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WAVE's Jackie Hays Retiring

Longtime WAVE television news anchor Jackie Hays has announced her retirement, effective at the end of the year.

Hays has been at the NBC affiliate for almost 22 years, and is wrapping up a 32 year broadcasting career, most of it spent in Kentucky.Here is her retirement announcement from WAVE:WAVE-TV News Anchor Jackie Hays Announces RetirementLouisville, KY (October 27 2009) – Jackie Hays, award-winning journalist and WAVE 3 News Anchor will retire at the end of this year, it was announced today by Raycom Media Regional Vice-President and WAVE-TV General Manager Steve Langford.“Jackie is the ultimate professional and after 17 years of working together, she has become a very dear friend,” Langford said.After more than three decades in the broadcasting business, and nearly 22 years at WAVE-TV, Jackie said it’s time for her to slow down and spend more time with her family.“I have been so blessed to work at WAVE-TV,” said Ms. Hays. “It’s been my home.  I love the people in the station and the people watching at home. It has been a privilege.”Jackie Hays first came to WAVE 3 News in 1988 and is currently the co-anchor of the 5:00pm and 6:00pm newscasts.  A favorite news anchor in the Greater Louisville area, Jackie has won 16 Best of Louisville awards, including numerous honors as Best Female News Anchor.  In 2005, she was named “Best of the Best” by Louisville Magazine.  Other accolades include Emmy Award nominations in Louisville and Philadelphia, the Star Award from the Women in Radio and Television (WRT) and the JC Penny Good Citizen Award.

As a veteran reporter, Jackie Hays has a long list of journalistic accomplishments.  She interviewed two Presidents, covered memorable events from hurricanes and floods to ice storms.  She reported on the scene of the bombing at 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.  Jackie has also enjoyed a series of dream assignments, including flying with the Air Force Thunderbirds and the Navy Blue Angels, riding a thoroughbred horse around the track at Churchill Downs, and having lunch with President Ronald Reagan, not to mention, enjoying the best seat in the house for 25 Kentucky Derbies.Born in Paris, Tennessee, Jackie attended Murray State University where she was the outstanding senior in radio and television and graduated with the highest honors.  In 1990 she was recognized as Distinguished Alumnus.Jackie began her career in broadcasting at WPSD-TV in Paducah, Kentucky during her senior year at MSU. She worked as a reporter and weekend anchor and went to a full-time position after graduating from college.  Jackie moved to Louisville in 1980 to work for WHAS-TV. She continued her career as reporter and anchor for five years before moving on to Philadelphia, the nation's fourth largest television market.After a distinguished 32 year broadcasting career, Jackie is now looking forward to spending more time with her husband, 2 daughters, their dogs and new horse named Chipper.WAVE-TV is owned by Raycom Media an employee-owned company which is now one of the nation’s largest broadcasters.  Currently the company owns and/or operates 42 television stations in 18 states. The Raycom Media stations cover more than 10.6% of the U.S. television households and employ 3,500 individuals in full and part-time positions. Through Raycom Sports, the company owns and operates the Continental Tire Bowl in Charlotte and two LPGA golf tournaments, and produces pre-season NFL football games for non-owned stations.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation." Email Rick at rhowlett@lpm.org.