John Stehr, a news anchor at WTHR Channel 13 for nearly 23 years, plans to retire this summer, the Indianapolis NBC affiliate announced Wednesday.
His final day will be June 20, station officials said.
Stehr, 59, took a leave of absence from anchoring duties in July after undergoing heart surgery for an aneurysm before returning in October.
“After forty years in the business and a few months to reflect following my heart surgery last year, it really gave me perspective as to the importance of family, health and other ways to contribute,” Stehr said in a written statement.
Stehr’s joined WTHR in 1995 as main anchor of weeknight newscasts. He arrived from CBS News in New York, where he had been a network correspondent and an anchor for CBS Morning News.
He started his broadcast career in Erie, Pennsylvania, as a 20-year-old anchor at WJET-TV while still attending Gannon University.
He went on to more anchoring and reporting stints at WSEE-TV in Erie; KUTV-TV in Salt Lake City; WISH-TV Channel 8 in Indianapolis; and WOTV-TV (now WOOD-TV) in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He also anchored "The Money Tree" on CNBC from 1989 to 1991 before leaving to join CBS News as a correspondent.
“John has made a tremendous impact on our station and across central Indiana,” Larry Delia, president, general manager and president of WTHR parent Dispatch Broadcast Group, said in written comments. “We cannot thank John enough for his contributions as a journalist, storyteller, and ambassador of WTHR.”
“I am enormously grateful to my WTHR family and the many people I have worked with over the years. Together, we have journeyed through the highs and lows of our community and country,” says Stehr. “After forty years in the business and a few months to reflect following my heart surgery last year, it really gave me perspective as to the importance of family, health and other ways to contribute.”
Stehr, who shares weekday anchoring duties with Andrea Morehead and Anne Marie Tiernon, will still be a “regular contributor” to WTHR after his retirement for special events, including IndyCar-related events, election nights and Circle of Light celebrations.
“We are happy to know that John will continue to play a role in our station’s coverage of big, signature community events,” WTHR-TV News Director Kathy Hostetter said in written comments. “He will be a key contributor to our 500 Festival events and Indy 500 coverage, and with the Indy 500 coming to WTHR in 2019, I’m thrilled that he will be with us as we solidify our leadership stake in all things IndyCar.”
Stehr lives in Zionsville with his wife, Amy. The couple have three sons and three daughters.