One recent summer day, KRQE general manager Bill Anderson received a text message from long-time station anchor Dick Knipfing:
“I’m out walking my dog, and for the first time I’m thinking I don’t want to come in tonight. Maybe it’s time to talk about retiring.”
Anderson immediately shot back: “Get a cat! I’ll talk you out of retiring when I see you.”
Nope. Not this time. After 51 years, Knipfing, the elder statesman of local TV news, will be signing off after Channel 13′s 10 p.m. newscast on July 31. He will be replaced by anchor Dean Staley, who, Anderson said, was being groomed to slide into Knipfing’s 10 p.m. chair after Knipfing no longer wanted to sit there.
“I’ll figure out ways to get him back in the building and doing some work with us,” Anderson said Tuesday. “He has been so good for us on the inside as a leader, a journalist, editorial manager, writer, fact checker and cheerleader – stuff that viewers on the outside never get to see.”
Knipfing was taking it all in stride. “I’m 71 years old. It’s just time,” he told the Journal. “I’ve got a lot of energy and I’m in good health and I just want to participate more fully in life. Being a TV news guy, the daily deadline stress and pressure are unending. That’s the way it should be, but I’m tired of it. It’s time for me to move on and a younger guy to move in.”