ORLANDO, Fla. – If you have been in Central Florida for a while you know Pamela Brady.
She was the Chief Meteorologist at News 6 in Orlando, then WCPX, for 17 years.
“She was the queen of all media here in Central Florida,” current News 6 Chief Meteorologist Tom Sorrells said.
But, after getting married and starting a family, Brady said she needed more time to focus on her home life.
“WKMG is a phenomenal place to work, for real,” she said. “But, I always thought, ‘Wow, my family life is changing’ and just how I’m wired, I knew I need to be home more.”
Brady said she didn’t want to work the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts anymore, but she cared about the community and wanted to make sure the weather coverage would be in good hands.
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“My heart was this community and I couldn’t think of who I wanted to hand it to, then you walked in the door,” Brady said to Sorrells.
Before handing over the reins Brady built a wealth of experience covering weather in Central Florida.
Soon after starting at News 6 in 1989, Hurricane Hugo started churning in the Atlantic. She said she learned a lot from it, including what information is important to the viewer.
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She now watches Sorrells when hurricanes approach Florida.
“You don’t hype it up, you don’t make it bigger, you don’t scare people,” Brady said.
During her first big storm, Brady said she was scared.
“I was super young and I had been here — gosh, maybe 9 months — and so it was my baptism into a hurricane,” she said.
Brady also covered Hurricane Bertha in 1996. She said the hurricane approached the state as her due date with her first daughter was quickly approaching.
“I was like a hundred months pregnant with Abby, my first baby. Everybody was calling the station saying like, ‘Are you going to name your baby Bertha,’” she said.
Another major weather event she covered was the Florida Firestorm in 1998 when everyone in Flagler County was evacuated.
She called it a “pretty tense time” and recalled looking at the radar for days on end hoping there would be rain and wondering how it would all end.
Brady’s news coverage was not limited to Central Florida.
A year before the fires, she went to Grand Forks, North Dakota after flooding destroyed large swaths of the community including schools and libraries.
So she helped orchestrate a book drive where Central Floridians collected reading materials and shipped them to North Dakota as the kids there were going back to school.
Her community focus did not end there. In the years following, Brady was part of flu shot events across Central Florida.
After she retired from TV news, Brady remained committed to fostering a healthy community. That includes a continued focus on flu shots and women’s health events.
“I am so grateful for this television station, for real. It changed my life,” Brady said. “This station allowed me to do the things that I wanted to do — that I was passionate about in my community. I don’t know if that’s typical and for that, I am very grateful. And, I am so grateful that God brought you (Sorrells) so I could leave and go to where I was supposed to go.”
To learn more about Pamela Brady, her time serving the community at News 6 and what she is up to now check out Talk To Tom.
It airs Thursdays at 3:30 p.m. on News 6. You can also watch it anytime on News 6+.
You can listen to every episode of Florida’s Fourth Estate in the media player below: