In a post on the Chattanooga NBC affiliate’s website, Carroll says he didn’t think he could do news when he was first given the opportunity and asked Sexton for her advice.
“Of course you can do it,” she said. “You’ll love it.”
Carroll, who started working at WRCB in 1987, said he “figured if Cindy Sexton was encouraging me to make the jump, I would be in good hands.” He says he struggled the first few years, before teaming up with Sexton in 1992 when his co-anchor left.
We’ve never had any issues or arguments, which is very rare in the pressure cooker TV news environment. I’ve read horror stories about anchors who feuded, on camera and off. One Nashville team was doomed because the female insisted on sitting on her “best side,” which happened to be the side her male cohort was deaf in one ear. Every time she spoke to him, he’d say, “Beg your pardon?” It wasn’t exactly must-see TV.
I’ve also seen anchors who kept track of stories, and even words, making sure their co-worker didn’t get even a slight advantage in face time. One of my former colleagues famously played a joke on his co-anchor one holiday season. Seated next to her in the newsroom, he opened his Christmas bonus envelope, loudly exclaiming, “Wow! I can’t wait to spend this three-hundred-dollar gift card!” She hurriedly opened hers, revealing a fifty-dollar card. (He had gotten the same amount, but knew how to get under her skin.) She promptly marched to the boss’s office, demanding to know why “that man” got a bigger bonus. Everybody laughed, except her. That anchor team didn’t last very long.
There’s been no such drama with Cindy. She’s my grammar expert, she loves bad 1980s pop songs like I do, and makes me look good each evening. When people ask me, “Where’s Cindy?” I often reply, “She has back problems. She’s been carrying me for 25 years.” They’ll laugh and say, “You sure are lucky!” Yes, I am.