Face in the Crowd: CBS 21 Journalist

CBS 21 Journalist is Active with Family and Civic Organizations

“I just love it!” exclaims Sherry Christian, in response to a query about her profession. Anyone who happens to be up and about between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. can tune into WHP-TV, Channel 21, to see her at work. Christian anchors CBS 21 News This Morning.

The Susquehanna Township resident confesses to being a morning person, a handy characteristic when one is obligated to start the day at 2 a.m. “Depending on how long it takes me to get ready at home, I’m usually at the station by 3 a.m.,” she says. “Sometimes I can get breakfast at home, sometimes I bring it to work.”

Christian is off-air between 7 a.m. and 7:25 a.m. when the CBS network news is broadcast. “That’s when I have my lunch,” she says. “I know it seems odd, but I’m having things like pizza, lasagna or meatloaf. But that’s my lunchtime. Between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m., we break into the network every half hour with a local-news update. My shift is 3 a.m. to noon, Monday through Friday. I’m home for my kids when they’re dismissed from school.”

She has three daughters, one of whom presented her with a granddaughter in 2014. The other two are in school, and some of her avocational interests are connected to them. “I was an Air-Force brat, and wherever we lived during my dad’s career, my parents signed me up for activities. So, I do the same with my children,” says Christian.

“My youngest daughter plays softball, as I did, and I’m an assistant coach for her team,” says Christian. “My middle child has autism, and that has prompted me to be involved with the Autism Society Greater Harrisburg Area. I am a past president and board member.”

Christian has also served on the boards of many civic organizations, among them Goodwill Industries, Girl Scouts, March of Dimes and United Way. Christian participates in professional organizations, including the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Born in Biloxi, Miss. 52 years ago, Christian graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in telecommunications. Her first position after school was in, of all places, Tallahassee, home of the rival Florida State Seminoles.

“Yeah, that was different,” she chortles. “But, being the state capital, there were many Florida alums in the town, as well.”

And it was a seminal experience for Christian. “I began as a reporter and producer at WTXL-TV. Circumstances changed, and I was promoted to the post of public affairs director,” she says. “That was the best thing that ever happened to me because I learned so much about the television industry right at the beginning of my career.”

She moved on to stations in Florence, S.C., Baltimore, and Detroit before landing in Harrisburg in 2002.

In addition to her responsibilities as anchor for the morning news program at CBS 21, Christian also edits news reports for radio stations that are affiliated with CBS 21. They are WQLV, WTPA, WSBA and RED 102.

When vacation time rolls around, the Christians usually head for the shore. “My husband’s family owns a home in Berlin, Md., a short ride from the beaches,” she says. “So, we take advantage of that convenient location and the free lodging.”

A sports enthusiast, Christian enjoys watching major league baseball, professional and college football and basketball. She is a loyal fan of the Baltimore Orioles.