Augusta, GA (WJBF) – It is the end of an era in local television. WJBF News Channel 6 anchor Chris Kane is hanging up his news hat and exiting the television industry. It has been a long road for him.
Chris began appearing on Augusta-Aiken television as a sports anchor for WAGT-TV. He would then become the sports director. After a brief stint away from the CSRA, Chris returned to continue his already extensive sports career at WJBF-TV. The Central Savannah River Area (CSRA) television audience became used to the most in-depth sports coverage in the region. “Raisin Kane” become a household term.
As sports director, Chris Kane covered some of the most memorable sports events in the region. This includes the Augusta State University golf team’s back-to-back national titles, numerous Masters Tournaments, and acting as main organizer for Augusta’s Run for Boston. Chris was also instrumental in highlighting local athletes. He helped to bring the first and only local high school football awards show.
In 2012, Chris traded in his sports shoes for a news anchor hat when he took on the role of co-anchor of Good Morning Augusta.
In a post Friday morning on Facebook, Chris Kane echoed his sentiments to his co-workers at WJBF News Channel 6 and the viewers of the CSRA.
I wanted to share some news with you guys this morning. Today is my last day on the anchor desk at WJBF News Channel 6. It was MY choice to leave and I want to thank all of my co-workers at WJBF-TV who have been extremely supportive of my decision. It’s not easy to walk away from a career that you’ve put your heart and soul in for 23 years. In fact, it’s the toughest professional decision I’ve ever had to make. However, I’m ready to put down the mic and pursue other opportunities. I’ve always believed that mentors shape who you are and lay the groundwork for what you will eventually become. I can honestly say that I would not have survived one day in this business without the guidance and advice from Max Perilstein, Dan Decrow, Eric Richey and John Appicello. All four took a chance on me early in my broadcasting career and I’m so grateful for these guys. Never forget the people who believed in you from the beginning and I can’t thank Max, Dan, Eric and John enough. 4 years ago, I switched from sports to news and joined the Good Morning Augusta team. A BIG THANK YOU to my WJBF bosses (Bill Stewart, Scott Elledge and Kathy Wideman) for providing me with this opportunity. It was an extremely tough decision to leave my very comfortable job as Sports Director and try something new. That transition was the most nervous I’ve ever been in my broadcasting career. For Mary Morrison and Ed Bloodsworth to welcome me with open arms is something that I’ll always remember and truly appreciate. These two individuals are amazing and do incredible work. Augusta is blessed to have Mary and Ed working on the same morning news team. Thank you Mary Mo and Ed for allowing a former sports guy to crash your morning show party these last 4 years. It was truly a blast! I look forward now to watching my talented good friend Barclay Bishop join the Good Morning Augusta team. She is going to fit in perfectly with Mary and Ed.
As for me, I’m looking forward to getting a few more hours of sleep (no more 2:30 AM wake-up calls for this guy) and seeing where life’s journey takes me next. The good news is that I’m staying in Augusta. This has been my home for nearly two decades and I’m not going anywhere.
THANK YOU AUGUSTA for allowing me into your homes for 17 years. I want you to know it’s something I never took for granted and I will cherish the memories forever.
Also, here are a few things that people who know Chris had to say about him:
The Late Coach Luther Welsh, who was the former Thomson High School football coach, in a 2009 Football Friday Night commercial: “Go!…You’re too slow.” Chris: “Too slow? Are you sure your watch isn’t broken?” Welsh: “No my watch is not broken, you’re just slow.”
“This sportscaster turned news man could tell a story like few others in the business,” said Mary Morrison, Chris’ WJBF News Channel 6 co-anchor.
“Chris Kane has been one of the best professionals. He’s always upbeat bringing the stories to the hometown people. He’s been with us to the Elite Eight, National Championships and he supported us when we took the golf team to the White House. He’ll be missed and we wish him the best,” said Clint Bryant, Augusta University Athletic Director:
“One time, early in my coaching career when I first got here, I got in a little trouble with some technicals. So he jokingly came over and taped me to a chair with my players. This made light of something that was very serious. That’s the way Chris approached things. He’s a great person and he’s impacted Augusta in a tremendous way in his years here,” said Dip Metress, Augusta University Men’s Basketball Coach.
