BREAKING NEWS: WJW FOX 8’s Tim Taylor Retiring

Cleveland FOX O&O WJW/8 has announced the impending retirement of Tim Taylor, the station’s long-time evening anchor. WJW reports that Taylor will step down shortly before Christmas.

Taylor’s WJW bio says he came to the station, then a CBS affiliate, some 29 years ago after a brief stint as a reporter and weekend anchor at ABC affiliate WEWS/5. His 40-plus year broadcast news career started in radio in Ashtabula – we’d have to assume at WFUN/970, based on when – and moved to TV after Taylor came to Cleveland to work for WHK/1420.

Recently, Taylor and his popular veteran co-anchor, Wilma Smith, voluntarily cut their duties to the 6 PM edition of “FOX 8 News”. Bill Martin and Stacey Bell now anchor the station’s 5 PM and 10 PM evening casts.

It’s a tribute to his longevity in the market, and his familiarity among viewers here, that we are having trouble not just calling him “Tim”.

In this competitive TV news world, FOX 8 News couldn’t resist a playful shot across the bow… a tease for tonight’s 10 PM report says that Taylor’s announcement was so important, “even the last place station in town tried to cover it”. We don’t have the ratings books handy to see which station officially holds that distinction these days, but a bet on “19 Action News” would probably not lose us the house on that one…

UPDATE: Tip of the hat to Canton market WZKL/92.5 “Q92″‘s night-timer Pat DeLuca for confirming this – he says he saw 19’s Sharon Reed talk about it on her “Buzz” gossip feature during that station’s 4 PM newscast…

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