Judy Maggio, the city’s best-known broadcast journalist, will depart KEYE this May after more than three decades on Austin’s airwaves.
The decision was 100 percent Maggio’s, the veteran anchor said.
Managers at the CBS affiliate had hoped she’d stick around, but after 32 years of delivering the nightly news at both KEYE and KVUE, Maggio, 53, said she’s ready to step back and relax for a bit.
"I’ve always said I’d leave the TV business on my own terms," Maggio said. "KEYE has been nothing but supportive in my 11 years here and recently offered me a generous contract to stay. I will deeply miss my colleagues, who are some of the most dedicated people in the business."
Maggio currently co-anchors the station’s 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts. The station will launch a search to locate a replacement.
"We truly appreciate Judy’s leadership in KEYE-TV’s newsroom, both as a journalist and with her many contributions to the Austin community," said Amy Villarreal, the station’s vice president and general manager. "We have been very fortunate to have her as a part of our team and we wish her the very best."
Once her final broadcast airs, Maggio said she plans to take the rest of 2014 to determine what she’d like to do next.
"I will always be a journalist and writer and perhaps those skills will bring me back to television news in some form or fashion in the future," she said. "But starting in late May, I plan to travel with my husband, swim, do yoga and spend more time on my volunteer work and give back to this city that has been so good to me. In other words, I’ll live life, Austin-style, in flip-flops for a while."
While there are plenty of options on the table, one thing is certain: Maggio isn’t leaving Central Texas.
"Austin is my home and always will be," she said. "I’ve been incredibly blessed to have spent my entire career in this amazing city and I will forever be touched by the kindness and support this community has shown me. But I feel in my heart now is the time to write a new chapter in my life."
A University of Texas graduate, Maggio landed her first TV gig at Austin ABC affiliate KVUE, where, through the years, she worked her way up to main anchor.
She joined KEYE in 2003.
"I was lucky to work in the glory days of television news before competition from computers and countless cable channels," Maggio said. "Anyone who spent time in television news in the 1980s will tell you it was fun and a bit magical. TV stations had huge budgets and we were able to take the time to do quality work at the local level."
Recognized with countless awards over the years, Maggio said some of her most memorable work has included interviews with Willie Nelson, Walter Cronkite and Lady Bird Johnson, among others.
"But," she said, "the stories that stick with me are the ones that have touched my heart about ordinary people doing something extraordinary. I’ve had the best job in the world for more than three decades."