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40 Under 40 Class of 2023

Evening Anchor, WWLP-22 News: Age 30

Ciara SpellerCiara Speller says she’s always been a storyteller.

At first, and for many years, she told stories through dance, something’s she’s still passionate about today.

“Through the arts, I was always able to tell a story,” she said, but along the way, she found there were other ways to communicate stories — through poetry, the student newspaper in high school, and other vehicles.

“I was moved to see that my words could touch other people and bring their stories to light,” she said, adding that this passion for telling stories, coupled with a long-held interest in watching the news, often with her grandmother, put her on path to broadcast journalism and, eventually, WWLP-22 News, where she currently serves as evening anchor.

She started as a reporter in 2017, arriving in Springfield soon before the story of serial killer Stewart Weldon broke, a case that brought national media to the area and provided Speller with both exposure and learning experiences on many levels.

She joined the anchor desk less than a year later, and there were other big stories to follow — COVID-19, the tragedy at the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke, Jan. 6, and many others. But it’s the day-to-day work of keeping area residents informed that Speller likes most about her work.

She told BusinessWest that she always pictured herself on the anchor desk, noting that there are many responsibilities there beyond reading the news, including writing, editing, deploying crews, proofreading, answering calls, making beat calls to police and fire departments, and, in general, setting the tone for that night’s broadcasts.

“I want to make sure that I’m delivering stories that are important to our community … I don’t want to let my community down,” she said. “They welcome me into their homes at night, and I always want to give it my best.

“I want to be like a conversation,” she went on. “I want it to come off as just having a chat — what’s going on — with my friends.”

Speller’s ultimate goal is to sit behind the anchor desk in a much larger market, but while she’s working in Greater Springfield, she has committed herself to getting involved in the community and making a difference there.

Indeed, she currently serves on the board of directors for Girls Inc. of the Valley, is a corporator for Monson Savings Bank, and has volunteered with the nonprofit I Found Light Against All Odds, which assists at-risk youths and their families through numerous charitable events.


—George O’Brien