By Barry Smith

When Reshad Hudson was growing up in Alabaster in a single-parent family in his grandmother’s house, he never pictured himself as a national political reporter. But life has a funny way of surprising you.

Raised with his older brother by his grandmother Shirley Bishop and his mother Darlene, Hudson was a shy high school student at Thompson High School and a member of Thompson’s Marching Southern Sounds band—more specifically the drum line. “Band took up a lot of time in high school,” he says. Growing up off Simmsville Road in Ward 1, Hudson’s family attended Mt Olive Missionary Baptist Church. Each Sunday, Hudson would read the announcements to the congregation. “Part of me was preparing to be a news reporter,” he says. “I liked letting people know what was going on.”

After Hudson graduated, he went to the University of Alabama with a plan to go to law school. “But I had such an admiration for reporters growing up,” Hudson says. “I was so fascinated by the Birmingham news stations.” So, Hudson majored in political science—still with law school in mind—but minored in broadcast journalism. Eventually he switched the minor to another major and turned his full attention to broadcast news. “I fell in love with the reporting aspect of news,” Hudson says.

With mentorship from his professor Dr. Chandra Clark, Hudson threw himself fully into political reporting. “I always pitched political stories,” Hudson recalls. “Dr. Clark was tough, but she saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself. She pushed me to be better.”

The summer before Hudson’s senior year, Clark encouraged Hudson to pursue a minority internship opportunity, and he received a six-week broadcast internship at an ABC affiliate in Dothan, Alabama. “For the last half of the internship, they treated me like a reporter,” Hudson says. “The smaller market allowed me to gain hands-on experience.” After graduation, the same station—WDHN in Dothan—hired Hudson full time. “I was fortunate,” Hudson says. “I had a job before I even graduated.” He started full time at the station in June 2015, one month after his college graduation.

First interview with President Biden October 7th 2022 Syracuse NY


But Hudson’s dream was to report in Birmingham. “I wanted my family to be able to watch me,” he says. In 2017, Hudson made the jump to Fox6 in Birmingham, where he remained for two years as a multimedia journalist. “What I really wanted was to cover politics,” Hudson says. So, when he saw that CBS42 was looking for a political reporter in Montgomery, Hudson jumped at the opportunity. While employed by CBS42, Hudson reported for all five Alabama Nexstar stations. “I lived in Montgomery covering the state house and senate and I did 10 one-on-one interviews with Governor Kay Ivey and built a strong working relationship with her staff.”

In May 2020, after the onset of the Covid 19 Pandemic, Hudson received a call that changed the trajectory of his career. “I got a call from my boss in Birmingham that the DC Bureau was interested in talking to me,” he says. “We started talking, and I was hired in October 2020.” So, Hudson moved to Washington DC in November 2020 following the contentious national elections. His role was as a political reporter for Nexstar covering Alabama politics in DC for their local Alabama markets. “Covering Alabama politics prepared me for reporting on the federal level,” Hudson says. Local viewers can see Hudson on cut-ins during the nightly news broadcasts on CBS42.

Since moving to DC, Hudson has scored some major “gets” as a political correspondent. He interviewed Vice President Kamala Harris on Zoom in January 2022, and then scored an interview in Syracuse, New York, with President Joe Biden in October 2022. “I had seven minutes to talk to him,” Hudson says of the President. “We talked about the economy and why he was in Syracuse.” After that initial interview, Hudson continued to reach out to the President’s staff for another interview. This April, Hudson nailed presidential interview number two in the President’s hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania. “I got more time with him this time,” Hudson says. “We talked about the 2024 election, the economy, and the war in the Middle East. He told me to “never forget where you’re from.’”

Which Hudson never does. “I want to stay in DC because it’s the most important capitol in the world,” he says. “But I want to continue to grow as a reporter and continue to bring my background in Alabama to DC. Local news matters! Politics touches everyone’s life—it’s important to have reporters reporting so that people can stay educated and engaged.”

Hudson also wants to model what being an African-American man looks like in broadcast news. “I take my responsibilities very seriously,” he says. “I want people who are raised in situations like mine to know they can do this too. If you see yourself, you can believe it’s possible.”

Keynote speaker at the Alabama Scholastic Press Association 2024 Convention