Julie Banderas has been working at Fox News as a correspondent since 2005. She previously anchored Fox Report Weekend.
In June 2018, she announced on the air that she would no longer be working weekends in order to spend more time with her family, including her three children. Banderas now serves as a fill-in anchor on weekdays.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Julie Banderas Grew Up in Hartford, Connecticut
Julie Banderas was born Julie Bidwell on September 25, 1973, in Hartford, Connecticut. Her parents were Howard and Fabiola Bidwell.
She has five siblings: Howard (Bud) Bidwell, Marybeth (Becky) Bender, Susan Williams, Tracy Bidwell, and Melissa Bidwell.
Banderas’ father passed away in 2010. Bidwell was a Navy veteran and civil engineer who started his own company called Consolidated Precast, Inc. According to his obituary, he was married three times. His first wife was Banderas’ mother, Fabiola.
Banderas’ mother was from Colombia and she still has relatives living there. Banderas shared on Fox News in 2009 that she visited Colombia on an annual basis to see family members.
2. Banderas Met Husband Andrew Sansone on the Fox News Set & He Proposed With a Message in a Bottle
Julie Banderas tied the knot with her husband, Andrew Sansone, in August 2009. He is a financial advisor at his own firm, called Andrew Sansone, CFP Allied Wealth Partners.
According to their wedding announcement in the New York Times, the ceremony took place at the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City. She was 35 and he was 42 at the time.
The newspaper also put out a video about the couple in which they explained how they met. Sansone had a friend at Fox News who allowed him to come to the studio and watch live broadcasts. He used to bring first dates to the studio on Saturday nights and would see Banderas anchor. Banderas told the New York Times that she noticed Sansone there, but joked that he never brought any of the women back a second time. Sansone joked back, “I was too busy being enamored with you.”
The couple got to know each other because Banderas was asked to emcee a Habitat for Humanity event that Sansone had put together. (He was on the organization’s board of directors). Sansone asked Banderas to dinner after the event. Banderas said she thought the dinner was purely professional. But the next day, Sansone sent her a dozen yellow roses and they began dating. But they actually broke up a couple of times before eventually getting engaged. At the time of their wedding, Banderas said they were on “round four.”
Sansone proposed during a clam-digging adventure on Long Island. The couple explained that they stopped the boat when it was pitch dark outside. Banderas walked away with the dog while Sansone dug a hole in the sand. He placed a bottle in the sand and buried it. When Banderas was paying attention again, Sansone acted as if he had just found the bottle and told her there was a message inside. Banderas grabbed the bottle and fished out the note that was inside, which was addressed to her. Sansone then showed Banderas the ring and asked her to marry him.
3. Banderas & Sansone Have Three Children
Julie Banderas announced live on the air in 2009 that she was pregnant with her first child. Addison Melissa was born in 2010. Little sister Avery Julie followed in 2012. A younger brother, Andrew Harrison, joined the brood in 2016.
They appear to be a very creative family and enjoy celebrating holidays in a big way. Banderas shared the above photo from Halloween 2018. The family dressed up as characters from Alice in Wonderland. Her husband Andrew and daughter Avery are not even recognizable, as they were both decked out in full face paint.
Banderas and Sansone are raising their three children as New Yorkers. An online search of records shows the family lives in a coop building near Central Park.
4. Julie Banderas Began Her Professional Journalism Career in Boston & Has Explained on Social Media That Banderas is Her Professional Last Name
Julie Banderas graduated from Emerson College in Boston in 1996 with a degree in broadcast journalism. She remained in Boston for her first job at WLVI-TV. Her next move was to Harrisonburg, Virginia, where she worked as a reporter for WHSV-TV for nearly two years.
Banderas’ career next took her to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania for two years. In 2000, Banderas returned to her hometown to work for WFSB-TV in Hartford as a reporter. In 2002, she made the transition to New York City, working for the local Fox affiliate. Then in 2005, she was offered a position at the network level at Fox News.
Banderas explained on social media in June 2018 that her legal last name was still Bidwell. She adopted “Banderas” to use as her on-air, professional name. In the tweet, she wrote, “My fathers name was Howard Dexter Bidwell. Our family founded Hartford, CT and my ancestors are from England. Pretty sure they didn’t chain themselves together when they came to U.S.”
She was responding to another Twitter user, @RubberBlon, who questioned whether Banderas’ family had benefited from “chain migration.”
5. Julie Banderas is Not Shy About Expressing Her Opinion on the Air; She Criticized President Trump For Referring to Americans as ‘Suckers of the World’
Julie Banderas has never appeared shy about sharing her opinions on the air. In 2006, she made headlines after a heated on-air exchange with Shirley Phelps-Roper, a member of the Westboro Baptist Church. The group sparked controversy for protesting at the funerals of fallen U.S. soldiers.
Banderas began the interview by asking Phelps-Roper why she would choose to “add misery to these already grieving families” by showing up to protest at funerals. The conversation, which you can watch in its entirety above, quickly turned into a shouting match. Banderas did not hold back her disgust with the church’s actions and messaging, saying at one point, “I thank god that you are not a leader of a real church… what you preach is hate.”
More recently, Banderas criticized President Trump’s surprise visit to Iraq. She appeared on a panel discussion on Fox News’ “Outnumbered” on December 27. On the decision to pull troops out of Syria, Banderas said that the U.S. should not be “taking advice from murderous regimes” and named Turkey and Russia in her argument.
Banderas added that she did not like that President Trump had referred to America as the “suckers of the world,” calling the statement disrespectful to soldiers. “I would never consider us as a country, as the United States, suckers. We have always led the fight in every single major war. Our military men and women, I believe, deserve way more respect than that. What does that say to the families who have lost loved ones in wars prior to right now — ‘Oh, so my son or daughter was a sucker when they were fighting for our freedom?'”
Banderas made a prediction on December 26, 2019 also on “Outnumbered,” that President Trump was never going to succeed in his efforts to build a wall on the Mexican border. She stated, “I’m going to make a 2020 prediction. The wall is never going up. Mark my words.” She argued that the funding is not available, and added that private farmers living near the border have also been unwilling to allow the government to build sections of wall on their land.
On January 28, 2019, Banderas took to Twitter to defend her Fox News colleagues after President Trump slammed John Roberts and Gillian Turner for their coverage of the shutdown. She wrote, “@realDonaldTrump This is NOT right. I stand by my colleagues @johnrobertsFox and @GillianHTurner They don’t deserve this. No reporter does. They are doing their jobs and reporting the facts. They are not opinion journalists and deserve the respect from the @WhiteHouse they cover.”
She followed up a few minutes later by responding to another Twitter user who stressed that everyone was entitled to their opinions. Banderas replied, “By going on Twitter and insulting two of our journalists @realDonaldTrump is putting a target on their backs. In turn his followers will then attack @johnrobertsFox and @GillianHTurner in support on Twitter. Bullying journalists is not Presidential. Period.”