Tanya Spencer

Q: Why did you decide to pursue television news as a career?
A:  I wanted to be a print journalist. I love to write and I love to tell stories, but all the print internships were full, so I had to take one with a local cable news channel. I discovered I LOVED it.  So I changed my major to pursue a career in broadcast journalism instead.

Q: What was your first job?
A: I worked as a weekend producer while in college at WKU. I hated producing. I got my first full-time job as an anchor/reporter in Owensboro, KY before I even graduated. So for the last few months of my senior year, I was working full-time, taking 21 credit hours, and commuting daily from Bowling Green to Owensboro. Thank God I was young and could function then with very little sleep!

Q: What is on your DVR?
A: Nothing. I don't watch TV except for live news and live sports (Chicago Bears & Chicago Cubs games).  Yes, you can take the girl out of Chicago, but you can’t take Chicago out of the girl. ;)

Q: What is favorite way to spend a day off?
A: In the winter, staying in my PJs all day, spending time with my family & 6 year old son. In nice weather, playing baseball outside with my son. Or just drinking my morning coffee outside, relaxing.

Q: Favorite restaurant in Indy?
A: Noah Grants in Zionsville is pretty awesome. The oysters Rockefeller at Rick's Boatyard are some of my favs too. Love seafood, especially all you can eat snow crab legs. mmmm

Q: Most challenging part of your job?
A: Knocking on doors of those who've just lost a loved one and trying to convince them to talk to me.

Q: Most memorable story you ever covered?
A: So many. Flying with the Blue Angels was my favorite, a dream come true. Getting to meet President Clinton and covering President Bush. Interviewing the band Train is right up there too. They are awesome! They donated all their concert proceeds after the state fair stage-rigging collapse.

Q: Favorite book, movie?
A: I like non-fiction, self-help type books. I love comic book movies: Iron Man, Avengers, Batman, Spiderman movies. And comedies like Anchorman, Blades of Glory and Zoolander -- movies that make me laugh without having to think about anything serious.

Q: What's on your iPod?
A: Don't have one, but I would have Fall Out Boy.  I've seen them live in concert four times already and have tickets for the pit this summer. Ahhhhh – can't wait.

Q: What is something that would surprise people about you?
A: I'm from Chicago, but I play banjo and fiddle. Go figure.

Q: Best advice you ever got?
A: Put family first.  You'll NEVER say, "I spent too much time with my child when he was young and not enough time at work." Cherish that time with your little ones. You can't get it back and they grow up in the blink of an eye.

Q: Favorite vacation spot?
A: Anywhere on the beach! I love Lake Michigan in the summer, the Gulf Coast in the winter.

Q: What is your proudest career moment?
A: It was a sad one, but anchoring about 5 hours straight of live coverage during the state fair stage-rigging collapse.  They were horrible, unreal images to see – unbelievable as they were first coming in. But I was proud of our news team, their quick response, and the coverage we provided during that tragedy.  

Q: Do you have any pets?
A: Two cats, but I hate cats. I'm a dog person.

Q: When I am not at work I am…
A: at home relaxing with my family

Q: Biggest pet peeve
A: Bad grammar. Although I know I make some grammar mistakes myself, certain phrases or inaccurate spellings drive me nuts! Your vs. You're. To vs. Too, etc.  Also, people who don't know you're allowed to turn right on red.

Q: What advice would you give someone to get into the business?
A: Be prepared to work weekends, overnights & holidays. And be prepared to work outside in the elements when there's a 105 heat index or a 40 below-zero wind chill. 

Q: Do you have a favorite cause/charity?
A: I'm a big supporter of spaying and neutering your pets! Too many animals are euthanized. Adopt from a shelter. Don't buy from a breeder.

Q: When was the last time you tried something new? What was it?
A: I'm always up for trying something new, but I guess it's been a while. I think the most memorable new experience was tandem skydiving several years ago. It was a rush! Something I’m glad I did once, but don't think I ever need to do again. I love snorkeling but don't like scuba diving.

Q: What electronic gadget can you not live without?
A: My smart phone. I'm more attached to it than I should be.

Q: What is your favorite childhood memory?
A: Sledding on Christmas Eve then drinking homemade hot chocolate that my mom made for us. Going to Cubs games at Wrigley field. Playing catch with my dad. Taking my dad's '49 Ford out for ice cream on Sundays. So many --  I had a great childhood.

Q: What is the scariest thing you have ever done?
A: Jumping out of that perfectly good airplane

Q: What is the hardest thing you ever had to do?
A: Say goodbye to my two dogs. I had them since they were 8 weeks old. Chow mixes that were the cutest little puff balls you've ever seen and the best pets ever. They made it to 16 years old.  Still miss them and tear up when I think about their final days.  I don't think I have the heart to fall in love with a pet that much again, knowing I'd have to do that again someday.

Q: Did you have a mentor in your career?
A: No. I wish I had. Television is very competitive, especially for women.

Q: If you weren't in your current profession, what would you be doing?
A: I think I'd love to be an elementary school teacher.

Q: If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do?
A: Head straight to a warm, sunny beach and get my toes in the sand (then I would shop for my new beach house)

Q: If you could witness any event, past or present, what would it be?
A: A space shuttle launch. I would love to see that in person. I hear it's breathtaking.

Q: What is your proudest accomplishment?
A: My son -- the best thing I ever did 

Tanya Spencer came to RTV6 in 2005 after working seven years at WFIE in Evansville, where she was a weekend anchor and reporter.

The Western Kentucky University graduate grew up in Chicago's northwestern suburbs.

Spencer said she was excited to make the move from Evansville to Indianapolis, and was glad that she would be closer to where she was raised.

The die-hard Chicago Cubs fan looked forward to catching a few more games at Wrigley Field and visiting her parents more often.

Spencer and her husband Matt enjoy being parents and have a young son. She also likes to play the banjo and violin, and she loves to travel.

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