CHARLOTTE, N.C. - For five years, Channel 9 viewers have watched Tenikka Smith cover the Carolinas.
Smith jumped right in as a reporter in 2009.
In one of her first assignments she asked a robbery suspect if he had anything to say about the crime he was accused of.
“Hell no, get that camera out of my face, that’s what I got to say,” he said.
Within three years, Smith was promoted to weekend morning anchor before taking the helm on Eyewitness News this Morning on TV 64.
IMAGES: Take a look back at Tenikka Smith's time at WSOC
“I was given the opportunity to anchor here, but I’ve always been a reporter and that’s allowed me to be on the ground covering breaking news and so many major stories over the years,” Smith said.
Smith covered the 2012 Democratic National Convention and exclusively covered the federal corruption case against Charlotte’s former mayor Patrick Cannon.
The victim of a local serial rapist broke her silence only to Smith after waiting more than 30 years for his arrest.
Smith showed viewers the schemes organized drug rings are using to get thousands of prescription pills to push in local neighborhoods.
She went from the anchor desk to the streets gathering information to keep you safe after several inches of snow blanketed Charlotte earlier this year.
Smith’s most memorable stories include Skyping with the mother of Monroe airman Bryce Powers who prayed by her son’s bedside after he suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car accident in Japan.
She followed family and investigators from the day Monroe honor student Phylicia Barnes was reported missing in Baltimore in December 2010 to the tragic discovery of her body months later.
Smith sat down with Lauren Turner’s parents as they made a passionate appeal for bone marrow donors as their 9-year-old bravely battle cancer for a third time.
“All of those stories were vastly different, but they all shared this common thread of parents and especially moms just really expressing love and devotion and unrelenting hope for their children and I think that’s something that resonates with anyone,” Smith said. It’s how my mom feels about me, so those types of stories really stay with me.”
Smith will take her passion for storytelling and connecting with viewers to her new role as evening anchor with our sister station in Jacksonville, Florida.
But the Queen City and her home state will remain close at heart thanks to Channel 9 viewers.
“I've grown and changed so much and viewers, they've been along this journey with me and sometimes when I’m out people will come up to me and stop me and say, 'Hey I remember when you first started at Channel 9,' or, 'I remember when you covered this story,' or, 'I enjoy watching you in the mornings,' or they tell me they're proud of me and so that's so awesome and really humbling,” Smith said.
Anchor Tenikka Smith reflects on most memorable stories before signing off
Citizens voice outrage at city council meeting
Police investigating after truck crashes through Concord gun shop
Couple ties knot at vandalized hotel during uptown protests
MINUTE-BY-MINUTE: Man shot by Charlotte police was sold stolen gun, CMPD says