The Stunning Transformation Of Arthel Neville

Arthel Neville has been a very familiar face of cable news television over the last two decades or so. While Neville may be best known for her work on Fox News as its regular weekend co-anchor, Neville held other notable roles in broadcast journalism before permanently joining the network. You may remember her from her previous posts in entertainment news as well as her coverage of more sensitive and personal topics.

The award-winning journalist has navigated working in a conservative network, whose top anchors include Sean Hannity, Maria Bartiromo, and Jeanine Pirro – some of whom she's disagreed with over Donald Trump and his conspiracy theories regarding the supposed 2020 election fraud.

To better understand Arthel Neville and her body of work, it is important to look at the key milestones in her life — even before she transformed into the journalist, anchor, and mentor we know her as today.

Arthel Neville was born into a successful musical family

Arthel Neville was born in New Orleans in 1962. Her father, Arthur "Art" Neville, is the late singer-songwriter credited for helping to create New Orleans funk, according to The Guardian. He founded the popular music groups The Meters and the Neville Brothers, the latter of which he was a member along with his brothers, Aaron, Charles, and Cyril Neville. 

"I am extremely proud of my father and uncles and the trails they blazed, the examples they set, the legacy they have," Arthel said in a 2021 interview. "But I chose my own path. I am also proud to carry out the name in my way." Her family's musical successes also likely helped shape her education, as Arthel was able to attend a private school as a teenager. However, this wasn't just any school. Known as St. Mary's Dominican High School, the New Orleans-based educational center was considered a prestigious, all-girls Catholic school. Other notable alumni include Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett and former historic leader of the Environmental Protection Agency, Lisa Perez Jackson.

Arthel has reflected fondly on her time at St. Mary's Dominican High School. "I am really proud of the foundation that I received at Dominican — a combination of education, combination of spiritual. It has been a good place for me to start and a base from which I can live my life," she revealed. In a throwback Instagram post, she also revealed that the Neville Brothers performed at her own senior prom in 1980.

Arthel Neville eventually studied journalism at the University of Texas at Austin

After graduating from St. Mary's Dominican High School, Arthel Neville went on to nearby Xavier University. Neville is, of course, a broadcast journalist, but she did not actually intend to study journalism at Xavier; rather, she wanted to study pharmacy. However, during college, she became interested in modeling and acting.

According to St. Mary's Dominican High School, Neville's family allowed her to explore this possibility in New York City, though they gave her an ultimatum: She had to decide within a year if she wanted to make her new passion a career. While in New York, Neville developed an interest in broadcast journalism. The idea of being on camera likely fulfilled some of her earlier interests in the performing arts.

Neville's new interest prompted her to transfer to Southern Methodist University in Houston, Texas. Then, during her junior year, Neville switched schools one last time to study at the Moody College of Communication at the University of Texas-Austin. While was a full-time student at the university, she also worked full-time at KVUE-TV, the local ABC station in Austin. She graduated from UT-Austin in 1986. Despite her not graduating from the first college she attended, Neville still reflected fondly on her experiences at Xavier. "Proud to have studied pre-pharmacy at Xavier University," she reflected in a 2020 Instagram post. "After a successful year, journalism called ... but my experience at Xavier was rich and my professors were among the best."

In 1994, Arthel Neville launched Extra

After graduating with her bachelor's degree in journalism, Arthel Neville spent her early career working as a reporter for local television news stations. Neville achieved her first national-level milestone when she became the first Black female national entertainment reporter for E! television. She was even selected to co-host the 11th annual Miss Teen U.S.A. Pageant with Dick Clark in 1993. Neville's work in college likely helped her achieve her rapid career rise. Neville later reflected on this journey, telling UT-Austin, "Daily drives from campus up MoPac to KVUE, where I'd trade my full-time student hat for that of full-time reporter—taking what I'd learned in class that morning and applying it later that night."

