Five-time Emmy award winning journalist, attorney, and Gulf War fighter pilot Willard Shepard has brought his unique insight to NBC 6 viewers as an anchor and investigative reporter for more than two decades. He has anchored the 5 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and weekend editions of the NBC 6 News.
Shepard, a member of the Florida Bar, uses his legal skills to develop broadcasts on police reforms, law enforcement policies and procedures—a focus before and after the death of George Floyd. His consumer investigations uncover fraud, and reveal progressive innovations in private business and government. His reports also show families how to protect their daily travels, finances, home, credit, and health during the Covid-19 pandemic. In the 2020 Presidential campaign, he not only delivered the views of the candidates for the White House, but brought insightful reports on the legal challengers that followed.
An expert in the military and aviation, Shepard uses his combat experience to guide viewers through the ongoing terrorist threats at home and abroad. He gives the public an inside look at the federal, state, and local efforts to keep America safe. His work detailing anti-terror efforts underwater to protect ports and cruise ships earned him an Emmy award. During the military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, his military background brought a detailed perspective on the battlefront. He has also covered military conflicts in Bosnia and Kosovo. He guided viewers through the return of Boeing’s 737 Max to service after two fatal accidents.
Shepard came to WTVJ in 1994 from CBS affiliate WJW-TV in Cleveland, Ohio, where he anchored the morning news and was a special projects reporter where he received an Emmy Award for his news series "The State of Black Cleveland." He has also been honored for his reporting by the Associated Press, United Press International and the Aviation and Space Writers Association.
In addition to his commitment to news, Shepard was a Lt. Colonel in the United States Air Force and Reserve. His A-10 squadron was the first Air Force Reserve Fighter unit ever to go into combat. During the Gulf War, Shepard flew 52 combat sorties over Iraq and Kuwait. He was awarded six Air Medals for his support of Coalition Army Ground Forces. Shepard has also flown missions over Bosnia for NATO. He was the first Air Force pilot to fly the Soviet Mig-29 fighter. As a staff officer, Lt. Colonel Shepard examined air operations programs at U.S. Southern Command.
For the Air Force Reserve today, he assists high school students in obtaining ROTC scholarships and appointments to the USAF Academy. He now flies search and rescue missions for the USAF Civil Air Patrol and has flown countless sorties in the USAF CAP program showing middle and high school students aviation opportunities in the USAF and beyond.
He is a graduate of the Florida International University College of Law and specializes in media and aviation legal issues. Shepard graduated cum laude from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and Theater. He is a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Air Force Officer Training School in San Antonio, Texas, and a finalist for the prestigious White House Fellowship program.
Shepard is actively involved in the community. He currently works with the Miami-Dade County School Board’s “5,000 Role Models” program, teaching middle and high school students the values they need to succeed. He and his wife, Tainna, are parents to Gianmarco and Francesca.