Kansas City Sports Anchor Karen Kornacki Retires After 41 Years in Market

By Kevin Eck 

KMBC sports anchor Karen Kornacki has retired from the Kansas City ABC affiliate after 41 years in the market.

She joined the station in 1983 and was the first female sports anchor and reporter in Kansas City.

A year before she started her career at WBNS in Columbus, Ohio in 1979, Sports Illustrated had to go to court to get one of its women reporters clubhouse access at the World Series.


Kornacki’s husband, former Yankees pitcher Clay Christiansen, bought her a cedar plank that reads: “The pioneers take all the arrows.”

“That’s why it’s meaningful for me to see that is easier for women today, and that I played a part in it somehow,” she told the Kansas City Star.

“When I was growing up in Lenexa, I could turn on the TV, see Karen, and know a career in sports broadcasting was possible for me,” said KCTV anchor and reporter Marleah Campbell. “Karen is a trailblazer in every sense of the word.”