WJW anchor Wilma Smith is leaving the Cleveland Fox affiliate, she announced on Monday evening’s newscasts.
“I’ve loved every second I’ve worked here at Fox 8, and I’ve been in your homes for more than 20 years now, but I have decided that I want to spend more time with my gift from God, my husband Tom,” Smith said. “So I have decided to retire from the station at the end of May.”
Smith’s departure will cap off a 35-year career, all of it spent anchoring in Cleveland. She worked at ABC affiliate WEWS for 17 years before joining WJW in 1995.
“There are strong mixed emotions here, as you might imagine,” WJW general manager Greg Easterly told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “Wilma is a big part of this station, but while we’re sorry to see her go, we’re happy she’s going out on a high note and for reasons we certainly all understand.”
For the past eight years, Smith has anchored the 6 p.m. newscast alongside Lou Maglio. The station has not yet decided on a replacement for Smith, according to the Plain Dealer.