For fans of Austin's local television news, it has been a rough couple of weeks. First, former Fox 7 news anchor Loriana Hernandez announced she was battling leukemia. Today, veteran Austin television news reporter Judy Maggio announced her retirement from KEYE.
With a career spanning more than 30 years in Central Texas, the last decade of which was spent manning KEYE's 5 pm, 6 pm and 10 pm newscasts, it will be difficult for many Austinites to imagine not getting their news from Maggio. Following the announcement Wednesday afternoon, many Maggio fans took to social media to express their sadness and offer warm wishes to the journalist. "First class all the way — I will always be thankful KEYE gave me you," said one fan on Facebook.
"In other words, I’ll live life, Austin-style, in flip flops for a while," says retiring news anchor Judy Maggio.
As for Maggio, she took to her personal blog to give a bit more insight into her decision to sign off permanently in May 2014. "I feel in my heart now is the time to write a new chapter in my life," writes Maggio. "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."
It remains to be seen how Maggio's departure will affect KEYE, which has seen a shuffle over the past few years, most notably after the CBS affiliate decided not to renew the contract of Maggio's co-anchor Ron Oliveira last year. Maggio was quick to squash any rumors that she was being pushed out by higher-ups saying, "I’ve always said I’d leave the TV business on my own terms. KEYE has been nothing but supportive in my 11 years here and recently offered me a generous contract to stay."
In a press release from Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns KEYE TV, Amy Villarreal, vice president and general manager of the company's Austin stations, highlighted Maggio's impressive career and leadership. "We truly appreciate Judy's leadership in the KEYE TV’s newsroom, both as a journalist and with her many contributions to the Austin community," Villarreal said.
It is those contributions to our local community that Maggio hopes to focus on after she says goodbye later this year. "I plan to travel with my husband, swim, do yoga and spend more time on my volunteer work (singing at nursing homes) 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!"