TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - WTVA's viewers have invited Terry Smith into their homes nightly for the past thirty years.
It was 1983 when Terry was hired by the station's owner Frank Spain and former general manager Mark Ledbetter.
Smith told us, "I was in Chattanooga. A friend of mine I worked with in Chattanooga was news director at another station Mr. Spain had in Florida. He called me and said there was a job opening in Tupelo, Mississippi. He said I think if you applied, you might find that a very good place."
Terry did apply and was hired.
Back then this region was a much different place than today.
The Barnes Crossing shopping area didn't exist, and four lane roads were few and far between.
Smith said, "Most everywhere you went, whether to Memphis or Columbus, the roads were two lane. I really wondered if this would ever progress. Then there was the 1987 Four-Lane Highway Program. That literally changed the transportation system in this part of the state."
Terry's been here to bring us stories such as the tremendous growth of this city and region plus so many more local events that have impacted our lives.
The broadcast business has changed in so many ways from when Terry first started here.
It's gone from a few newscasts per day to the current 24 hour news cycle.
Smith said, "It's a business that never stops. Because of that there's a lot of adrenaline. That will probably be missed because it is a business like no other business I know of. I will miss the ability to work with other people here for whom I have the utmost respect. I will miss the viewers who've been so kind to me over the years."
We will ALL miss you as well, Terry Smith.