KEYE anchor Judy Maggio is retiring from the Austin CBS affiliate at the end of May.
Maggio has worked on-air in Austin for 33 years. She told the Austin American-Statesman she declined a generous contract extension from KEYE to stay.
The American-Statesman profiled the longtime Austin anchor as she prepares to step down from the anchor chair and start a new chapter in her life.
“She’s been coming into people’s homes for 33 years. Think about all the lives she’s touched,” [Walt] Maciborski said. “It’s going to be weird without her. We’re a family. We’ll have a huge hole.”
Maciborski, sports director Bob Ballou and chief meteorologist Chikage Windler said there’s no shortage of things they’ll miss once Maggio departs next week.
“She’s such an amazing journalist,” Ballou said. “We’ve been through four different owners and she’s never lost her passion, her journalistic integrity. It’s inspiring to have someone who’s not afraid to stand up for what’s right. She is the lifeblood of this station.”
In particular, Ballou said, Maggio’s coworkers count on her trademark laugh to keep them smiling throughout the day.
“She’s an incredible friend,” he said. “Every day, as soon as Judy walks in, she’ll laugh or make a joke. She’s really able to bring the newsroom up.”
With just more than a year at KEYE under her belt, Windler is the newcomer in the bunch but said Maggio became an instant friend.
“I really wish she’d reconsider and stay,” Windler said. “In TV, it’s amazing to have that kind of longevity in one city. It’s a very rare feat.”[KEYE VP and GM Amy] Villarreal and Greg Turchetta, KEYE’s news director, said they both realize replacing Maggio won’t be easy. In fact, they said it just might be one of the toughest tasks they’ve ever undertaken.
“She’s been the rock in our newsroom,” Turchetta said. “More than that, Judy is a brand name in Austin. She knows who everyone is, and everyone knows who she is. You have to build that. It takes time.”
“She’s Judy Maggio,” Villarreal said. “She’s been through every major news event in Austin for the past three decades. I’ll be lonely without her, but I’m at ease knowing this is what she wanted and that she’s going out on her terms.”