The new morning news anchor at KWQC-TV comes to the Quad-Cities with a history of community involvement.
Melissa Smith is scheduled to begin work at the Davenport NBC station next week and be on camera next to co-anchor David Nelson in a week-and-a-half to two weeks.
The 29-year-old Detroit-area native comes here from Traverse City, Mich., where she was the morning anchor for the two NBC stations that serve the market. She began there as a reporter in 2007 and became the morning anchor in 2010.
While in Traverse City, she dived head-first into health-related causes.
She was the chair of the first-in-the-country “Heart Chase,” organized through the American Heart Association, wherein teams would participate in physical activities at checkpoints across the city. They had two hours to complete the task and then come back to hear about heart health.
“My grandma died in April 2011 because of a stroke, and she was main motivation to take on the new event and educate other people,” Smith said in an email to me earlier this week.
She was a board member for the March of Dimes and a participant in its local “Dancing with the Stars” competition, as well as a walk team captain for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.
“My mother is a colon cancer survivor and my grandpa died from the disease,” she wrote. “Plus I’ve lost other family members and friends to cancer, so it was personal decision to be involved in the annual event for the past few years in Traverse City.
“Every charity or organization that I take on has a personal connection to me,” she said, “which is why I get so passionate about it and want to share the information with the community.”
A Michigan State University grad, she began her TV career in Lansing, the home of MSU.
Smith was already impressed with the “Quad-Cities Today” staff after coming here for job interviews.
“They’re some of the warmest, kindest people I have ever met,” she said, “and those are the kind of people that make you appreciate not only your job, but the area where you live and work.”
Hudson’s out at ‘Nightly Business Report’
Davenport native Tom Hudson found himself among the unemployed last week.
A 1990 graduate of Davenport Central High School, Hudson had been co-anchor of the Public Broadcasting Service’s “Nightly Business Report” for three years. But the program made a switch both geographically — moving from Miami to New Jersey — and production-wise, with the CNBC cable channel taking over.
“I am very proud of the work we accomplished at NBR,” Hudson told Time Out Chicago media blogger Robert Feder. “This is the program that helped invent modern financial television news more than 30 years ago. I consider myself honored to have worked with all the professional broadcasters considered part of the NBR family.”
A former news director at Quad-City radio station WOC-AM, Hudson moved to Chicago to work for former all-news station WMAQ-AM.
David Burke can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter, @entguy1.