“I’ve known Chris since he’s been in Augusta. I’ve watched him go through his career. I love him. He’s a great young man. I met Chris’s Dad and his Mom and understand where he got it from. Chris is a product of his family,” said Chris’ friend, Ed Presnell.
“We wanted to let you know how proud we are of you on your accomplishments and awards over the last 20 years in Augusta. Most people never get the chance to live the dream of their youth. You lived the dream and have the life and we are happy for you. We love you and are truly proud of you. God bless you,” said Chris’ parents
“And his Channel 6 family loves him too,” MAry Morrison added.
“We are very sad to see you leave. Thankfully I’m a pro at these weather graphics so I’ll at least have this to look at while you’re gone to remember all the fond memories. We are certainly going to miss you here at WJBF and Good Morning Augusta. It’s not going to be quite the same not having you on the desk,” said Ed Bloodsworth, Good Morning Augusta and WJBF News Channel 6 at Noon meteorologist.
“Chris Kane, Good Morning Augusta won’t be the same without you. I love you, I’ll miss you. Best of luck,” Mary Morrison added.
“Thrilled that you are passing the torch on to me. You have done so many great things in this community, preparing the run when the Boston bombings happened, that was awesome. You do great things for all the runners in this community as well. I’m just happy for you. I’ve learned so much from you. You’re a killer story writer and storyteller, and it’s not going to be the same in the mornings without you. But I wish you the best and just thrilled that I get to call you a friend,” said Barclay Bishop, WJBF anchor/reporter.
“What is the greatest golf call of all-time? Is it ‘Maybe…yes, Sir!’? Is it ‘In your life?’ or ‘Better than most!’? Chris, it’s a conversation we’ll have to continue after your life at Channel 6. But I’ve enjoyed it. I’ve also enjoyed talking about Southeaster Conference football. You’re going to do great things in life, my friend, and I wish you the best,” said Brad Means, WJBF anchor
“You know what I’m really going to miss? I’m gonna miss the collection of water bottles. This is just a very small portion. What was the deal with all the water bottles? We want to know. Augusta deserves and answer, Chris. What was the deal with the water bottles? Good luck, buddy,” said Jennie Montgomery, WJBF anchor.
“You’ve been an anchor and have done a great job here at WJBF. We appreciate it and wish you the best of luck,” said Scott Elledge, WJBF News Operations Manager.
“We’re going to so miss your storytelling here at WJBF News Channel 6 as well as the awards you’ve won for that storytelling. Godspeed and I wish you a lot of luck,” said Kathy Wideman, WJBF News Content Manager.
“As one of your biggest fans, we’re really going to miss you here and we wish you the best of luck with everything you do in the future,” said Sandra Schmieden, a Chris Kane fan.
“You’re a great anchor, and award-winning journalist. But you are also, which is unique to this business, a really nice guy which you don’t see very often. Good luck to you in your endeavors, but if you keep being the way you are you won’t need any luck at all,” said George Eskola, WJBF senior reporter.
“I’m so glad we’ve had this time together. Chris Kane we are so sorry to see you leave, but it’s been a joy to work with you. I’ve learned a lot from you, had a few laughs. And we’re just excited about your future. So sorry we have to say goodbye but, until we meet again my friend, farewell and au revoir,” said Kimberely Scott, WJBF anchor.
“Chris it’s hard to believe you’ve been here for eight years. It feels like you just walked in the door yesterday and no matter what you do we’re gonna miss you and our morning show won’t be the same without you,” said Damon Putzier, WJBF executive producer.
“It’s been great working with you for the last year and a half as your morning producer. I just want to say good luck and best wishes on your next adventure,” said Danielle Springsteen, Good Morning Augusta producer.
“I just want to say good luck in the future with whatever you plan on doing. I enjoyed working with you and best of luck,” said Annette Williams, Good Morning Augusta director.
“Kane it’s been great working with and getting to know your quirky side and we’re gonna miss you around here,” said Priscella Wells, Good Morning Augusta director.
“What can I say? This face!” said John Lynn, WJBF weekend meteorologist.