At this point, Neville's rise within her national broadcast journalism career seemed unstoppable. In 1994, she became the host of a brand new entertainment news show on E! — "Extra." For the show's 25th anniversary in 2019, Neville shared to Facebook a clip of her hosting the very first live episode. "Happy 25th anniversary to EXTRA TV! Yup, I launched this program on September 5, 1994!" Neville proudly wrote. As of this writing, "Extra" is still going strong, with Billy Bush as the host of the celebrity and entertainment news program.

Arthel Neville married a former Dallas Cowboy in 1995

Arthel Neville is, without a doubt, best known for her work in television news and entertainment coverage. This also led to her status as a celebrity in her own right. In 1995, she married Derrick Lassic, a former running back for the Dallas Cowboys who is seven years her junior.

According to a 1995 article in the Herald-Journal, the couple met on the set of the Miss U.S.A. Pageant, where Lassic was a judge. "Our first date we went and shot pool," Neville told the publication. "I'm pretty good, but I pretended to know nothing." The two seemed to hit it off right away, and they exchanged vows in front of approximately 300 guests at their springtime wedding.

Lassic was born in New York and had a promising career as an accomplished football player for North Rockland High School. He went on to attend the University of Alabama before being selected by the Dallas Cowboys during the NFL Draft in the spring of 1993. Here, Lassic had a whirlwind of a career, where the Cowboys ended up going to the Super Bowl in 1994 and winning against the Buffalo Bills. Ultimately, though, it appears their romance was about as short-lived as Lassic's NFL career. Lassic ended his NFL career with the San Francisco 49ers in 1996, and he and Neville ended up divorcing in 1998.

Arthel Neville started working for cable news networks in 1998

The year 1998 was a transformative one for Arthel Neville, both on a personal and a professional level. Not only did she get divorced, but Neville also broke into the cable news network industry that same year as a Fox News contributor. Neville stayed with Fox News until 2001, when she left the network for CNN. There, she hosted "Talkback Live with Arthel Neville" from 2002 until 2003, when CNN canceled the series, citing a need to focus more on "hard news."

However, the end of "Talkback Live" did not mean an end to Neville's cable news career. She continued working for CNN before moving across the country to work for various news stations throughout the early 2000s, which also included a job at a San Diego-based Fox station.

In 2010, Arthel Neville officially made New York City — and Fox News — her home. After previously serving as a contributor, the network hired the experienced journalist as a permanent anchor. As of this writing, she is a "Fox News Live" co-anchor on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

Arthel Neville married Taku Hirano in 2001

Arthel Neville's marriage to former NFL player Derrick Lassic was short-lived, but the broadcast journalist did find love again. In 2001, she married Taku Hirano, a musician and percussionist. According to Hirano's personal website, he was born in Japan but raised in both Hong Kong and California. His interest in percussion stems from his childhood, when he reportedly got his first drum set at age 9. Hirano attended Berklee College of Music before moving to Los Angeles to start his music career. He has worked with numerous high-profile musicians from a variety of genres, including Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Stevie Wonder, Fleetwood Mac, Leann Rimes, and John Mayer, just to name a few.

Neville and Hirano have largely kept details about their marriage private. However, we do see the couple occasionally posting on social media about each other. In October 2023, for example, Hirano posted a birthday message on Facebook for his wife, along with a montage of pictures. "Wishing my Sassy, Classy, and most Bad-Assy partner a VERY Happy Birthday! Kicking off our weekend birthday celebrations with gratitude and LOVE," he wrote. Neville has also posted well wishes for her husband on her own Facebook page.

The New Orleans native covered Hurricane Katrina in 2005

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina brought devastation to the northern Gulf Coast of the United States. New Orleans was hit particularly hard. The tragedy also literally hit home for Arthel Neville. The New Orleans native lost her childhood home, where the water level rose above its rooftop, according to Fox News. At the time, Neville was working for "A Current Affair."

