Satellite Beach Sportscaster Shines In Nation’s Capital
By Thomas Carrigan // September 16, 2012
Promising Career Ahead
BREVARD COUNTY • SATELLITE BEACH, FLORIDA – Could the next Erin Andrews hail from Brevard County?
For the past three years, Satellite High School graduate Brittany McHenry has shined as a sports anchor in the Washington D.C. media market.
Working for WJLA ABC-7 News, McHenry has interviewed sports superstars from Bryce Harper to Donovan McNabb.
She also hosts and produces her own Friday night high school sports show for the D.C. area.
After mulling over a job offer to cover the San Diego Padres for FOX Sports in April, McHenry decided to resign with WJLA and stay in Washington.
“I wanted to develop here in D.C. more,” McHenry said. “This is now feeling like a home to me.”
Before beginning her broadcast career, McHenry was already making her presence well known in Brevard County.
McHenry, who was the editor-in-chief of Satellite High School’s student newspaper and president of the National Honor Society, was a four-year letterman for legendary soccer coach Fidgi Haig with the Scorpions.
A two-time state champion in soccer, McHenry balanced soccer and academics with a deft touch.
“Satellite was such a great environment,” McHenry said. “It really helped prepare me for the next level. I had people like (journalism teacher) Mark Schledorn and (Athletic Director) Linda Anderson there who were a huge influence on me. I learned a high work ethic and it helped prepare me for my career.”
After graduating in 2004, McHenry enrolled at Stetson University where she was a scholarship soccer player. After playing one season of collegiate soccer, McHenry decided to focus on academics.
She went onto graduate magna cum laude from Stetson in three-and-a-half years and then was accepted into the prestigious Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism in January 2008.
“When I was in undergrad, I thought I was going to go to law school,” McHenry said. “I sat down with my parents and talked about my opportunities. They knew that I loved writing and research and they thought that I should go the broadcasting route. My affection for writing and broadcasting was always there.”
For a 21-year old in graduate school, the challenges were coming hard and fast for McHenry.
“Northwestern’s program was an incredible experience,” McHenry said. “I was able to get an internship with Fox News where I worked with the political unit. It was an intense, seven days a week work. I wanted to keep busy and get as much experience as possible.
“The last quarter of graduate school was spent in D.C. and when I got there, I started applying,” she said. I was ready to start working in the field”.
Fresh after graduation, McHenry began her career with Washington’s News Channel 8 in January 2009.
“I was a local news reporter,” McHenry said. “A lot of the work was shooting and editing all by yourself. I was kind of green out of school, but I was hungry.”
Her time at News Channel 8 helped springboard her to a reporting job with WJLA ABC-7 in the spring of 2010.
She then transitioned to sports and she hasn’t looked back since.
As well as anchoring sports on the weekends, McHenry has reported live on assignment for Washington Nationals, Washington Redskins and Washington Capitals games. And she reported about Super Bowl XLII and the NCAA mens’ basketball tournament in 2008.
As a growing media celebrity, McHenry has emceed countless events as well as appeared in Mia Hamm’s charity celebrity soccer match where she was teammates with Kobe Bryant.
She also appeared on the front cover of Washington Life Magazine this spring as she was named one of the most influential movers and shakers of Washington D.C. under the age of 40.
According to Satellite High School Athletic Director Linda Anderson, McHenry’s success doesn’t surprise her.
“What I recall most about Brittany was she had a pleasant demeanor,” Anderson said. “I was impressed how she turned into such a competitor on the soccer field because she was so sweet off it. I knew she would be successful wherever she ended up. I have watched a few of her broadcasts and was very impressed.”
With an eye toward working for a major network in the future, McHenry keeps plying her trade in D.C.
With role models such as Andrea Kramer and Jeremy Schaap, McHenry said she hopes to follow the footsteps of her mentors and do deeper investigative stories down the road.
With a hectic schedule, however, McHenry makes sure she comes back home beachside as often as she can.
“I’m always grateful that I can call Brevard County home,” McHenry said. “Growing up here has taught me very good values and made me appreciative for what I have. I have a strong family and friends that gave me a solid foundation that never wavers.”