TV newsie Brandi King reflects on move into PR

By CHRISTY ARMSTRONG
Posted 5/15/19

Brandi King, senior communications specialist for Whirlpool in Cleveland, recently shared why she decided to work with the global appliance manufacturer after years in TV journalism. Many may …

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TV newsie Brandi King reflects on move into PR

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Brandi King, senior communications specialist for Whirlpool in Cleveland, recently shared why she decided to work with the global appliance manufacturer after years in TV journalism. 

Many may know her by the pseudonym she used for nearly 14 years with WTVC NewsChannel 9 in Chattanooga: Sarah Jennings. 

“I did not leave for any bad reasons; it was just time to move forward,” she told the Bradley Sunrise Rotary Club. “I was blessed in life to have had the opportunity to do the career I had always wanted.” 

King said journalism was a dream of hers from the time she was in elementary school. She remembers raising her hand in class and telling everyone she wanted to become “the next Barbara Walters.” 

Though she “did not quite make it to Barbara Walters status,” she enjoyed getting to share the news of her community while building strong relationships with people in it. 

King is a native of Bradley County and graduated from Bradley Central High School. She later went on to earn a bachelor’s degree, double-majoring in communications and political science at the University of Tennessee. 

“I love Cleveland and Bradley County,” King said. “I just love this community and the people in it.” 

She noted that during her tenure at WTVC, she got the chance to help develop a segment called “Pay It Forward,” which honors the lives of those making an impact on their communities. She said this was very gratifying and allowed her to meet impactful people. 

She also noted she was able to see the giving nature of people in Cleveland after tornadoes hit the area in April 2011. Many did not hesitate to help their neighbors recover, she said.

Despite the highlights of her journalism career, King decided a career change would be best for her family. She is a mother of three children, and having to travel to Chattanooga early in the morning necessitated going to bed at 6 p.m.

“I missed out on a lot of my older children’s milestones in life,” King said. 

Now that she is working in communications for Whirlpool, she is continuing to stay involved with her family and community while working with some “great, kindhearted people.” 

During a question-and-answer session afterward, King told the Rotarians she has enjoyed learning about the company and being involved with communication efforts within the company and with the public. 

Approximately 1,500 workers are employed at Cleveland’s Whirlpool manufacturing plant which produces cooking appliance brands such as Maytag, JennAir, KitchenAid, IKEA and more. Approximately 800 people also work for the consumer call center in Cleveland. 

King could not speak about upcoming product launches or other future company endeavors. However, she did express optimism when someone asked about the former Whirlpool site downtown. 

“It’s a positive outlook for our community, especially as we look to revitalize certain parts of the town,” King said. “I am looking forward to the finalization of some of these plans and to be able to pass these along to you once they are complete.”


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