WJLA’s Leon Harris toasted Kathleen Matthews’ departure on yesterday’s 5pm newscast (and the Post has more here).
HARRIS: I’ve got a big big secret that I can finally talk about. All of us here at ABC 7 had a very big surprise this afternoon with a station meeting and we found out that our good buddy here Kathleen is very very good at keeping a secret, because after nearly 30 years here at WJLA TV, my friend and co-anchor Kathleen Matthews announced today that she’s going to be leaving television news for a new career. Kathleen’s accepted a job as executive vice president for global comunications and public affairs for the international Marriott hotel chain. That is great news for them and bad news for us. Huge job. We are all so very very proud of you, Kathleen for getting this opportunity and being able to go out and take advantage of it. Sorry that you’re leaving, you’re leaving some huge holes and hearts around this building, I can tell you that. But you will still be here. Kathleen will be here with us through the fall. And also she’ll be contributing to different stories here on ABC 7 after she leaves.
MATTHEWS: Thank you very much. Working for Channel 7 all these years, three decades, it’s been such an incredible experience and I know viewers have watched me grow from being a neophyte reporter, actually growing up almost infront of your eyes to being here at the anchor desk with you Leon and it’s been a great experience. I thank the ALbrecht famiy that owns WJLA for all the opportunity they’ve given me over the years. Bill Marriott has offered me the job of my dreams, a fabulous opportunity to contribute to a hometown business that is also a global powerhouse. 2800 marriot hotels around th world and so it’s really exciting to be part of that team. But it’s not goodbye because I’ll be here for a couple more months and there will be plenty of times to say goodbye to my audience.