HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – On Monday, August 15, 1977 Terry Robinson walked into the doors of Action News 19 on Monte Sano Mountain. In 2013, she walks through the doors of WHNT News 19. It’s the same station, but the names are not the only changes in her 36 years here.
“It’s just like a big family,” Robinson said. “They are just real good friends. If you need anything, I can just go to them and ask. If it’s business wise or personal, they will do what they can.”
Robinson is the traffic manager. Her work attire does not include reflective vests for directing traffic in rush hour. Instead, she directs the daily programming log.
“When you say trafficking, you think out there in traffic – out there with cars and stuff,” Robinson said. “It’s not that, but it is in a sense. You are trafficking the commercial spots.”
“It’s like working a puzzle,” Robinson explained. “I try to get all the holes filled and put everything in the correct spot. I have to make sure everything is placed on the log and creative services fills in the holes.”
She did not start out as the traffic manager. When she first came to the station, she worked in the accounting department for two years.
“When I was first hired, we did everything manually,” Robinson said. She remembers when the station progressed to the use of computers.
After two years, she switched to the computerized trafficking department. “I’ve done everything on computers since then.”
“What I do every day now, it has changed a lot over the years,” Robinson said.
One memory stands of her career stands out over the rest – WHNT’s move from Monte Sano to its current location on Holmes Avenue in downtown Huntsville. She recalls working in advance of the great move so news programming would go uninterrupted during the transition.
“When the New York Times came in, they built us this great building,” Robinson said. “We came down from the mountain to the valley. That was a big plus for all of us because we had this great building to work in.”
She recalls the major leaks in the roof of the old mountain station where people used trash cans to collect rain. When the station moved to its current location, managers threw a party to celebrate the opening of the new building.
“Over the years, we’ve had some stars that have come in, you know soap stars,” Robinson said. “When we moved from the mountain, we had one of the Dallas people come in. We’ve met some stars.”
Robinson has worked for WHNT News 19 for over three decades where she’s witnessed firsthand changes in news business and world. She recalls changes the station made in the aftermath of September 11 and carefully distributing mail to her coworkers after anthrax scares. The transition into the 24-hour news cycle occurred during her time as well.
“A lot of people ask me what’s going on in news,” Robinson said. “I usually don’t know what’s going on back in the news department. The only time I know is when I see it on the TV.”
When asked what her least favorite part of the job is, she had nothing to say. She said she enjoys her job and the people around her.
“We are a close family, we always have been,” Robinson said. “We have had some great managers over the years, great GMs, LSMs.”
-Posted by Annie Faulk