By Lee Merrill
fter more than 20 years as an anchor/reporter for KTBS 3 News, Gerry May recently retired. However, his impact on the industry will live on as he was recently inducted into the Louisiana Broadcasting Hall of Fame. May sat down with Family Living Magazine to reflect on his career and share his plans for the future.
“It’s strange to think about being retired because I can still see myself in my first newsroom in Sherman, Texas, where I met my wife 38 years ago.” While his career is important to him, Gerry May is a family-first man, and family was the deciding factor when he was presented with multiple career opportunities. “We were in Boise, Idaho, and our son, Travis, was 10. I had the opportunity to stay in Boise, to go to Eugene, Oregon, or to come to Shreveport and do weekends at KTBS.”
Since May had worked his way out of weekend assignments, a move to Shreveport took some convincing by his wife, who longed to be closer to family. “Our parents had never seen our son play a Little League game. We wanted to settle down and find a place where our son could finish school and have more connection with extended family.”
When asked about the highlights of his long career, May said, “The best part of my career was the Hometown Patriot feature I was able to do for 12 years. It felt good to give veterans their due. I met many extraordinary military families and reported amazing stories of bravery and sacrifice.” May also enjoyed investigative reporting and was able to use his platform to help get two innocent people out of jail.
Gerry May had some practical advice for young people interested in a career in broadcast journalism. “Be ready to do it all and to start out working long hours for cheap. This career can be rewarding, and if you’re super talented, you can move up and make some good money.”
The Mays will remain in Shreveport-Bossier. Their son, Travis May, is now a married business owner with two children. “We are rooted down,” said May with a grin. “My wife helps a lot with the after-school care and the homework for our grandkids. Now that I’m retired, I can help out more.”
While he looks forward to the time flexibility of retirement, May plans to pursue freelance voiceover and on-camera work to keep busy. “I believe I can stay as busy as I want if I apply myself. I may try to shave off a few strokes on my golf game as well.”
May added, “Coming to Shreveport and KTBS worked out great for our family. I am grateful to the loyal viewers, for, without them, I would not have had such a rich career. I really thought I’d become the classic silver-haired anchorman, but it’s getting to be a young person’s business.”
Gerry May’s warm and sincere persona on the news made him feel like part of the family to his viewers. Although he’ll be missed on the newscast, he will continue to be a valued member of the Shreveport-Bossier community. Happy Retirement, Gerry May!