Signing Off in Cincy

Longtime WCPO Anchor Carol Williams is signing off the late newscast next month. 

After 29 years at WCPO Williams will leave the 11 p.m. anchor desk.

Williams, the longest-tenured 11 p.m. female news anchor in town, will work part-time in 2016, and retire in 2017, said Alex Bongiorno, WCPO News Director said in an email to staffers late Friday.

The departure of Williams, hired in 1986, means that three-fourths of the main anchor team will change in less than three years, following the exits of sports anchor Dennis Janson (2013) and news anchor Clyde Gray (2014).

Staring Jan. 4, Williams will anchor at 5 and 6 p.m. with Craig McKee, who was hired last June to fill the vacancy from Gray’s retirement.

Tanya O’Rourke, who has anchored morning, noon and nights during her 23 years at the station, will co-anchor at 11 p.m. with McKee on Jan. 4. O’Rourke co-anchored the late news with Williams for nine months between Gray and McKee.

Bongiorno praised Williams saying:

“We have been fortunate enough to have an incredible talent like Carol Williams as our main co-anchor here at WCPO. She is not only a wonderful professional, but just as great person to boot.

“After 29 years, Carol is moving to part-time anchor role starting next month. Carol will continue to anchor 2 newscasts, but she is coming off the 11 p.m.  In addition she has decided to retire January 2017. In the meantime, Carol will continue to turn quality stories that impact the Tri state and anchor key newscasts in the afternoon.

“Thankfully we will have plenty of time to celebrate her career and what she has meant to this team and to Cincinnati. Moving forward the lineup for our anchors will be as follows starting Jan. 4th.