After nearly three decades of working on holidays and, more recently, missing most of her 13-year-old daughter’s junior high basketball games, Chrys Peterson had enough of the weeknight schedule required of an evening news anchor.
With her contract up at the end of this year, the longtime anchor at WTOL-TV, Channel 11, is leaving the station to spend more time with her family, husband Tom Runnells and their daughter Riley Runnells.
“I have this nagging thing about missing my daughter’s events and missing her last four years at home with us,” Peterson, 48, said. “[But] news is a 24-7 business … you have to be here certain hours and there’s no flexibility with that. At some point you have to say the sacrifice is too much, it’s taking a toll on my family.
“I only saw two [of Riley’s] games last year. One I took a day off and the other was a Saturday game. At the end of the day I feel like the sacrifice is too much. If I mess things up with her, anything else I’ve done in my life is not going to matter.”
Peterson’s husband is the bench coach of the Colorado Rockies and is with the team eight months of the year, she said. “At some point [Riley’s] kind of like an orphan. If I can’t be there when she’s doing something from February to October, she doesn’t really have anybody.
“The timing was just right for me to say goodbye. It was a really tough decision.”
Peterson said her last day at the station is Feb. 28. There’s been no announcement on her replacement.
C.J. Hoyt, news director for Channel 11, said in an email statement to The Blade that Peterson will be missed in the newsroom.
“Chrys has been a fixture at WTOL and, more importantly, in this community for 20 years. I can’t begin to express how much she will be missed," he said. "The good news is that she’ll remain a part of this community and a part of the many projects that are near to her heart and important to our viewers and WTOL, like Race for the Cure. It’s certainly going to be impossible to truly replace her, so we’ll talk more about that at a more appropriate time.”
In a story that appeared on WTOL's Web site, Jerry Anderson praised his longtime co-anchor as "the epitome of professional journalism who also just happens to be a warm, caring, generous-to-a-fault person.
"For nearly 20 years, Chrys has gone anywhere and done anything for a great story or a good cause. Now she is doing something for the best cause of all -- family," he wrote.
"As parents, we know the clock is ticking. Chrys is especially feeling that right now. Riley sings, acts, plays sports, and excels in the classroom. Chrys needs to be there for that, and now she will be."
Contact Kirk Baird at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6734.