Paul Brown (Time Warner Cable News photo)

One of the best-known anchors on Austin’s Time Warner Cable News is heading for the exit door.

After 12 years with the cable news outlet, “Capital Tonight” host Paul Brown will sign off for good this Friday.

Brown’s not going far, though. He plans to work on his doctorate degree at the University of Texas, as well as continuing to teach at Austin Community College, where he’ll now have the flexibility to lead even more classes.

“I’ve been involved in journalism for exactly 30 years,” Brown said. “I’m not getting any younger, so now’s the time to buckle down and take on the challenge of trying to obtain my Ph.D. This is a wonderful chance to do something new at this stage in life, while sticking with my love of journalism and teaching. I’ve always felt a big part of my role wherever I have been has been mentoring and teaching younger reporters. So, in reality, not much is really changing for me in terms of what I love to do.”

This spring, Brown said he’ll focus on completing his dissertation, which “considers the role the moderators of televised political debates play in the election process.”

“My research looks back at the 2012 campaign season, but is certainly timely with what’s going on today,” he said.

Leaving a job he loves is hard, Brown admits, but he said he’s certain it’s the right decision.

“Working here has been like being a kid in a candy store,” Brown said. “While I’ve been the political anchor of ‘Capital Tonight’ full-time the past three years, most of my time here was spent as the midday anchor. I’ve had the opportunity to cover breaking news, national political conventions, host debates, interview experts on a variety of topics and do it all in an environment dedicated to fair, balanced reporting. What else could a journalist want? I can’t thank my bosses enough for giving me this opportunity.

“I think I’ll miss what anyone would miss when they leave a place that’s been a big part of their life – the day-to-day moments with my friends at work. I’ll also miss my off-camera moments with the lawmakers, political experts and fellow Capitol press corps journalists I’ve interviewed over the years. I’ve sincerely enjoyed spending time and sharing stories with all of them. Maybe those moments should have been what was televised.”

He’ll also miss the viewers but, again, he’s not leaving Austin, so you’ll still probably bump into him around town.

“Perhaps the most gratifying moments for me over the years have been running into people who have watched my work, and stopped to thank me for it,” he said. “It’s been a great way to find out about another person I probably would have never met otherwise. They usually have a much more interesting story to share than I do, and as a journalist, I eat that up. Everyone has been so kind to me. Please know how much I’ve appreciated that. I’m just a messenger, but I hope the way I’ve provided those messages helped people in some way. That’s why I’m a journalist.”

After Brown departs, Karina Kling, another Time Warner Cable News veteran, will take over as host of “Capital Tonight,” a spokesperson said.