NewsChannel 15’s Terra Brantley signed off as the morning anchor on May 24, 2018, after 21 years working the early bird shift. After 30 years in the game, Brantley didn’t need to tryout when she asked to move to the evening broadcast, to replace the exiting Heather Herron who left for the Vice President of Corporate Communications position at Sweetwater Sound.
Brantley’s first television job came a month before she graduated from Ohio University, in Athens, Ohio, in 1986. She became award-winning, explored her artistic side, ventured out to support her community, overcame a domestic abuser, spurred on by her children. (“They were my motivator to keep going.”)
When she’s finished with anchoring, Brantley would be receptive to a management or a CEO position. For now, she’s working that sweet 5 P.M., 6 P.M., and 11 P.M. evening shift.
Fort Wayne Ink Spot (FWIS): What time do you wake up now?
Terra Brantley: Isn’t it wonderful? (Laughter.) Prior to joining the evening team, I would start my day at 2:15 A.M. Now I get up most days without having to set an alarm, which is absolutely wonderful. I get up around 10:30 A.M. At this point, I’m enjoying life without having to set an alarm, unless I have someplace to be.
When I was younger, my children were in school, working as a morning anchor was ideal in terms of maximizing my time that I spend with my children. Yes, I was tired but I would be home in time to pick them up from school, to attend afternoon and early evening assemblies, to have family dinner, [etc].
I’m 54 years old; my kids are grown now. It actually hit at a time in my life where it’s perfect in terms of time where I no longer have to worry about raising a family. And I can kind of focus on what I want to do now.
FWIS: What are the biggest differences working the evening broadcast?
Terra: I love working with more reporters, having that team effort. In the morning, we only have a small staff. The larger staff comes in later in the morning and stay through early evening. I get to work with reporters on various topics and get to know them as people.
I feel rested. There’s no longer fatigue. I was high energy anyway so now that I’m actually getting rest, my energy is bouncing off the wall. And I love that. Just feeling like I can be an even greater contributor to helping out our young reporting staff. And I’m like a mom [to them]. (Laughter.)
I tell people it’s not about me, it’s about we. My face doesn’t have to be up on the screen for me to feel like I’m doing my job. I actually get more a kick going into the community by far, doing community outreach projects, whether it’s putting on mc-ing or putting on a show for somebody or raising funds for them. Cause you’re actually touching people that you interact with to some degree every day.
FWIS: You’re clearly not going to slow down anytime soon, but what do you think your legacy is going to be?
Terra: I would like to think that I’d be known as a humanitarian. There’s another side of me that some people know about, a theatrical side as well. I was a choreographer for the Unity Performing Arts Foundation so there’s that side of me too.
If I can actually buy a building and have some type of multicultural center, that’s what I would do. If I could do leave something that is actually brick and mortar, that would be it.
My greatest accomplishment, even though I’ve received awards, is the fact that when I was going through all of these things with my first marriage, both of my children were going through those things too...we worked together to revamp our lives. They went from being poor citizens in schools to straight A students to academic scholarship students to Purdue University, both of them. They have no college debt.
My son Monty is a lab soil technician for a company in Fishers, Indiana; it pertains to civil engineering. My daughter Taylor is an associate underwriter at MetPro.
When I was going through my struggles, [my children] were my driving force. And I totally believe that I’m where I am today because of them. My love for them kept me going.