child sex slavery trade. Its work also includes building schools and providing additional aid.
- global nonprofit catchthecatfish.com, who began working with the company after discovering online fraud involving images of himself, workout videos and resumes. Making a streaming service documentary on the subject is also a possibility, he said.
- His latest venture, however, has helped ignite interest in a downtown LED lighting project on the Mississippi River Bridge to attract more residents and visitors to the city. Shreveport has done just that.
Showcasing TED Talks, more and long-term travel, Moreau’s bucket list goes on.
“Even if I do nothing and sit at home, I’m fine. But I get bored,” he said with a laugh.