A Fond Farewell ( & A Future in Flip-flops )

It has been an immense joy and honor to deliver the news to Central Texas for the past 32 years. Austin is my home and always will be. I’ve been incredibly blessed to have spent my entire career in this amazing city and I will forever be touched by the kindness and support this community has shown me. But, I feel in my heart now is the time to write a new chapter in my life. So, at the end of May, I’ll be stepping down from the anchor desk to start a new adventure.

I’ve always said I’d leave the TV business on my own terms. KEYE has been nothing but supportive in my 11 years here and recently offered me a generous contract to stay. I will deeply miss my colleagues who are some of the most dedicated people in the business. As an anchor, I’ve sometimes felt like the General of an army. We are out front getting the credit for the hard work & sacrifices of the troops in the field. Television is a unique work environment … a big room full of fun, creative people where friendships are forged quickly. I’ve never had my own office and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

By far, the greatest gifts of my long tenure in television news are the close friends I’ve made along the way. These are life-long friends who I love dearly.  I’ve also had the world’s best co-anchors who are all like brothers to me.  I think of Ron Oliveira as the kind, caring older brother and Walt Maciborski as the funny kid brother who makes me laugh. I’m grateful for always having equal, hard-working partners on the anchor desks at both KVUE & KEYE. Image

(Dinner last week with Ron Oliveira and Troy Kimmel. I love these guys!)

I was lucky to work in the glory days of television news before competition from computers and countless cable channels. Anyone who spent time in television news in the 1980’s will tell you it was a blast and even bit magical. TV stations had huge budgets and we were able to take the time to do quality work at the local level every single day.

I am also fortunate to have so many memorable career highlights: interviewing two Presidents, walking through the Wildflower Center arm in arm with Lady Bird Johnson, singing with Willie Nelson on his bus, attending three Presidential Inaugurations and three national political conventions. I’ve relished the lengthy interviews with some of my role models in television news: Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather, Peter Jennings, Ted Koppel and Barbara Walters. But the stories that stick with me are the ones that have touched my heart about ordinary people doing something extraordinary.  I’ve had the best job in the world for more than three decades!

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I will always be a journalist and writer and perhaps those skills will bring me back to television news in some form or fashion in the future. But, starting in late May, I plan to travel with my husband, swim, do yoga and spend more time on my volunteer work (singing at nursing homes) and give back to this city that has been so good to me. In other words, I’ll live life, Austin-style, in flip flops for a while!

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