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April 12, 2024

Bethlehem has a visit from WBTV’s Molly Grantham

TV PERSONALITY VISITS LIBRARY — WBTV anchor Molly Grantham, above, visited the Bethlehem Branch Library on August 2. Grantham, who is a mother of three, an author, and a speaker, talked about juggling her busy schedule and read excerpts from her books to an attentive audience.

By ANGELA FARR KING

Her energy in a room is contagious. She is passionate about many things and it is clear that she gives her very best to everything she does. Molly Grantham co-anchors with Jamie Boll at 5:00 and 6:00 p.m. for WBTV News in Charlotte and is the solo anchor at 11 p.m. She’s also a wife, a mother of three, an author, and a speaker.

Despite her busy schedule, which includes working from 2 p.m. until midnight Monday through Friday, Molly made time to visit the Bethlehem Branch of the Alexander County Library on Wednesday, August 2. Glenda Leonard, the director of the Bethlehem Branch, organized a luncheon catered by the Farmer’s Daughter in Wittenburg so that people could meet Molly and ask her questions about career and family.

Molly is the author of two books: Small Victories and The Juggle is Real. She said her first book began as monthly Facebook posts when she became a mother to her daughter Parker, who is now 12. She also has a son, Hutch, who is 8, and another son, Hobie, who recently turned 3. Her third book will be released in October of this year and will conclude with Parker’s 100th month. She said she is finishing chronicling Parker’s life because it is time to give her 12 year old some privacy and space. Molly read a portion of one of her books aloud at the library. Her writing style is humorous and entertaining, but it can also be taken seriously as scenarios that most mothers will be able to relate to.

One of the best things about Molly is that she doesn’t try to pretend that her life is perfect. She is a beautiful woman, who has been very successful in her career. She has a successful marriage and three precious children, but she doesn’t pretend to have it all together at all times. Those who follow her on Facebook will see her “real” posts that might capture her youngest son, Hobie, wallowing on her while she attempts to get a pedicure, or they may see her being honest about her battle with allergies this season with those red and watery eyes.

It’s that type of realism that appeals to her viewers and readers. She isn’t “insta” or “FB” perfect. She also has a heart for her community and the communities she serves as a reporter. She is known for her #MollysKids stories on FaceBook. She shares stories of children with uphill medical battles and these stories have created a community of support for those going through their greatest trials, losses, and health battles. She has used her platform to be a voice for those struggling and has been able to accomplish some great things, including acquiring much needed medical equipment, bringing attention to rare medical conditions, and simply offering her skills as a storyteller so that families in medical crises can feel heard.

One of Molly’s Kids came to the Bethlehem Library event. Ten year old Anna Elder attended with her parents, Crystal and Jason. They said they heard she would be in Bethlehem, which is close to their home in Hickory, so they wanted to meet Molly in person. Anna struggles daily with Rett Syndrome. Of course, Molly stopped what she was doing and greeted the Elders with her signature enthusiasm and knelt down to speak to Anna personally.

Molly is often asked how she “balances” her busy career schedule with family life and she was asked this at the Bethlehem event. She was blatantly honest when she said, “I don’t think Work/Life Balance is a thing. A balance should be 50/50.” Molly prefers to call it “juggling.” She said that some days she puts more into her career than her family and some days she puts more into her family than her career. She makes the point that women are constantly being told to find a work/life balance. They are made to feel guilty if they spend more time concentrating on family than careers or vice versa. Molly reminded the women at the luncheon that “If I drop a ball, it’s okay. I can pick that ball back up.” She also said, “Perfection is overrated.”

This is why Molly Grantham is so refreshing. She doesn’t try to put on a “balanced” facade. She said she “loves her life. She loves her career and she loves being a mom.” With the help of a supportive husband, she somehow makes it work. She said every day is truly different than the one before. She talked about her morning times with her children and about leaving the studio from 7:00-8:30 p.m. to help at home with dinner and bedtimes each night. Her last anchor spot is over at midnight and she said she spends from 12:00-1:00 a.m. reading and answering emails. This quiet time with no kids, no spouse, and no coworkers allows her to accomplish a lot and it helps her reset for the next day, which will begin waking up with her 3 year old at 6 a.m.

Molly said she believes in “Community First.” She believes in finding opportunities to talk to people in her viewing network. This is why she came when Glenda Leonard invited her to Bethlehem.

Molly is and has been an example to many others in the news business. Molly has mentored many young journalists, but she said mentorship goes two ways. She said she has learned a great deal from people younger and less experienced than her.

Molly is from Lancaster, PA, but ended up at UNC Chapel Hill, which was her father’s first college pick for her. November 10, 2003, was her first day appearing on WBTV and Barbara Nichols, who was in attendance at the Bethlehem luncheon, said she has been watching Molly since that very day.

Molly initially wanted to be a newspaper reporter, but soon decided she needed to be a television reporter because “one picture or video can show what it might take five paragraphs to write.”

Molly is now one of only two solo female anchors at the 11:00 p.m. hour across the nation. According to Molly, there is one other solo female anchor in that slot in Washington, DC.

During the luncheon, Molly spoke about her daily schedule, her career goals, her family, her books, and her precious #MollysKids, but she also listened. She took the majority of her time to allow people to ask her questions and she answered them all. She also took time for lots of photos at the end of the luncheon. She is a hero and mentor to many and she doesn’t take that lightly. She gives her time to the people who follow and admire her.

Molly credits her father with inspiring her to follow her dreams. She said he told her, “You can be anything you want to be.” She also credited her husband, Wes, for being “her rock.” She said he is an amazing Dad and they’ve been married for 16 years. She doesn’t share much about Wes and she said she does that on purpose. They like to keep a few things just for themselves.

She packed up after the luncheon to head into work. She was dressed and ready for her anchor slots. She was questioning the dress she had on because her shoulders were revealed. The Bethlehem women in attendance were reassuring her that she looked great. She said she appeared once on camera with a stain on her dress that was visible. She had been home helping with dinner time and had no time to change. Some viewers commented on the stain and others have commented before about a hairstyle they didn’t like or her imperfect makeup application.

There are many viewers who appreciate those stains or the imperfect makeup applied at her desk with her $15 dollar CVS mirror because they can relate to the “juggling” act that happens in their own daily lives. Those viewers are glad to see some imperfections in a world that tells people, especially women, that they have to somehow “balance” it all while looking perfect and smiling happily.

Molly Grantham is a role model for women who have found that perfection is simply unattainable, yet they are doing their best to juggle all that is on their plates daily. Taking the time to visit the little Bethlehem Branch library in Alexander County is one example of how Molly puts her communities first as she “juggles” all that is on her own plate.

3 Comments

  1. Larry Bedford on August 10, 2023 at 10:45 pm

    She is such a beautiful lady and seems to be such a great person.

    • Brenda Cook on March 8, 2024 at 10:49 pm

      Molly I have like you ever since you came Wbtv please don’t leave us, it won’t be the sàmè

  2. Etta Meares on August 16, 2023 at 3:13 pm

    Molly is such a super person. She loves her family, job and her audience. I will get to see Molly in person in September and I am so excited!

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