Ex-Bay News 9 anchor Leigh Moody now social media expert at SPCA Tampa Bay
But four months after being fired from Bright House Networks' 24-hour cable newschannel, Moody has turned her extracurricular passion into a new job -- as a social media consultant for the SPCA Tampa Bay, local advocates sharing a cause with the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
While at Bay News 9, Moody kept an unnamed blog where she talked a lot about her five cats, along with Twitter and Facebook pages (she eventually shuttered a personal Twitter page in favor of using the company's official platforms). All the social media work she did at the newschannel developed skills allowing her to supervise the SPCA's three Facebook pages and her relaunched blog, now called Leigh Moody's Animal Blog.
"I looked at the other stations around town, and they certainly weren't going to have anchor jobs," said Moody, a Palm Harbor native who was let go by the newschannel after 10 years in January; neither the former anchor nor Bay News 9 officials would provide specific information on the reason. "I kinda knew my heart was out of it -- it's not a growing industry. This is my chance to try something new and I got lucky."
At the SPCA, Moody will be trying to use social media to leverage donations and awareness for the group's media campaigns, including an unnamed fundraising walk now under development and their already-launched Adopt-a-Human campaign, featuring Tampa Bay area folks who have already adopted pets as a way of encouraging others to follow suit.
""I always knew I was going to have to have a second act, especially being a woman in TV news -- we don't last too long," said Moody, who expressed few regrets in leaving the news anchor ranks. "(The drop in pay) it not as bad as some would think. The trade off is you're really happy every day doing what you're doing...If you take a little bit of a pay cut, that's not so bad."