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Natasha Ryan with Sophie
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Top-voted newscaster (and "hottest" Roanoker) Natasha Ryan is also a pet lover. Punx (left) and Sophie both charmed their way into her life.
“They’re my cuddlebugs,” WDBJ news anchor Natasha Ryan says of her cat and dog.
Cat Punx (in honor of Punxatawney Phil) came into her life on one of the first stories she did in Pennsylvania, where she attended Penn State.
“I had to go the pound, and I knew I was at risk,” she says. Sure enough, a year-old cat reached out with a paw as she passed by, and Punx soon moved in.
Shih tzu Sophie apparently saw an easy mark too.
“I’d answered an ad in the paper,” says Ryan, “and she was the only one to lick me in the face.”
These days, the little family deploys itself carefully at bedtime, with Punx in the pillow area and Sophie warming her mistress’s feet.
Natasha Ryan is a few other things in addition to a pet lover. She became a TV news director at 22, has run a marathon and, earlier in life, moved around at least 10 times as a military brat. She’s also our reader poll’s Platinum winner for Best TV Anchor and Hottest Roanoker.
Her move to news director was directly out of a part-time reporting position, after she’d spent the night at a collapsed parking deck and put the film she shot together for airing the next morning. Soon thereafter came the question: “Do you want your boss’s job?” She declined, not wanting to cause ill will with the person who’d hired her. When she was told he was gone no matter what she did, she took the job.
“So I was suddenly in charge of five part-time reporters.”
The marathon – “way more pain than I expected” – was at Disneyworld in Orlando, where she’d previously spent a summer in the Disney College Program.
“After the marathon, my running fell off, but I’m getting back, and I know the greenways will be calling me at some point.”
Ryan, the 10- and 11-p.m anchor for Channel 7 news, says her life goal is simple: “to get better every day, personally and professionally.”
Oh, and one more question for someone who readily admits she “bleeds blue and white”: Should that old Penn State football coach finally give it up at age 83?
“No way in the world Joe Pa should retire!”
An otherwise soft-spoken person suddenly turns a little adamant.