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‘Dateline’ Correspondent Andrea Canning Talks Her New Podcast, Work-Life Balance and Her Surprising Side Project

Her new podcast, 'Dateline True Crime Weekly', is a must-listen

Andrea Canning has been fascinated by crime and mystery stories since childhood. In 2012, Canning took her passion for solving mysteries and bringing justice to victims to a new level when she joined the popular investigative NBC series Dateline.

Now, Canning is bringing her Dateline expertise to a new format, with her weekly podcast Dateline True Crime Weekly. Every Thursday, there will be a new episode featuring NBC correspondents, producers and experts giving behind-the-scenes scoops on the latest cases.

Andrea Canning spoke to FIRST for Women about what to expect from the podcast, her passion for true crime, raising a big family and her surprising contributions to Hallmark movies.

Andrea Canning says Dateline never gets old

Every Friday night, Andrea and her Dateline colleagues bring viewers jaw-dropping crime stories and head-scratching unsolved mysterious from around the US. Each piece is carefully crafted to be compelling, insightful and leave viewers wanting more. With so many narratives out there to tell, how do they choose which ones make the cut?

“Think of a mystery novel that has lots of twists and turns,” Canning tells FIRST. “Each case should involve a number of suspects and have a good investigation by detectives. A trial and a verdict are also elements that carry weight.”

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Andrea Canning conducts an interviewNBC/Dateline

What’s fascinating about Canning is how she maintains an upbeat attitude despite being surrounded by harrowing real-life events. “It’s a fascinating job,” she says. “You learn something new on every case and each one is different. Even though it’s the same job, it’s always evolving, and that is what I love about it.” 

Dateline becomes a podcast

Dateline has long been hugely popular, and in recent years, true crime podcasts have taken the internet by storm. A Dateline podcast is sure to have a large built-in audience — and attract many new listeners.

“I am so excited about this,” Canning says. “It’s going to be your weekly dose of true crime that includes all of the buzzy stories that are currently happening, as well as high-profile crimes from decades ago that we are re-examining on Dateline.”

The show will also give Canning an opportunity to preview the stories she and her team are doing for Dateline, as well as covering exclusive stories you won’t see on the TV series.

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Andrea Canning’s life away from crime reporting

When Canning isn’t pounding the pavement trying to find the bad guys and get closure for the victims’ families, she’s busy on the home front caring for the six kids she shares with her husband, Tony Bancroft, a Marine.

Asked how she balances it all, Canning says, “Give a busy person the work and a busy person will get it done.” She elaborates, “The trick is to have a lot of lists. I am constantly writing down who is going where, what time practice starts, who is taking them and keeping track of all the changes, because everything is constantly being adjusted.”

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Andrea Canning in 2024Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty

Although Canning jokes that, “The schedules are enough to send you to an insane asylum because these kids are so busy,” she wouldn’t have it any other way, and she loves every minute of the chaos.

Being a mom is her top priority and a job she always dreamed of having. “I thought I would have three kids,” she reveals, “But full confession, we were on the race for a boy and by our sixth we finally did IVF and we got our boy.”

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Safety is always on her mind

Given the nature of both Canning and her husband’s jobs, the couple always makes sure to have a game plan in place when it comes to the safety and well-being of their little ones.

“It’s important to have open conversations with your kids,” she says, “Nowadays we rely on technology like air tags. We put them in shoes, backpacks, clothes and other items our kids carry. We also made sure to get them cellphones because we want them to have a lifeline to call us at any time if something happens and they need to reach us.”

How Andrea Canning finds work-life balance

With only 24 hours in a day, how does Canning find time for work, her bustling family and writing scripts (her other passion — more on that in a minute!). “I wish I could give you a good answer,” she says, “I am not good at that.”

Despite her self-deprecation, Canning actually is pretty good at finding the elusive work-life balance. She has mastered her time management technique by finding pockets of one-on-one time for each member of her family, though she confesses, “I’m a pushover because whenever I want to do something with one of my kids, I get, ‘Wait, why does she get to do that?’ and as a result, I bring more of them.”

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family photo; andrea canning
Andrea Canning and family Andrea Canning

When it comes to birthdays, Canning says she and her husband take a totally different approach by carving out individualized time for each kid. “We take the birthday child out of school for lunch and then to CVS because that’s where they like to go to get beauty and skincare products,” she shares.

She adds that driving to sports practice is also a great time to get caught up, because it gives her an opportunity to hear from each of her children about school, friends, homework and anything else they want to chat about. She also makes sure to prioritize her husband by scheduling a date night that includes a movie or dinner. If they are meeting friends at a restaurant, the couple will arrive an hour ahead of time so they can sit together at the bar and talk over a drink.

The other side of Andrea Canning

In addition to her longtime TV role, Canning is also an accomplished screenwriter, and has written over 20 scripts for Hallmark and Lifetime. Most recently, she penned the 2023 films A Paris Proposal and A Merry Scottish Christmas. “There’s downtime when I’m on the road, so that is when I get to write this type of material,” she says.

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Andrea Canning visits Hallmark Channel’s “Home & Family”Paul Archuleta/Getty

While writing sweet romance scripts is admittedly a total 180 from what Canning is best known for, she explains that her writing is a meaningful respite.

“It’s the perfect offset to Dateline,” she says. “On Dateline, you deal with heavy subject matters. It’s fun to get to write the light, fluffy script that’s filled with happiness and always has the perfect ending because the characters always find love, so I get to stretch a different muscle, which is a really nice thing to do in my life.”

Canning appreciates all that she has going on because she gets ample opportunities to unleash her creativity, in addition to spending time with her family and reaching new professional heights. One day, she even hopes to bring the worlds of Dateline and Hallmark together by writing a murder mystery — and we have no doubt it it will make for a gripping watch.

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