NEW ORLEANS — Veteran WWL-TV anchor Angela Hill announced Wednesday she will retire from daily reporting next week, nearly 40 years after she joined the CBS affiliate.
While Hill will anchor her last nightly newscast at 6 p.m. April 4, she will remain with the station to produce other documentaries and special projects.
“I still want to tell great stories,” Hill said.
In a business where turnover among on-air talent is high, Hill has been something of an anomaly, becoming a fixture at WWL — and in the city — since she joined the station in 1975.
Hill began her career as a one-man band — shooting, editing and writing stories on her own — in Texas, where she grew up and went to college.
Following stops in Corpus Christi and Harlingen, Texas, Hill came to New Orleans after she interviewed with and was hired by the late Phil Johnson, who for decades wrote and delivered the station’s editorials.
Now, after working as a reporter, anchorwoman and host of her own afternoon talk show, Hill will work on four specials a year, she told colleagues during the announcement of her retirement, which came one week short of her 38th year at WWL.
Hill will begin working on those projects sometime in the near future, she said Wednesday afternoon during an interview.
Removed from the pressure of deadline news, Hill said she’ll miss the “enormous” stories, such as Hurricane Katrina, whose aftermath and subsequent recovery she said has been the biggest story of her career.
“Angela’s leadership at WWL through her daily presence on the anchor desk, and in our newsroom, cannot be understated,” WWL-TV Executive News Director Bill Siegel said in a story about Hill’s retirement on the station’s website. “Her intelligence, infectious positive attitude, and genuine care and concern for her co-workers has set an example for all of us.”
“There’s not a person in this room who hasn’t been touched by her,” WWL General Manager Tod Smith said when he announced Hill’s retirement to the station’s staff.
“I’ll miss the camaraderie of the phenomenal, creative people I work with — and I say that underlined multiple times,” Hill said in a phone interview. “I’m definitely going to miss working with Karen (Swensen) and Dennis (Woltering) on a daily basis. They are true friends. ... And it’s not just the people I worked with for decades who I’ll miss, but the new people, too.”
After her departure from the anchor desk, Hill said, she will travel and spend time with her husband before beginning work on her first project.
Asked what she hopes her legacy at the station will be once she ends her daily appearances, Hill said she wants it to be simple: “I hope it’s that I was a team player.”