ABC 7 anchor Kathy Brock retiring

Kathy Brock

Kathy Brock, widely admired co-anchor of WLS-Channel 7’s top-rated 6 and 10 p.m. weekday newscasts, will retire next month after 28 years at the ABC-owned station.

“The time just seems right for change,” Brock, 58, said in an announcement Wednesday. “I want to explore other passions and see what life’s like off the night shift.”

When Brock signs off June 27, she noted that she’ll be sitting alongside the same co-anchor she started with on ABC 7’s weekday morning newscast in 1990. “There is poetry for me in closing out this career sharing the 6 and 10 p.m. desk with my original partner, Alan Krashesky, who has also become a dear friend,” she said.

Calling Brock “an essential part of our news team for close to three decades,” John Idler, president and general manager of ABC 7, said in a statement: “Her intelligence, integrity and commitment to journalism are unrivaled. We will miss her leadership in the newsroom and wish her all the best.”

Alan Krashesky and Kathy Brock

No successor has been named for Brock, who has been co-anchor at 6 p.m. since 1993 and at 10 p.m. since 2003.

“Kathy has been a significant factor in the longstanding success of ABC 7 Eyewitness News,” Jennifer Graves, vice president and news director, said in a statement. “Her professionalism and ability to help viewers understand every aspect of a story have made her someone Chicago news viewers trust and welcome into their homes.”

A native of Pasco, Washington, and graduate of Washington State University, Brock joined ABC 7 after six years at KUTV, the CBS affiliate in Salt Lake City, Utah. She previously worked at stations in Idaho and Washington.

“WLS represents the best of local television news,” she said. “I firmly believe there is no equal and recognize what a gift it has been to be part of this team.”

ABC 7 just ended the May ratings sweep with a commanding lead at 6 and 10 p.m. in overall households and among viewers in the key demographic between 25 and 54.

Here is the text of Brock’s email to colleagues:

To my Work Family:

My news today is personal, with a brief headline:

I'm stepping away from television news.

After nearly 28 years at ABC7, this Farm Girl has decided to replant herself and see where new roots grow.

WLS represents the best of local TV news. I firmly believe there is no equal and have always felt it a privilege to be part of this team.

In 1990, I was hired to work alongside Alan, Jerry and Roz on the Morning Show.

There is poetry for me in closing out this chapter, sharing the 6 and 10pm desk with my original partner, Alan, who over the years, has become a dear friend.

So, you ask -- great station, great people, fulfilling career -- why now? It's basic: my children are solidly launched into their adult lives. The time just seems right for change : I want to explore other passions and see what life's like off the night shift.

I have worked with so many supremely talented people over the years. Yes...that means you.

With gratitude, respect and deep affection,