Z on TV Critic David Zurawik writes about the business and culture of TV

After decades at the desk, WJZ's Denise Koch leaving 11 p.m. newscast

After decades at the anchor desk for late news, WJZ anchorwoman Denise Koch is leaving the late shift.

Starting the last week of April, Koch will no longer anchor the 11 p.m. news on the CBS-owned station. She will still be at the anchor desk for the 4:30 and 6 p.m. weekday newscasts as well as doing more reporting for the station.

In a note sent to her colleagues at WJZ tonight, Koch wrote:

“Just wanted to share a bit of news. Both of my girls are graduating from college next month.  I am using this moment of economic relief to make a change. (No, I'm not retiring. Love my job.)

"Instead, the station is letting me finally, after more than 3 decades, actually drive home while it's still light out.  I'm moving off the night shift and for the first time EVER working days.  I'll see the sun rise and the sun set!  I will still be anchoring the afternoon shows and this will also give me the opportunity to report.  Those who've known me for a long while know my real love is working in the field.  So, starting soon I'll actually see some of you for the first time in a long time! And....good-bye midnight drive home!

Koch, who has been a WJZ anchor for almost 30 years, was at her best during the coverage of the unrest following the death of Freddie Gray in 2015 and the trials of the police officers involved in Gray’s death the last two years.

She is at the head of the class when it comes to Baltimore TV anchors and set the standard during the Gray coverage for responsible, community-oriented anchor-desk discussion of what was happening in the streets and later at the courthouse.

The station has not yet announced who will replace her at 11 p.m.

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