KMOV’s new anchor Sharon Reed hit the ground running when she got to town two months ago.
Basically, her first assignment was the Nov. 4 election night. Her producer sent Reed to U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill’s headquarters to get live shots as the incumbent watched election returns.
“It was exciting because I love politics,” said Reed, who came to St. Louis after working at Channel 19 in Cleveland for 10 years. “It was kind of crazy, but the kind of crazy you love if you love this job.”
Reed is an anchor on the 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. news shows.
“It’s rare that you find someone who is so attractive, so talented, so intelligent, who is also a journalist and pleasant,” Tracie McKinney, executive news producer at KMOV, said of Reed. “Wow, we struck gold.”
McKinney said it is crucial what Reed provides to the station’s on-air diversity.
“As an African-American woman, it’s refreshing to see someone who looks like you, who brings so much to the table who is not only qualified but is passionate about the community she lives in,” McKinney said of Reed.
“She had no desire to live anywhere but in the city. She is committed to this city. Because she is not afraid to give her input, she is going to bring that unique perspective of how we cover stories.”
What Reed loves about Channel 4 is the team’s emphasis on investigation.
“I like getting off the desk and going out in the community,” she said. “People have questions, we have questions and we want answers. We don’t sit back and wait. We ask tough questions and get answers for people.”
‘I do what I love’
Reed grew up in the Philadelphia area and graduated from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. with a degree in English and government. After earning a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, she landed her first job in New York as an on-air correspondent for the syndicated program American Journal.
From there, she made stops in Baltimore, Miami, Philadelphia and then Cleveland as an anchor and reporter. Along the way, she’s been an NBA and NFL sideline reporter and a talk radio host.
Out of her blended family of four brothers and two sisters, she is the only one who chose a career in journalism, which confused her family a bit – especially her mother.
“When I said, ‘This is what I wanted to do,’ they didn’t know anything about this business,” Reed said. “My mom said, ‘Get a job at a bank and use that degree.’ But of course, I decided to do what I love.”
Being a journalist suits her, she said, because she is a curious person by nature and she likes to help people.
“I want to make a difference,” Reed said. “In this role, you are able to do that. This is a visible way to get it done and sometimes quicker, and I like that. I’m an immediacy-type person.”
Reed has some family in St. Louis. Her first impression of the town is “good people.”
“Good, honest people – a Midwest tradition which I’m used to,” she said. “And accomplished people too. I didn’t realize how many impactful people came from right here and what type of industries are here. It’s fun to discover that.”
She hopes people will get to know her when she attends community events.
“I like to be out and about,” she said. “I don’t want people to feel like they can’t say ‘Hi’ and chat and tell me what you like, tell me what you don’t like. Come say ‘Hi’ and tell me what’s up and what I need to know.”
Her proudest achievement is becoming a mother; she has a one-year-old daughter. As far as her career highlight, she can’t pick one story.
“There have been big stories, but there’ve been smaller ones that touch your heart too. That’s the difference between a job and a career,” Reed said.
“A career really is an extension of yourself, and this is who I am. I am nosy, I like to talk, I like to find out things. I’m interested genuinely in people and stories.”