Award-winning journalist Patrice Wood has been delivering the news to Southern New England on WJAR-TV, Channel 10, since February, 1980, making her the longest-serving female newscaster in Rhode Island television history. She currently anchors the main evening newscasts, Monday through Friday, at 5:00, 6:00, 10:00 and 11:00.
Holly Patrice Wood grew up on a farm in Rockford, Ohio and gives her father, Duane Wood, credit for instilling in her a strong work ethnic which has served her well as she built a successful career in television news. Wood and her two sisters, Sheila and Colleen, spent their childhood days taking care of farm animals, driving tractors, and pulling weeds out of soybean fields. Patrice says she inherited her inquisitive nature, determination, and interest in writing from her talented mother, Virginia Wood, a trailblazing newspaper reporter at the St. Mary’s Evening Leader in Ohio.
Patrice attended Bowling Green State University in Ohio where she got here first break in television news at WBGU-TV in 1975. At that PBS station, her duties included writing copy for the evening anchors and occasionally anchoring and reporting. After earning a Bachelor of Science in Journalism in 1977, she was hired by WDHO-TV in Toledo, Ohio to forecast the weather on a morning news show, eventually becoming a reporter, weekend anchor, and then producer. In those early days, she would often work alone as a “one-man band,” reporting while carrying a camera and filming her own stories. She fondly remembers taking a camera home after work and cheerfully jumping out of bed in the middle of the night to film breaking news. WJAR-TV hired Wood in 1980, first as a street reporter and then promoting her to evening news anchor with legendary journalist Doug White in 1982.
Wood has been the recipient of numerous volunteer and professional awards including the prestigious Silver Circle Award from the New England Association of Television Arts and Sciences and the Congressional Angels in Adoption Award. Her Tuesday’s Child reports, profiling hundreds of foster children, have resulted in the adoption of approximately two-thirds of the boys and girls she has featured since 2004, according to Adoption Rhode Island. In fact, Wood says that working with Adoption Rhode Island to help children find permanency and stability is one of the most rewarding experiences in her life.
Patrice also regularly visits school classrooms and mentors young people interested in journalism. For her contributions to the field of journalism, in 2017 Roger Williams University bestowed upon her an honorary degree–a Doctorate of Communications.
Also noteworthy, Wood managed to accomplish all of this while raising a family with her husband, Paul Pabis, whom she married in 1982 in Barrington, Rhode Island. Wood says nothing is more important to her than her husband, their two grown children, Jonathan and Stephanie (both college graduates), her extended family, loyal friends, and her NBC-10 family. “They, along with my church and faith in God, keep me focused and grounded. Without them and their unending support, encouragement, and love,” says Patrice, “none of this would have been possible.”
Ms. Wood was inducted into the Rhode Island Radio and Television Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2019 and for her many contributions to her adopted state, Holly Patrice Wood is hereby inducted into the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame.
Michael E. Lyons