Leaving the Sports Desk in The A-T-L

After more than two decades WXIA sports anchor Fred Kalil told viewers during last evenings 6 p.m newscast that he is stepping down from that much coveted job.

News director Ellen Crooke alerted the staff that the announcement was coming: 

"Our Fred Kalil …the guy we all love, the guy who makes us laugh, the guy with a heart the size of Buick has an announcement he wants to share with all of you. We are sending it to all of you first before we tell the community tonight. Just remember Fred will continue to cover sports for us on air… in fact watch sports tonight as he previews this weekend’s biggest college game ! We love ya Fred!"

In this farewell video narrated by Jaye Watson, he expressed his love for sports and his desire as a young man to become an anchor, a dream he pulled off with aplomb.

He had a benign cyst removed from his brain in 2000 but it took months for him to recover short-term memory. He returned to the air three months later and took medication to avoid seizures. He said recently, he has had more trouble reading the prompter.  He felt it was time to step away from anchoring but will still do stories on occasion. (Whether he will remain on a freelance or part-time basis has not been clarified). 

"It stinks," he told Watson. "It's tough. It's tough, it really is. I can't tell you how hard it is... I used to be able to do all this stuff in my sleep." At the same time, he said he has no regrets.

Here is the video from last night's newscast: