WHNT News 19’s Venton Blandin says farewell to Tennessee Valley

The time has come for me to say, “See ya later, Tennessee Valley!

The last month or so has been bittersweet. I’ve looked at each ‘Fighting for You’ email, story and newscast as one of my last at WHNT News 19.

I have accepted a job as a reporter at ABC 33/40 in Birmingham.  Thursday, June 26, will be my last day at WHNT News 19.

Venton Blandin

Venton Blandin

I did not make this decision without a lot of prayer; as well as careful thought and consideration for the viewers in the Tennessee Valley. You have spent the last five and a half years depending on me to tell your stories, Take Action and Get Results for you when someone wanted to take advantage of you, your family or your organization.

I love my job as a reporter. I’ve been a part of a TV newsroom since I was 13 years old. I also love people. The people are who I will miss most—my WHNT News 19 team is awesome. We’ve had good days and bad days, but we love each other. We’ve celebrated together. We’ve suffered together. But, we pressed on to do what viewers needed us to do.

The “need” is what kept me here so long. I am not sure I was ever supposed to work in Alabama, specifically WHNT, but somehow I ended up here. I moved to Huntsville in 2008 expecting to work at another Huntsville TV station, but social media changed everything. I noticed a familiar name from two other cities where I had worked on WHNT.com and emailed that person. The person talked to me, checked out my resume and asked me to take a six-month position.  I accepted it and it quickly grew to a permanent spot.

I discovered family members here who had not seen me since I was five years old. I never really knew them, but they knew me and we needed each other.  So, that’s another reason I stayed in Huntsville.

I also stayed in Huntsville because of my church. There is something special about True Light Church of God in Christ.  I’ve always had faith, growing up Baptist in Chicago.  But, felt something I’ve never felt before by attending True Light.

Job offers had come my way over the years. I turned them down because I heard God telling me to take it easy.  I was led to work for the church and then move forward. The theme for my church this year is, “The Year of the Open Door.” Wow, look at what happened six months into the year!

I would like to say thank you to every viewer who watched my reports, offered hugs, emailed their opinion and trusted me to bring them the news they needed to know. I give a huge thank you to every media contact and anonymous source. I also wrap my arms around the military community; this Marine appreciates and loves you for all you do.

WHNT News 19 supported me and encouraged me in my decision to accept the position in Birmingham. I simply feel it’s time to try something different professionally. Some of you may see me around town on weekends visiting family and church. You can still reach me on social media.  I look forward to hearing from you.  Semper Fi!

Here are some pictures from the past few years: