ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Mandy Murphey is celebrating 30 years as a main anchor at FOX 2. She looks back at when she was hired and shares memories of working with her co-anchors, including Dick Ford. Mandy also reflects on the news stories and events that left the biggest impact on her and why she wanted to make St. Louis her forever home.
When did you start at KTVI?
“I started at Fox 2 in 1991. I cannot believe it’s been 30 years, but I came here as the consumer reporter from Paducha, Kentucky. I started anchoring when I was only 24 years old.”
One of my favorite stories from Dick Ford, when they were looking for the main anchor to take over for Dana King. They interviewed a lot of people from all over the country and I was one of the people who was interviewed. Dick Ford went into the news director’s office and he told them ‘why don’t you give Mandy a chance?’ and because of him, I believe that’s part of the reason that I got this job and was able to move into the anchor position.
St. Louis is my home now, and I wanted to stay in a city where I could raise a family, where people know me, where I’m comfortable, where I work with great people. And I decided early on that I really wanted St. Louis to be my home.”
What are some of your most memorable stories?
“I love telling people’s stories. I love meeting someone and being able to tell their story and caring about that individual. I want the person I’m interviewing to be treated how I would want to be treated. That person may be going through a terrible tragedy, how would I feel if I was in their shoes? I think I have a big responsibility. I have a responsibility to get it right.
One of the first big stories I covered on the anchor desk was the flood of ’93. I will never forget sitting on the anchor desk with Dick Ford on Friday night when we got an alert that the Monarch Levy had broken and we had our helicopter up and we watched live pictures as water poured in over the runway at Spirit Airport and we were bringing this live to our viewers as water filled up Chesterfield Valley.
One of the stories that stands out to me, we were the first ones to break the story on the Missouri Miracle. I got a tip, I went on the air and said that Shawn Hornbeck had been found alive after being kidnapped four years earlier. I could not believe those words were coming from my mouth and being able to share that kind of news is profound and it’s a great responsibility.
Some of the other great stories that I’ve been involved with I got to go to the Superbowl with the Rams, I got to be right outside of Busch Stadium when the Cardinals won the World Series, I got to be under the Arch when the Blues celebrated their Stanley Cup win. Those are memories that are irreplaceable for me. They are such a part of what makes this city so great.
One of the stories that I still think about are the kids in the streets that I met when I went to Guatemala. I went to Guatemala and I did a story on international adoption. And I saw kids living in cardboard boxes and living off the streets. And I talked to moms who could feed a family of 5 on 20 dollars. And that story really changed me.
One of the grocery store stories that I remember the most I did a story on breast cancer awareness and I had a woman come up to me in the grocery store years ago and say to me Mandy, I saw that story and because of that I went to get a mammogram and I found a lump and it saved my life.”
How is it going?
“I love what I do. I feel I’m in the prime of my career. If I didn’t love what I do, I would stop, but I don’t want to. I came into this job being the younger anchor person in St. Louis and now I’m the anchor who’s been in that chair the longest in St. Louis and that’s hard for me to believe.”