Korina Sanchez was born on October 5, 1964 in Hong Kong. Her father, Ramon P. Sanchez, Sr. (1919–2004), was the General Manager of the Hong Kong landmark, Ambassador Hotel. She is the only girl of Ramon and Celia Sanchez's five children. When the family came back to the Philippines, her father set up a successful carpet company, Woolcraft, Inc.

She attended St. Theresa's College, Quezon City for her elementary and secondary education, and then Maryknoll College (now Miriam College), where she earned a bachelor's degree in Communication Arts. Her first love was writing, but she was also active in extra-curricular like singing, theater, public speaking, and high school varsity volleyball. In college, Korina excelled in courses related to creative writing, thesis writing and speech. She also completed a third-level French language course at the Makati-based Alliance Francaise de Manille. Sanchez dreamt to be in the performing arts, but she believed her "calling had always been in the field of information and communication".

From being a station weathergirl at the then Marcos government-run Maharlika Broadcasting System under the supervision of former Information Minister Greg Cendaña, she advanced to be the hourly newsbreak announcer. In 1986, after the EDSA Revolution, Sanchez joined the reopened ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation as a reporter. President Ferdinand Marcos had closed down the Lopez-owned station but it was returned to the Lopez family in 1986. She became executive producer and host to programs such as 'Magandang Umaga Po' with then co-anchor Noli de Castro, 'Bayan Ko Sagot Ko', 'Hoy Gising!', 'Options', 'Balitang K', 'Isyu 101' and 'Pulso: Aksyon Balita'.

When de Castro ran for public office in 2001, Sanchez became the station's first solo woman anchor for its flagship news program 'TV Patrol'.

In 2003, Sanchez was asked to pinch-hit as co-host with actress Kris Aquino. The tandem clicked and what was supposed to be a...