"I was at the Superdome covering the story and ended up finding my cousin," Neville told NOLA in 2010, explaining that this assignment became the most personal of her career. "I can't even really describe what it was for me to cover it. It was the toughest assignment of my career. (I was there) as a journalist, but this is my house, this is my school, these are my pictures. That is my uncle's house. That's my godmother's house. It's underwater."

According to the National Weather Service, Hurricane Katrina made its initial landfall as a Category 1 storm in South Florida on August 25 before crossing over into the Gulf of Mexico. Here, it gathered strength from the warm waters and made its second landfall in southeastern Louisiana as a Category 3 hurricane on August 29. Storm surges inundated New Orleans and also caused its levee system to fail. As Hurricane Science reported, about 80% of the city was covered in up to 15 feet of water (with some areas higher than this), and more than 1,500 people died in Louisiana.

In 2017, Arthel Neville received a prestigious award from her alma mater

Every year since its creation in 1974, the University of Texas-Austin recognizes an outstanding professional or scholar within the field of communication via the DeWitt Carter Reddick Award. It honors the late journalist and professor DeWitt Carter Reddick, who was also the first dean of the university's Moody College of Communication. Reddick personally taught some of the field's most prominent professionals, including First Lady Lady Bird Johnson and esteemed broadcast journalist Walter Cronkite.

Neville not only received the prestigious DeWitt Carter Reddick Award in 2017, but she was also the first Black woman to receive the honor. "During her illustrious career, she has always demonstrated the journalistic virtues of integrity, honesty, trust," said Moody College Dean Jay Bernhardt, as reported by the Moody College of Communication at UT-Austin. "Her career has introduced to many local and national networks and platforms the perspectives of an African-American woman." 

"Some of the memories I created while a student there at UT stand out in my mind like they took place yesterday," Neville said at the Reddick Awards ceremony. "It was a real-time discovery of how my education at UT was preparing me for the decades-long career that would lie ahead of me."

The broadcast journalist launched her own handbag line in 2017

By 2017, Arthel Neville had worked in broadcast journalism for nearly four decades, and she'd won a prestigious industry award from her own alma mater. While she never showed any signs of slowing down in her journalism career, she did take on a new creative endeavor, launching "Arthel Neville Design," a specialty line of handbags. These also aren't just any handbags, as the collection showcases a variety of colors and sizes of bags complete with inspirational messages. "There is strength in vulnerability," "You can't erase me," and "Glamorous, Gifted, Grateful" are just a few examples.

However, the status of the company is a bit unclear. The official website for Arthel Neville Design is "under construction," as of this writing. The last mention of her handbag line on Facebook and Instagram was back in March 2023, when the label posted about some upcoming events, such as participation in the Village Market Retail Maker's Market, which was hosted by Atlanta's famous downtown Ponce City Market. 

With no official word, it's hard to say if Neville will debut any more bags or not.

Arthel Neville has fought back against Trumpian conspiracy theories in a late 2023

In November 2017, after receiving the DeWitt Carter Reddick Award from her alma mater, Arthel Neville made a promise to attendees at the ceremony. "I vow to continue to work hard, remain compassionate and never waiver in my commitment to being ethical and doing the right thing," she said, according to the Moody College of Communication. 

This promise has been put to the test numerous times throughout her career, including an on-air incident in 2023. During a Donald Trump campaign speech in Iowa on December 2, live coverage of the event was cut short as he began talking about election results. Neville cut in, saying, "The 2020 election was not rigged. It was not stolen. But still, Trump is way ahead in the polls" (via Newsweek). While it's unclear whether it was Neville's own decision to push back against Trump's election claims or the network's more generally, this wasn't the first time she has countered such conspiracy theories. 

In 2019, Trump lashed out against Neville, as well as other Fox News anchors, due to their coverage on the network, posting on X, formerly known as Twitter, "Were Fox News weekend anchors, Arthel Neville and Leland Vittert, trained by CNN prior to their ratings collapse? In any event, that's where they should be working, along with their lowest rated anchor, Shepard Smith!" These are just a couple of examples of Neville making good on her promise to uphold her journalistic integrity.