In new book, former Miss NH and WMUR-TV anchor opens up about a dark chapter

New Hampshire Union Leader
June 13. 2017 11:22AM
Goffstown author and former WMUR anchor Cathy Burnham Martin with her loyal sidekick, Bandit. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)

Cathy Burnham Martin left WMUR-TV in 1994 after more than a decade of covering everything from parties to presidential candidates as a reporter and anchor.

“I wanted to get out while I still had a soul,” she said in a recent interview. “I didn’t like the direction media was going ... It became more flash and trash and more hype and teasing than actual stories.”

Her favorite assignment there was traveling to Germany a few days after the Berlin Wall fell in 1989.

One story she didn’t tell was her own — until now.

“When a gun was waved in my face and a knife pressed to my throat, I did not think I would even make it through the night,” Martin wrote in her latest book, “The Bimbo Has Brains: And Other Freaky Facts” ($20).

In the interview, the 1975 Miss New Hampshire said she felt she needed to disclose in the book that she was a victim of domestic violence in a previous marriage. 

“If we’re coming clean and saying this is what makes us tick and tick well or better in relationships, then everything has to be out,” said Martin, 63, who lives in Goffstown. “For me to seem to have lived this charmed life would be false.”

“I lived in mud,” she said. “Everything was mud, and yet every day I would have to walk into work and act like everything was fine.” There were times during her WMUR years when a security guard would walk her from the building to her car, she wrote.

She’s already heard from readers who say sharing her experience has empowered them.

The new book “revolves around what I call dashing double standards, stomping on stereotypes and helping people thrive, not just survive relationship challenges,” Martin said.
Former TV reporter Cathy Burnham Martin, with her dog, Bandit, at her Goffstown home. Martin recently published a new book. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)

Kirkus Reviews said of her book: “Overall, the book is an unusual mixture of received wisdom — the sort of jokes and quotations one might store in the bathroom for an occasional laugh — and serious relationship advice to keep by the bedside for everyday consultation.”

Her book highlights advice in larger type, including:

• “I’m not crazy. My reality is just different than yours.” 

• “Real life is full of fake people.”

• “Think how much you could do if you didn’t care what other people think.”

• “I’m not weird. I’m a limited edition.”

• “It’s just a bad day, not a bad life.”

She plans to release a sequel next year, tackling political correctness, the workplace and money issues.

People, whether they are assessing a career or choosing a spouse, need to answer a few simple questions: “What do you want and what do you not want?”

She said some people feel trapped in a job they think they need to work at until retirement.

“Find a happy place so you can finish your job and not be miserable. What is it that makes you sing?” she said.

Her previous books included cookbooks and one that listed her Maltipoo dog, Bandit, as the author.

People also need to view the world as a glass that is half-full, not half-empty.

“You’ve got to have that sense of humor when you’re looking at life,” she said. “It’s just too short not to go: Where do we find a silver lining here? What good can come out of this?”

Martin will sign books at Barnes & Noble in Manchester on Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m.

NH People

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