JOHNSON CITY, Tenn (WJHL) — This year marks 20 years at WJHL-TV for weekday evening news anchor Sara Diamond.
“Two decades!” Sara said, eyes wide at the reality of her 20th anniversary at WJHL-TV. “And now I’m working
with people that I’m old enough to be their parent.”
“Or maybe their really cool young aunt,” she qualifies, laughing about it all.
“It’s been a whirlwind. It’s gone by so quickly.”
For Sara Diamond, 20 years at WJHL wasn’t in the initial plan. The Iowa native launched into TV news with jobs at stations in Texas and Oklahoma. She worked her way to the anchor desk after years of shooting video, hauling heavy equipment, reporting news stories and producing newscasts.
“It was throw me into the deep end and I either sink or swim,” she said. “But it was the best experience I could have had.”
In 2001, Sara and her husband Marty got the call from WJHL. He’d just retired as a professional hockey player, and they decided the next move would be for her career.
“We didn’t know how long we were going to be here,” Sara said. “This was a stepping stone in our careers, and 20 years later, we’re still here.”
Along the way, she’s covered the biggest local stories of a generation, and she became a fixture at WJHL, beloved around the region.
And something else happened. The Diamond family grew. First it was a little boy and then a little girl. Raising their family in the Tri-Cities became the obvious choice.
“Viewers literally saw me grow,” she said, remembering the two pregnancies with her on-air work right up to the day her babies were born. “They were very supportive, and I appreciate that.
Those who work with Sara know – nothing matters more than her children, now a senior and freshman in high school.
“Sometimes you’ll see our son (a successful high school athlete) on the news during sports, and it’s surreal,” she said. “I’m so proud of both of them. They’ve been so patient with me, and they’re the number one priority.”
Years of experience have made Sara a newsroom go-to resource for young journalists at WJHL who are new to the region.
“I can talk to our younger co-workers and I can say, ‘I know this seems awful but it’s going to be okay’ and lead them in a direction that’s going to be alright,” she said.
And even when the camera isn’t rolling, she’s the fiercest of advocates for the people watching from home.
“Our viewers are loyal,” she said. “Our viewers are wonderful. They’ve stuck with us for 20 years. And they deserve to have the most accurate information because they tune in every night. It’s the least we could do, and it’s what we need to do.”