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WJZ's Richard Sher retires after 33 years

After 33 years on Baltimore's airwaves, WJZ reporter Richard Sher is retiring effective today.

Sher, who enjoyed one of the longest on-air runs of anyone in local TV anywhere in  the nation, has done virtually everything at the station from co-hosting with Oprah Winfrey to working with such Baltimore TV legends as Jerry Turner and Al Sanders. He also served as long-time host of the public affairs program Square-Off.

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Sher broke the news of his retirement last week to colleagues at WJZ in an email that said in part: "hey guys....im just fine thank you... you know i've been thinking about doing other things.....so i decided to move on, with everybody's blessings...the reason i haven't been around...taking vacation time... thanks for all the calls.... love and miss you all.."

Monday, he made it formal with a press release that included the following statement: "I have enjoyed a long, exciting and highly rewarding career with WJZ and have been proud to have been part of a news team that has integrity at its very core."

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"Richard has witnessed over three decades of Baltimore news. His firsthand reporting and interviews have connected WJR readers to the people and events that have shaped our community," Jay Newman, WJZ vice president and general manager said in the statement. "We wish him well in the next chapter of his distinguished career."

Some readers might remember that Sher announced his retirement once before -- in February 2004 when he was 62 years old. But just before the retirement was to take effect in April of that year, he rescinded the decision saying the thought of leaving the business was too painful.

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