Veteran WQAD newswoman Chris Minor leaving after 33 years

MOLINE- Veteran reporter Chris Minor is announcing she is leaving WQAD after 33 years with the station. Minor made the official announcement on WQAD's 5pm news tonight.

The award-winning journalist is known for her investigative reporting, memorable story-telling, exclusive interviews, coverage of many of the Quad Cities most notorious crimes and subsequent trials, and penchant for giving a voice to people in need of help.

Minor, a Park Ridge, Illinois native, says she will be leaving WQAD at the end of July , and hopes viewers will tune in for a look back at some of her most memorable and favorite stories.

Here's a note from Chris:

"I came here in a U-Haul with my mom and dad 33 years ago, with the intent to stay two years, and move on. But, the Quad Cities became my home.

I love being a journalist. It was my calling in life, and I am so lucky I was fortunate enough to  make a living at it. I love the hunt for a great story. I love the art of the interview. I love writing to video and the entire creative process. And, I love illuminating what's right and exposing what's wrong.

I could never had stayed in one place for so long if it wasn't both fun and challenging.  The constant has been the quality of my co-workers. There is a culture here at WQAD. We don't take kindly to egomaniacs. We hire real people. Kind people. Team players. There have been a few exceptions, but not many.

Hanging up my microphone is going to be a challenge. My profession is such a huge part of me, in some ways, it defines me. I'm the NEWS LADY. You tell me that all the time in the grocery store, or when I'm out and about. Generations now, have called me the NEWS LADY.

But, I need a break. I want to explore life outside of a newsroom and investigate my own meaning and place in this world, and write new chapters about my own life. Before, it's too late.

In March, my beloved nephew Ryan died. Suddenly. Without warning. He was 12- years- old,  and an amazing child. He was such a bright light, and I loved that boy with all my heart. Our whole family did. I was pondering the possibility of retirement before Ry, but losing him has just reinforced how precious and un-predictable this wonderful gift called life, is. And, quite frankly, right now, some stories that I would have to report, seem a bit insignificant in the scheme of things.

I went to my bosses about a month ago, and told them about my plans. My news director Alan Baker, and General Manager Jim Kizer, have been fantastic to me. My assignment manager, Joe Casillas, is  like a brother to me.  I have worked with some losers as bosses over the last three decades, and these three are true winners.

My co-workers, so many are like family to me, and  I will miss them so much. Particularly our incredibly talented photographers now and over the years, who have shared thousands of hours in the trenches with me,  from flood-fighting to chasing storms and bad guys. We will always share an unbreakable and precious bond.

And, the biggest thank you, is to the viewers. You have shared many of your stories with me. I am grateful and honored. Some of you bared your souls, and bravely broke new ground by talking with me. You encouraged me to keep digging. To find the truth. To do more. To be better.  And, you watched. And what good is a story without anyone seeing it?

This week, I am going on vacation with my sweet, handsome, fabulous husband Marv Hubbell who is my partner in crime in this retirement thing, and then get to return to WQAD for two weeks in July. Then, we are going to take a look back at some of my favorite stories and moments at WQAD the week of July 23rd, and I really hope you join me. I chose that week, because I started July 24th, 1985. My very first live shot was at the Bix Beiderbecke Jazz Fest that weekend. Try being nervous and pronouncing that with music blaring and moths blowing in your mouth.

I will give you more details about the date and time for our special retrospective. There will be happy tears, but lots of laughs.

And finally, thank you to my mom and dad, Wally and Eleanor Minor. They brought me into this world, paid for my college, inspired me to do what I love, and are still my number one fans today. Thanks for the U-Haul, mom and dad. It's been an amazing ride."

WQAD News Director Alan Baker said Minor is a one-of-a-kind journalist who set a standard for reporting few will be ever to reach.

"She would become a role model, mentor and friend to many," Baker said. "And 33 years later she is still as eager and determined as she was on her first day.  We have definitely been a better station because of her."