On workdays, news anchor Suzanne Boyd wakes up around the time that much of America goes to sleep. She’s out of bed by 1:30 a.m., arrives at her job by 2:30 and is on the air, beaming into more than 794,000 homes in the West Palm Beach market, by 4:30 a.m., when the national news channels are airing reruns. Her on-camera shift ends at 7.

Needless to say, she’s thankful for coffee.

“My commute is awesome,” she says. “There’s no one on the road except for a couple of drunks.”

Boyd, 39 and a mother of two, is one of the flagship anchors on WPEC-TV, Palm Beach County’s CBS affiliate. The graveyard shift is a relatively new one for her and longtime co-anchor Eric Roby. Over a 15-year career with the network, she’s worked weekends, 5 p.m. slots and 10 p.m. broadcasts.

Boyd has covered three hurricanes, the 2000 election debacle, the anthrax scares and Sept. 11. On the lighter side, she’s done her share of weird Florida stories—from a high-flying department store Santa whose beard caught in a wire at Gardens Mall to a Stuart woman who weighed so much that a flatbed truck had to remove her from her couch.

Along the way, Boyd has earned three Associated Press awards for her feature-story work, including one in which she tested local leaders, parents and teachers on the controversial FCAT (in reading comprehension, the students outperformed the adults).

An anchorperson with the mind-set of an investigative journalist, she loves the pace of news, relishing the days when it breaks every minute.

“That’s why I got into the business,” she says. “I’m not someone who can sit behind a desk and have stuff piling up and have projects to work on months in advance. I like the fact that you come in, it’s different from minute to minute, and when it’s over it’s over. There’s nothing hanging over your head. And I’m a procrastinator. I wait until the last minute to do everything, so this is a perfect job for me..."

To continue reading, pick up a copy of our May/June issue.