Brancaccio began his broadcasting career in Maine, where he served as newscaster, reporter and announcer for Waterville's WTVL-AM/FM for six years. Since then, Brancaccio has gained experience in several major markets, including newscasting and reporting positions at KQED-FM, San Francisco, and WASH-FM, Washington, D.C. In addition to these staff positions he did freelance reporting assignments for Marketplace, National Public Radio, Monitor Radio, Calnet and Voice of America.
During his three years at KQED, Brancaccio caught the ear of Marketplace' international editor George Lewinski, who, with the support of Marketplace executive producer Jim Russell, ultimately offered him a freelance assignment: to set up and maintain an informal news bureau in London. The bureau soon became a full-fledged operation. Brancaccio served as London bureau chief for three years before being promoted to his current position in September 1993. During his three years of reporting for Marketplace and Monitor Radio programs, Brancaccio covered Europe's rocky path toward economic and political union. He rode the gauntlet with British truck drivers while under attack from French farmers protesting the low price of British meat, and he reported on British consumers' attempt to take advantage of the single European market by importing liquor and cigarettes cheaply from neighboring countries. He also covered historic losses at Lloyds of London insurance market, described the effect of BCCI's collapse on Asian businesses in Britain, and documented Eastern Europe's bid to become part of the European Community.
"Brancaccio's international reporting and considerable travel overseas give him the kind of global perspective on news that the Marketplace host must have," noted Marketplace Productions' general manager, Jim Russell.