Meteorologist Sheena Parveen will depart from NBC10 on Friday, making her the latest Philadelphia TV news personality to move on from the city's televised news game this year.
And when it comes to TV news departures in Philly, what a banner year it was — especially for some of the area's longest serving TV news names, including Renee Chenault-Fattah, Lisa Thomas-Laury, Walt Hunter, and Howard Eskin. With heavy-hitters retiring or otherwise moving on, Philadelphia TV news is looking a lot less like its old self.
Chenault-Fattah, a longtime NBC10 news anchor who began her career there in 1991, left the station in February this year after six months of leave following the indictment of her husband, former U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, on fraud, racketeering, and money laundering charges. NBC10 earlier this year would not confirm whether Chenault-Fattah, who previously anchored broadcasts at 4 and 6 p.m., was fired from or quit the station. Her husband this week was sentenced to 10 years in prison this week.
"My love for the people of the Delaware Valley goes all the way back to my days as a law student at Penn," she wrote of her departure on Facebook earlier this year. "I have had a terrific 24 years as a reporter and anchor at NBC10 and I wish the team all the best."
6ABC's Lisa Thomas-Laury left Philly TV this year after retiring from the station in May. Thomas-Laury, who started at the station in 1978, went on medical leave in 2003 after she was diagnosed with POEMS syndrome, an autoimmune disorder. She returned to the station in 2007, but a second, more recent flare-up prompted her retirement. Thomas-Laury said that she was "looking at this as a new beginning and not a real end."
She even got a shout out from Oprah:
Walt Hunter, former reporter at CBS3, also announced his retirement in May, via a Facebook Live chat with anchor Ukee Washington. Hunter joined the station in 1980, and was inducted into the Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame in 2007. In 36 years at the station, Hunter covered everything from the MOVE bombing to the 2015 Amtrak crash, but told CBS3 that he'd be moving on to media training and public speaking following his retirement.
Sports reporter Howard Eskin, meanwhile, took his leave at Fox 29 for a second time in August. The veteran sportscaster previously wrapped a four-year run at the station in 1991. This time around, Eskin's tenure also lasted four years. Eskin said that the end of his contract was "a natural time to consider my options." Eskin maintains his role as a host at 94.1 WIP.
Those departures came in a year already filled with them across most major TV news outlets in Philadelphia. Fox 29 weatherman Dave Warren and news co-anchor Chris Murphy took off in October. In addition to Hunter leaving, Brooke Thomas and Erika Von Tiehl left CBS3 in October and February, respectively. Even 6ABC's Jim Gardener was out for a while on medical leave.
This year, however, wasn't all about loss. Several new or returning hires have stepped up to give the people of Philadelphia their news on TV, including returning Fox 29 anchor Thomas Drayton and new NBC10 weather forecaster Erika Martin, and NBC10 anchor Erin Coleman.
Philadelphians, however, are serious about their television news. Whether or not the new crop can live up to favorites like Chenault-Fattah, Thomas-Laury, Eskin, and Hunter, however, is a question that will have to wait to be answered in 2017.