Jane Helmke, who has been news director at KARE in Minneapolis/St. Paul for the last seven years, is stepping down.
“Journalism has never been just a job. It is an honor and a great responsibility,” Helmke wrote in a note to her colleagues late today. “I am so fortunate to have spent the past 35 years with the best people at the best television station in the country…who know how to have a little fun too!”
Helmke is leaving to spend more time with her family. Her partner is battling cancer and the couple has two teenage children.
“I look forward to seeing you early next week to tell you in person how special you are to me and how very proud I’ve been to stand next to each of you for our community,” she wrote.
“It goes without saying that this is a difficult decision for Jane,” added KARE GM John Remes. “We are all very familiar with Jane’s commitment, long hours and passion for all things KARE 11, but it is the right decision given family priorities.”
In her 35 years with KARE, Helmke has worked in almost every department, starting as an intern in sports, moving on to jobs as special projects producer, and managing editor, before being named news director in 2011.
Assistant News Director Stacey Nogy will oversee day-to-day newsroom operations for now.