Austin is losing one of its very best news anchors. Shannon Wolfson, who anchors the 9 p.m. newscast on KXAN‘s sister CW station, KNVA, and fills in for prime anchor Leslie Rhode, is leaving the station after the February ratings period.
In an interview this afternoon, Wolfson, 33, told me that she loves KXAN and loves the people with whom she works, but that it was just a matter of timing and a lack of an available position at KXAN.
“There is only one position to which I could move up and that position is not open,” Wolfson said. ”Leslie is one of my best friends, I love her dearly and I hope she has her job for as long as she wants it. I just want to see where I can go.”
Wolfson, a University of Texas graduate, says she discussed the situation with her husband, her family in the Houston area and with KXAN management for some time.
“This was a really difficult decision for me,” Wolfson said. “I am sad to leave and I wish it would have worked out, but if I had signed a new three-year contract I would have been 36 when it expired.”
Wolfson said it’s a quality of life move for her and her husband, who works in real estate. With her anchor duties, her reporting schedule including stories as a member of KXAN’s investigative team, and her outside activities, Wolfson says she often has 11-12 hour days. She has begun looking at possible new opportunities.
“I love telling stories and having the time to get into a story,” Wolfson said. “Most of all, I just want to work for good people.
“I can’t thank the management at KXAN enough. They let me move up and they have been great to me. Chad Cross, our new news director, is a very kind leader, and he made this process, which was hard for me, so much easier. There was no negativity whatsoever.”
Replacing Wolfson on the 9 p.m. newscast and on the investigative team is Robert Maxwell, currently the weekday morning co-anchor with Sally Hernandez. Maxwell will also become lead reporter for KXAN News at 10 p.m. He will begin his new assignments on January 7th.
Maxwell joined KXAN last March after previous anchor and reporting positions in Toronto, Orlando, and Salt Lake City.
Replacing Maxwell on weekday mornings will be Brian Sanders, who has been anchoring weekend mornings since March. Sanders will make the move on December 20.
Sanders came to KXAN in 2006 as weekend sports anchor. He is a Houston native and a graduate of Texas A&M University. His first job was at KSAN, San Angelo.