Fox 32 losing anchor Jeff Herndon

Jeff Herndon

Citing family reasons, Jeff Herndon is stepping down at the end of the month as 5 and 9 p.m. weekday news anchor at Fox-owned WFLD-Channel 32.

“We wanted Jeff to remain part of our team, but right now family is Jeff’s top priority,” Matt Piacente, news director of Fox 32, told staffers in an email Thursday. “So Jeff is going back home to Kansas. I personally wish Jeff all the best as a colleague, and as a friend.”

Herndon released the following statement: "After four amazing years in Chicago, I'll be moving back to my home state of Kansas at the end of August. My wife and I have made some lifelong friends in this incredible city. It really is a unique place, and will always be close to our hearts.

"My teammates at Fox 32 are some of the most talented professionals I have ever had the pleasure to work with. A great group of people who work extremely hard every single day to serve the people of Illinois and the great city of Chicago.”

No word yet on who will replace him alongside co-anchor Dawn Hasbrouck. As reported here Wednesday, Fox 32 is close to hiring former Chicago sports anchor Rafer Weigel for an unspecified news anchor role at the station. Weigel now works as 6 and 10 p.m. news anchor at KTVI, the Fox affiliate in St. Louis.

Herndon joined Fox 32 in August 2013 from KAKE, the ABC affiliate in Wichita, Kansas, where he anchored news for 12 years. The Wichita State University graduate previously was sports anchor at KTKA, the ABC affiliate in Topeka, Kansas.