10 Questions with Cheryl McHenry

BY: Michael Woody
last updated 08/19/2021
10 Questions with Cheryl McHenry

To honor her four decades of covering the Miami Valley. Here are 10 Questions with…Cheryl McHenry.

10 Questions with Cheryl McHenry

Without ever eating a bite, Cheryl McHenry has visited thousands of homes at dinner time throughout the Miami Valley. Viewers of WHIO-TV (Channel 7), have enjoyed getting their news from McHenry for forty years.

Cheryl in 1981In August of 1981, she joined WHIO as a reporter and her career has blossomed ever since. In addition to becoming a familiar face, McHenry has earned a number of accolades including nine Emmy Awards. She’s a member of the Dayton Area Broadcasters Hall of Fame, Carroll High School’s Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame, and the Radio/TV Broadcasters Hall of Fame of Ohio.

To honor her four decades of covering the Miami Valley. Here are 10 Questions with…Cheryl McHenry.

1. How has the TV news industry changed over the last 40 years? 

The biggest change in the TV news industry since I started is in technology.  We still had a few film cameras in 1981.  The rest were those big video cameras with separate recorders for ¾-inch tapes.  Now we shoot on P-2 cards that can be ingested in the computer and the video downloaded.  

But basically gathering and delivering news has stayed the same.  

2. What’s an event / happening you covered that is most memorable? 

There have been a few that stand out.  I’d have to say—in recent memory—the two biggest are     the 2019 Memorial Day tornadoes and the Oregon District mass shooting that summer.  I was on the air during and after both events—gathering information and conveying it to our viewers.  The fifteen tornadoes impacted the safety of a wide swath of our community.  The mass shooting was just tragic and people were trying to find out what happened to loved ones who were there.  I’ll never forget either of these events…nor should any of us who were affected in any way.     

3. What have you most recently binge watched? 

My husband and I are currently binge watching Downton Abbey.  We never watched it when it was on, but we are now thoroughly enjoying it.  Our go-to, when there’s nothing else, is The Office! 

4. If you could have reported on any event throughout history, what would it have been?

That’s a really good question—maybe women getting the right to vote, or the liberation of concentration camps at the end of WWII.  I’d like to go back and report on victorious moments, not the tragedies. 

5. Do you have to shop for all your on-air clothing? How big of a chore is that?

Yes, we have to shop for on-air clothing.  From time to time over the years, the station has brought in image consultants to help us, which was nice.  For someone like me who doesn’t like to shop, it is a chore.  However, I now know about what size I need and certain brands I like, so online ordering makes shopping much less of a chore for me.   

6. What is your worst habit? 

Probably my worst habit is constantly checking the time.  I think it’s because we’re in such a time-driven business—get this done by this time, this story can run this long, do headlines at this time, etc.  You get the idea!

I also correct people’s grammar, but I like to think it’s not a bad habit, just an annoying one sometimes.

7. What has been your most embarrassing on-air moment? 

Luckily, I haven’t been embarrassed very often.  Last year, I had to shout out a page number to our Teleprompter operator and he didn’t hear me the first time, so as my microphone came back on, the viewers heard me shout, “Twelve!”  I heard from a few viewers about that. 

8. What work does an anchor do that we don’t see? 

 Anchors—at least at our station—do much more than read the news.  We go out and do special reports, we write daily stories, make phone calls, do interviews—in person and on Zoom, give speeches, emcee events—you name it!  

9. What has kept you motivated to go to work for 40 years?

I jokingly say the ID badge still lets me in the door every day.  Seriously, I enjoy the work.  I’ve always loved news and been curious about happenings in the world, the nation, and our community.  I love writing news and delivering it on air.  I love my colleagues who work so hard and take their jobs so seriously, but are so much fun to be with every day.  And I love our viewers—who are so loyal and appreciative.  They keep us all going!

10. What do you enjoy most about the Miami Valley?

I think the Miami Valley is just a great place to live.  I’ve lived here most of my life since my dad was transferred here by the Air Force when I was 9 years old.  I love the change of seasons, the affordability of living here, the natural resources—good water, great parks and bike trails, etc., and the friendliest and most caring people on the planet.  The Miami Valley has been very, very good to me indeed.

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