Vatis leaving NBC 5 for ‘change in her life’

Kim Vatis

Kim Vatis

Off to pursue “new adventures,” WMAQ-Channel 5 reporter and news anchor Kim Vatis is resigning her full-time position at the NBC-owned station after 16 years.

Her last day anchoring weekend morning newscasts alongside Anthony Ponce is expected to be Dec. 1. But Frank Whittaker, station manager and vice president of news at NBC 5, is leaving the door open for Vatis to return.

“Kim has decided it’s time for a change in her life,” Whittaker said in a memo. “With her daughter, Dakota, now off to college, Kim is hoping to travel more and take on other projects outside of local television news.

“While Kim is off to new adventures, she and I have discussed continuing her relationship with NBC 5 News on a part-time basis, both for daily reporting and special projects. We’ll be working out those details in the weeks ahead.”

Whittaker praised Vatis, calling her “an integral part of NBC 5 News both on the street as a reporter and on the anchor desk. Her work is exemplary — she is aggressive, hard-working and always gets the goods.”

Before joining NBC 5 in 1997, Vatis was an anchor and reporter in Orlando, Jacksonville and Gainesville, Florida, and Bangor, Maine. She graduated from the University of Florida.

Monday noon update: Vatis tweeted the following: “I will always love news. But after 30 years. The time is right to move on.. So excited!”