Award-winning investigative reporter Merris Badcock joined the News 6 team in October 2020. The Central Florida native and Florida State University graduate is thrilled to be working in a hometown market where her parents can finally watch her stories live on TV. Merris is the recipient of a Regional Edward R. Murrow Award, a Suncoast Regional Emmy Award, four Suncoast Emmy Regional nominations, and two first-place Florida Association of Broadcast Journalists’ Awards. She is dedicated to telling stories that will change your life and community for the better.
Merris began her broadcasting career at WDVM in Hagerstown, MD. Her stories on the region's 'heroin highway' inspired the formation of several coalitions and helped spur beginnings of a government-sponsored recovery center in Berkeley County, W.Va. One of the coolest experiences as a rookie reporter? Going live from the White House lawn.
She then went on to report and fill-in anchor for WTKR/WGNT, the CBS/CW affiliate in Norfolk, Va. Norfolk is home to Naval Station Norfolk, a massive naval base on Chesapeake Bay. There Merris was able have an experience of a lifetime and yes, one of the coolest assignments in Norfolk - going zero to 165 miles per hour in two seconds while visiting one of the most dangerous environments in the world: the flight deck of an active Navy aircraft carrier.
Prior to sunny-Orlando, Merris was the investigative crime reporter and fill-in anchor for WPTV, the top-rated NBC affiliate in West Palm Beach, Fla. Her investigative skills proved themselves valuable on many occasions, but none important than when she was the first reporter in the country to uncover a 911 call made by accused school shooter Nikolas Cruz, and the only reporter to interview his guardian a day after the massacre at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School. As a result of her dogged-reporting, Merris’ colleagues nominated her for a Suncoast Regional Emmy Award.
Merris is a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors, RTDNA and the Florida First Amendment Foundation. In her free time, you can find her at the beach, learning Spanish, binge reading a great book or tackling her next D.I.Y. home renovation project. If you’ve got a story idea (or amazing book recommendation), reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Facebook and Twitter!
Favorite Restaurants: Pétanque (West Palm Beach), Luce (Norfolk), Bulls & Bears (Hagerstown, Md.)
Favorite Food: Free food
Favorite Web Site: Any (legit) news site
Favorite Books: A Land Remembered (a Florida classic), 10% Happier (great for the soul), Death in Mud Lick (my current investigative inspiration), Gates of Fire (learned a lot about leadership)
Favorite Sport: College football (Go Noles!)
Favorite Movies: Anchorman, Mean Girls, Spotlight, The Post
Favorite TV Show: The Newsroom, Friends, Yellowstone
Favorite Quote: “But at times I wondered if I had not come a long way only to find that what I really sought was something I had left behind.” – Thomas F. Hornbein, Everest: The West Ridge
Place You Would Love To Visit: Argentina, Greece, Napa Valley, and thanks to inspiration from my little sister Rainey, I’m currently trying to visit all of the U.S. National Parks in my lifetime. (We’re in a friendly-sisterly competition and, at the time of this posting, she is currently winning.)