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The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Meet Reba: TXST alumna becomes “TV sister” and leader in the newsroom

Photo Courtesy of Reba Hollingsworth
Reba Hollingsworth interviewed by coworker Shelby Brown at the Remarkable Women’s Luncheon, Thursday, March 24, 2022, in Glen Allen, Virginia.

From interviewing her dolls in her room at 8-years-old to becoming a TV News Anchor for WTVR CBS 6 News, Texas State alumna and four-time Emmy award winner Reba Hollingsworth aims to serve as a voice for her community in Richmond, Virginia, and as a mentor for young, aspiring journalists.

“I knew when I stepped foot [at Texas State] that I wanted to be a journalist,” Hollingsworth said. “I just love telling stories [and seeing] people shine. I think everyone has a story [and] everyone has a voice.”

After graduating from Texas State, then Southwest Texas State, in 1992, Hollingsworth constantly sent out her application tapes to local news stations until Gina Gaston, ABC 13 news anchor, told her she needed to get out of her comfort zone.

Hollingsworth took this advice and embarked on what she nostalgically calls the “Reba Tour,” where Hollingsworth and her father traveled to nearly every news station inside of Texas and Louisiana looking for a job, eventually landing anchor positions in Victoria and Abilene, Texas.

“I was probably the first black female anchor in [Abilene],” Hollingsworth said. “It felt like my dreams were finally coming true even though I was making $12,000 a year. It’s just a great feeling to be in a business that I’ve wanted to do since I was 8-years-old.”

During her time at Texas State, Hollingsworth studied under Laurie Fluker, associate professor for the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Texas State. Fluker said that Hollingsworth always went above and beyond as a student and in her career.

“Reba was always very special,” Fluker said. “I knew she would be above all others, the one that would be extremely successful. She’s the example of what we want all of our students to do and be when they leave us at Texas State.”

Fluker said that following graduation, Hollingsworth dedicated herself to her career through her journey with the “Reba Tour” and taking voice and diction lessons to improve her marketability as an anchor.

“I don’t want to call her a product of Texas State, but that’s exactly what she is,” Fluker said. “[Hollingsworth is] just the total package. There is nothing more gratifying to see.”

Shelby Brown, CBS 6 TV news journalist and Director of Marketing and Communications for Metropolitan Business League, a non-profit dedicated to helping journalists of color by connecting them with resources and support in the field, said Hollingsworth has become one of her best friends and is her “TV sister” in the industry.

“I just love [Hollingsworth] for her heart,” Brown said. “We have a relationship where we just show up for each other. She’s a leader in the newsroom because of the experience she has. She’s serious about her craft, and she’s good at it.”

Hollingsworth and Brown have embarked on numerous community engagements together, including organizing get-togethers for African American female anchors in their area, supporting local bookstore “Resist Booksellers” in Petersburg, Virginia and actively participating in Metropolitan Business League together.

In 2015, CBS 6 anchor Stephanie Rochon died from cancer, which deeply affected the news station, according to Brown. Rochon was a strong advocate for individuals with breast cancer and ran the news station’s “Buddy Check 6,” where the station airs stories about breast cancer awareness to remind viewers to do their monthly breast self-exams.

Following Rochon’s death, Hollingsworth decided to take over running the “Buddy Check 6” segment. This soon became part of Hollingsworth’s purpose as a journalist.

“I feel like I am this vehicle for a lot of survivors to give them this platform to share their stories, and for them to make these connections is just impactful because that’s what awareness is all about,” Hollingsworth said.

Hollingsworth has also succeeded as an entrepreneur with her creation of the “AHA Wrap,” an adjustable leg wrap to hold microphone packs for news anchors, particularly for women in the industry, as well as her recent authorship of her new book, “Lipstick and Legacies,” that released on Oct. 6 written by herself and five other female entrepreneurs.

“Our station tries to be the voice of the community,” Hollingsworth said. “Whether it’s breast cancer awareness or someone who’s been a victim of a crime, I think the responsibility of journalists [is to give] people this platform to share their voices, and I feel privileged to do that every single day.”

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