Walt Maciborski, we hardly knew you.
The 5 p.m. anchor at WXIN-TV Fox59 for only about a year will leave the station on Friday. He’ll take a similar job late this month at KEYE-TV 4, a CBS affiliate in Austin, Texas.
A search is under way for Maciborski’s replacement, said Larry Delia, vice president and general manager of Tribune Broadcasting Co.’s WXIN and WTTV-TV in Indianapolis.
“We love Walt. He had an opportunity to go home. His wife’s family is from Austin,” Delia said of Maciborski’s return to his adopted hometown. “He’s a fantastic journalist.”
The square-jawed Maciborski, 46, arrived in Indianapolis from the Dallas market. Previously, he’d been an anchor at KVUE-TV, the ABC affiliate in Austin. Maciborski covered the Texas A&M University bonfire collapse and George W. Bush’s run for the White House.
He began his journalism career in 1989 and served as an assistant producer at ABC News, working on stories for "World News Tonight" with the late Peter Jennings.
Among his recent stories in Indianapolis were a piece on gas stations selling fuel with deceptively low octane levels and the trend of “pet flipping,” where lost and stolen dogs are sold on Craigslist.
Maciborski has an unusual Indianapolis connection. His father worked in the pit crew for Dick Simon Racing in the 1980s.
The anchor's exit is the latest local staff change in the nomadic business of TV news. Last November, WXIN anchor Eva Pilgrim left town for an ABC affiliate in Philadelphia.
In April, WXIN News Director Lee Rosenthal left for KTVU-TV in San Francisco, after helping WXIN increase newscast ratings in recent years.
His replacement will be Kerri Cavanaugh, from Tribune’s WXMI-TV in Grand Rapids, Mich. She added additional hours of news in that market and helped grow its digital news offerings, including a 220-percent increase in Facebook followers in one year.
Digital news offerings are becoming more important to television stations as younger viewers watch less TV and spend more time entranced by smartphones.
Ratings king WTHR-TV Channel 13 last month filled its vacant news director position with Kathy Hostetter, who’d most recently worked at WAVE-TV 3 in Louisville.
Last week, WRTV-TV Channel 6 said it hired Jade Hindmon, a former anchor-reporter at WHNS-TV in Greenville, S.C., as multimedia reporter. WRTV has been expanding its news delivery via the Web and plans to add weekend morning newscasts later this year.