Fox 4 anchorman Phil Witt signed off the air Tuesday night after nearly four decades in Kansas City’s news business.
There was no sappy montage of assignments past, no tears, just an elegant farewell from a heart clearly full of gratitude.
When he announced his retirement in March, the 65-year-old newsman said he was leaving while he’s still young enough to enjoy the new chapters of his life that lie ahead.
“As we close tonight, I ask your patience as I take a moment for a few personal thoughts,” Witt said in his good-bye. “This newscast is the last one I will deliver to you here on Fox 4.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Kansas City Star
“We have been through a lot together in that time, you and I. Some of it’s been very good and happy and triumphant, and some of it has been very bad and sad and horribly tragic. And there’s been a whole lot in between.
“Through it all I have cherished four main groups of people who deserve the credit for anything I’ve achieved in my career here and in my life in Kansas City.”
Witt joined the station in 1979 as weekend news anchorman and staff reporter. He was promoted to 6 p.m. news co-anchor in 1981 and 10 p.m. news co-anchor in 1983. He was co-anchoring the 6 and 10 p.m. broadcasts with Loren Halifax when he retired.
As a parting gift, Halifax gave Witt a huge box full of snack-sized bags of Lay’s potato chips, Witt’s “favorite snack in the world,” she said. “That’ll keep you for at least a couple of weeks.”
Witt thanked his “dedicated co-workers, past and present,” and his family, noting how much they’d given up of him so he could do his job.
He also thanked “the very good people working in community organizations who’ve allowed me to partner with them on very worthwhile projects and causes to make our city and our world better and safer, stronger and healthier.” He has said he plans to stay involved in community projects.
And finally, he thanked the viewers “who have embraced me over these nearly four decades and put your trust and confidence in me to keep you informed. I thank you and I treasure all of you.”
In hundreds of comments left on the TV station’s Facebook page, viewers thanked him back.