Brittny McGraw prepares to sign off, heading on to out-of-this-world adventures

Brittny McGraw and John Carlin (WSLS)

ROANOKE, Va. – For nearly six years, I’ve called Roanoke and Southwest Virginia home and had the honor of keeping you informed about the news happening in your community.

WATCH: Saying goodbye to Brittny McGraw

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I’ve felt the joy of following a family’s journey as they become homeowners in our annual “Home for Good” project in partnership with Habitat for Humanity in the Roanoke Valley.

2018 "Home for Good" project with homebuyer, Teyauna Hayes, on the far left. (Copyright 2023 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.)

I’ve been inspired and had fun sharing the stories of the local athletes and volunteers of Special Olympics Virginia as they experience the thrill of competition and sports. As a part of my commitment to Special Olympics, I’ve taken several very, very icy dips into the New River in February as a part of the annual New River Polar Plunge that benefits Special Olympics Virginia!

Brittny stuck the landing during the 2022 Polar Plunge. (Copyright 2023 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.)

I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting a lot of you not just on stories, but out and about at the grocery store, at the gym, on the Greenway, and all around Southwest, Southside, and Central Virginia.

Brittny in action during the 2018 "Home for Good" project. (Copyright 2023 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.)

How many people do you know who lay out their future career path in third grade? That was me! I did the school announcements in elementary school and middle school and declared then that I would go to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and major in journalism to become a reporter. I have been incredibly blessed for the past 20 years to do what I always wanted to do.

Third-grade Brittny. (Copyright 2023 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.)

My journey started behind the scenes at NBC News Channel in Charlotte, N.C. as an archivist and writer. I got my big break a few months later as a one-man band (now called a multi-media journalist or MMJ) at WCTI-TV in New Bern, N.C. I did a little of everything, shooting and editing my own stories, producing and writing my newscasts, shooting high school football highlights on Friday nights for our high school football show called, “The Blitz,” and a little bit of everything else, too!

At the ACC Men's Basketball Tournament in Tampa, Fla. in 2007 with WCTI-TV. (Copyright 2023 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.)

I traded in sandals for snow boots when I moved to Dayton, Ohio, and then further embraced the cold when I headed to Pittsburgh, PA.

Always one of Brittny's favorite stops at Pittsburgh International Airport. (Copyright 2023 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.)

At every stop along the way I’ve been blessed to meet and work with awesome people, many of whom are now lifelong friends.

WSLS in Roanoke marked my fourth stop in this journey, and it has been an experience that is everything I could have asked for and more. I’ve worked with top-notch journalists, made lots of new friends both in and out of the newsroom, won some awards, enjoyed the great outdoors, and tapped into my passion for fitness (which inspired my digital-only series ‘Get Fit with Britt’).

Brittny completed her first Spartan Race in 2022. (Copyright 2023 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.)

I’ve spent 20 years researching and sharing the news, but today I have to flip the script with my own breaking news: this Friday, September 8th will be my last day at WSLS 10.

It is bittersweet because I will miss all of my colleagues and friends here in Southwest Virginia, but there is a tremendous new adventure and opportunity on the horizon.

As a journalist, it’s always important to cover the “Who? What? When? Where? Why? and How?” of every story, so here’s the answer to where I’m going: I’m headed to the Office of Communications at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. to serve as their News Chief. Isn’t that cool!! There are a lot of exciting things on the horizon for NASA and NASA Langley and I’m over the moon (pun intended) at this chance to lead a team in sharing stories of the great work happening to explore the unknown in air and space, innovate for the benefit of humanity, and inspire the world through discovery. NASA Langley is NASA’s oldest field center and has an incredible history that includes pioneers Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson, and Dorothy Vaughan (the mathematicians featured in the blockbuster movie ‘Hidden Figures’).

I always operate with a tremendous amount of gratitude, and I have so many ‘Thank Yous’ to share, there’s not enough room on the Internet! But I must say THANK YOU to all of you for welcoming me into your homes (via the TV) for close to six years and treating me like family. THANK YOU for trusting me to tell your story. THANK YOU for allowing a third-grade girl from Charlotte, N.C. to dream big and do what she always wanted to do, and to do it with excellence. And THANK YOU to my parents and my sister for supporting me unconditionally every step of the way.

The entire team at WSLS is passionate about connecting with the community and keeping you informed about the issues that matter to you, and I can’t wait to watch with you (but of course, I’ll be streaming from afar) as 10 News continues to do great work. It’s not just a slogan: our team truly is working for you.

I step into my new role at NASA Langley with a lot of excitement and the same big dreams as third-grade me. No matter where I’m at, I’m forever a journalist, with endless curiosity, lots of questions, and a desire to keep people informed. My next adventure is about to be out of this world!

Brittny has an out-of-this-world friend. (Copyright 2023 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.)

With gratitude,


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