Veteran KCBS news anchor Paul Magers, regarded as one of the top newscasters in Los Angeles, will retire after 13 years at the station.
Magers, who will be 63 next month, intended to announce his plans in a recorded segment with co-anchor Pat Harvey during the early evening and late-night newscasts on Wednesday. His retirement at the CBS-owned station, which is known as CBS 2, is effective immediately.
"By retiring now while I'm relatively young and healthy, I look forward to doing all the things with family and friends that are hard to schedule when you have a full-time job that includes odd hours," Magers said in a statement. "I definitely won't miss putting on a suit, tie and makeup, except on Halloween. And I am excited to now have the time to pursue my longtime passion, amateur puppeteering."
The statement continued, "All kidding aside, I want to say how thankful I am to have been blessed many times over by working for and with such incredibly talented, gracious and generous people. I am especially grateful to CBS for these past 13 years. My wife Kathy, our daughters Emily and Anna and I will continue to enjoy living in Southern California. We look forward to staying in touch with the amazing friends we have made during our time in this very special place."
Magers, who was co-anchor on the 5, 6 and 11 p.m. segments, has been off the air since late January, and many viewers had speculated about his absence. (Magers put the speculation to rest, revealing in Wednesday's early segment with Harvey that he had left to get treatment for alcoholism and urged viewers who might need similar help to seek it.) Rick Garcia has been filling in for Magers. Station executives have not yet revealed plans for a replacement.
Distinguished by his deep, resonant voice and known for his off-the-cuff humor, Magers was hired at CBS 2 in January 2004 to boost its ratings after a 20-year stint in Minneapolis, where he helped turn KARE into the city's top-rated station and was dubbed the "anchor god" by C.J., a Minneapolis Star Tribune gossip columnist who featured his name frequently.
5:55 p.m.: This story was updated to reflect additional information detailed in the news segment.