After 48 years in the business, veteran Chicago sportscaster Rich King is ready to call it quits. King announced Sunday he plans to retire June 15 as sports anchor and reporter at Tribune Media WGN-Channel 9.
“I still feel I am in top form and could go on for a year or two, but it is better to go out on your feet instead of being carted out the door feet first on a stretcher,” he wrote on Facebook.
King, 68, a native of Chicago’s South Side and graduate of De La Salle High School and the University of Illinois at Chicago, first joined WGN as an intern in 1968 and was hired as a writer and producer in 1969. He spent more than two decades at CBS-owned WBBM AM 780 and WBBM-Channel 2 before returning to WGN as sports anchor and reporter in 1991.
“For nearly 25 years, he’s been a rock in our sports department,” said WGN news director Jennifer Lyons. “Everyone knows Chicagoans are serious about their sports and they trusted Rich to bring them a front row seat to all the big moments. . . . Beyond a talented journalist and sports anchor/reporter, Rich is one of the kindest men in the business. Hard working is an understatement. Whether it was chasing the Cup at 1 in the morning or surviving sub-zero temps in Green Bay, he always took on every assignment without a complaint.”
In 2014 King was inducted in the Silver Circle of the Chicago/Midwest chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
Here is the text of King’s post on Facebook:
it is finally official. i am calling it quits on June 15th. the end of a 48 year career that wildly exceeded every dream I had when it began on that warm summer day in 1968. It is fitting it will end where it began, at WGNTV where I started out as an intern. Sandwiched in between was a 24 year run at CBS radio and TV. I plan to enjoy each day in the final five months hoping the Bulls and Blackhawks will send me out with a nice playoff run. I told my boss ,Jen Lyons , that it will be hard to give it up but at the same time I am finally at peace with my decision. The timing is right. I still feel I am in top form and could go on for a year or two, but it is better to go out on your feet instead of being carted out the door feet first on a stretcher. Had I not met April I would have retired six years ago. She gave me new life and restored my taste for living and working. We have exciting plans now. More time for travel, more time to enjoy with old and new friends. More time to enjoy each other.