“One word…hashtaging! Wishing you the best of luck and glad you’re staying in the CSRA,” said Rich Rogers, WJBF Social Media Manager.
“Good luck, buddy. Have a great life!”said Randy Key, WJBF Web Content Coordinator.
“Good luck, Chris. Make it happen!” ,” said Dawn Wise, WJBF News Channel 6 at Noon producer.
“Good luck to you, buddy. We appreciate what you’ve done for the community and how you’ve served us well,” said Pete Michenfelder, WJBF Sales.
“I used to watch him and it was such an honor to be able to work next to him and we’re really going to miss you, Chris,” said Stefany Bornman, WJBF reporter.
“Chris I just want to thank you for pushing me to anchor because I was a little scared to do it but you pushed me and helped me through it and I appreciate that,” said Mike Miller, WJBF weekend anchor.
“Chris I want to thank you for giving me my first TV job, putting me on those commercials, getting me out to Augusta National when no one else would. I learned so much from you. You’re a great storyteller and I just wish you the best in life,” said Dominic Lee, WJBF photojournalist.
“Slowly the word has gotten out about Chris’s departure and well wishes continue to pour in,” said Mary Morrison.
“I want to thank you for everything you taught me. You taught me about the news business. A little about life, a little about golf. And the most imporant thing you taught me is…don’t stop running. Just finishe a mile. There’s my medal right there. Probably about a nine minute mile, maybe 8:58. I don’t now. It was pretty blistering fast. Nonetheless, like you said, hashtag don’t stop running, don’t stop running, don’t stop running!” said Tom Wylie, former WJBF weekend Sports anchor.
“Remember when we used to talk at night about how much I missed home? Well, thanks in part to your guidance, I have made it back home. I wish you nothing but joy and success in your post-broadcasting life, said Merissa Lynn, former WJBF weekend Sports anchor.
“Chris Kane, congratulations from Milwaukee. I want to wish you the best of luck on your new journey and say congratulations. Also have to say thank you for teaching me so much about TV news and the biggest thank you is for some of the best newsroom nicknames I’ve ever had: Easy Peasy, Easy Parise, Peasy and Carrots, Jules Rules and my personal favorite, Code 4. Chris, I love you, I miss you, I wish you the best of luck. I’ll see you soon,” said Julie Parise, former WJBF reporter.
“I don’t know what to say, buddy. We here in August all appreciate all the hard work you’ve put in and we all see how much you love Augusta and you love telling stories about us and all the things you do for us. It’s been a great ride and we wish you the best. We know wherever you’re going or whatever you’re doing, you’re going to do an amazing job. We all wish you the very best and we’re definitely going to miss you,” said Vaughn Taylor, PGA Tour golfer.
“Hey Chris! Greetings from StarkVegas. We are so thankful that we met you at Golf Channel and you became our best friend ever since. We wish you all the best in all your future endeavors. We know you’re going to to great and we couldn’t wish anyone any more happiness and success. And love from your Goddaughter, too!” said Mississippi State University head football coach, Dan Mullen, and his wife, Megan (close friends with Chris).
Fernando Velasco/Buffalo Bills: “This is Fernando Velasco of the Buffalo Bills. I just want to send my well wishes to Chris. Hi, my man, how are you doing? Best wishes on whatever your next endeavors are. Now you have a little time. You can work on that sorry golf game of yours (laughter). Alright, man, see you soon!” said Fernando Velasco, former Jefferson County High School and current Buffalo Bills football player.
“Hey Chris, it’s Marci Gonzalez at ABC News. I just heard that you’re leaving Channel 6. Well, congratulations, I wish you all the best in the future and I hope you’ll still keep in touch on Twitter,” said Marci Gonzalez, ABC News correspondent.
“There we were…15 years ago. It was a different time, a crazy time. We were just two kids trying to figure it all out. Now, here we are 15 years later and we’re still…trying to figure it all out. But, I think after today you might have a one shot lead on me. The memories? You know to go through them all I’d need another half hour show. I look forward to many more to come. Hit ’em straight…and you know I’ll always save a seat at the 19th hole,” said John Hart, WJBF anchor and former Sports Director.