Barbara Boyd · 2000
Simply an icon of service, caring and professionalism– that’s what she has become to the Circle City.
Barbara Boyd rightfully holds a place as one of Indiana’s most distinguished journalists. Her 25-year stint as WRTV’s consumer reporter and anchor was one that broke new ground in the city and round the nation.
While her work is exemplary, that’s not what sets her apart-at least not to her colleagues. It is her personality and her willingness to give to the community. In an interview with Nancy L. Comiskey, Boyd said, “People make me go,” she explained simply. “I thrive on the people; the more the better. There’s no put-on with me; the way you see me is the way I am.”
Boyd grew up in Evanston, Ill. and had aspirations of being an actress. But that dream of television would not come to fruition until 1969, when Boyd was age 40. She joined WFBM as one of the few women in television and as the first African American on air in Indiana. Boyd has done much to overcome discrimination. She once applied for a position at Evanston Hospital and despite having exemplary qualifications, was denied the job.
Boyd said, “My father told me, ‘If you’re prepared, there isn’t anything you can’t do.'” But, Boyd recalls that in her mid-twenties as a young African-American woman in the workforce, she found that this wasn’t always true.
Despite those setbacks, Boyd persevered and broke into the television business. Though she began as a general assignment reporter with WRTV, she quickly became an outstanding candidate for their consumer affairs reporter.
But, Barbara Boyd wasn’t just any consumer affairs reporter; in time she became the definitive consumer reporter in the Circle City. In the 1980 interview with Comiskey, Boyd said, “Now I get anywhere from 60 to 100 calls a day at the office, sometimes even at home on weekends.”
And to be sure, her success in 1980 merely foreshadowed the success she enjoyed well into the nineties. Boyd covered everything from home products to loans to her own mastectomy.
The latter was groundbreaking in the exposure she lent to breast cancer at a time when little such exposure existed. Boyd even did a special report for WRTV from her hospital room immediately after her mastectomy. Boyd said she could face such calamity because of her one-day-at-a-time attitude. “I guess I had one bad day of depression, but after that, it was just a matter of getting back on my feet again,” she said. “Sometimes its hard for me to understand why some women have such hang-ups with mastectomy, but then I think maybe they didn’t have the kind of reinforcement I did from my family.” That report earned Boyd one of four prestigious Casper Awards from the Community Service Council.
As a pioneer in broadcast, Boyd has come to be one of the most familiar faces in Indiana journalism. Why? Because she’s a community woman.