Letter: An amazing journalist, Terry Morrow will be missed

Apr. 26, 2013 @ 11:08 PM


Although I’ve been gone from Sevier County for nearly 20 years, I’ve never forgotten the five years I spent as managing editor of The Mountain Press. While the mountains never got old, and the politics kept life interesting, it was the people I missed the most when I moved to Nashville in 1993. So it’s with great sadness that I learned about the passing of former Mountain Press Entertainment Editor Terry Morrow. Terry, who was 52, died of complications from pancreatic cancer on April 16.

When I started editing the newspaper, Terry joined me as news editor. We learned together and formed a strong team, but it was obvious Terry’s talent, and his heart, were in entertainment news, and the switch was made.

As entertainment editor, Terry truly shined. It’s hard to say which was the stronger, his interview skills or his writing skills. Both were amazing. Terry knew how to go after a story, and he knew how to write it so that the reader was pulled in from the first paragraph.

Although Terry was a complete professional when interviewing celebrities, on the inside he was often just as starstruck as the people reading his articles. That humility kept him grounded, even though the list of celebrities he had met back then was already long and distinguished.

He left the Press after I did and got a position at the Knoxville News Sentinel, where he eventually became an entertainment writer and TV critic. Terry’s talents took him many places, from red-carpet events to comic-book conventions. He lived his life with passion and saw a lot of his dreams come true.

Still, he’s gone too soon.

While I’m proud of all he accomplished in his professional life, my favorite memories are more about who he was as a person. Terry had a dry sense of humor; we could always count on his random one-liners to break the tension in the newsroom. He had a huge heart and genuinely cared about the people in his world. He extended that empathy to the people he interviewed. He hurt when they hurt, and he celebrated their victories right along with them.

Terry loved Sevier County, and I know many Sevier Countians loved him too. He will be missed.

Betsi Hoey Smith

Hopkinsville, Ky.