After 25 years reporting on Rochester and Buffalo sports, News 8’s John Kucko is ready to take on a new challenge – news anchor!  In late June, he will begin his new role at as main anchor of News 8 First at 4, replacing Rachel Barnhart, who stepped down today, May 26, to pursue a new opportunity.

“I love Channel 8, have spent half my life here and have been blessed to work for people who believed in me and supported everything I did and wanted to do,” said Kucko.  “Over the last few years, my interest has really shifted to photography and digital content, and this move allows me to pursue these passions and chart a new course.”

John will bring his unique perspective, personality, and passion for sharing stories about the Rochester community to the show, and as before social media will play a significant role.  He joins Chief Meteorologist Scott Hetsko, who will continue to handle the weather at 4 p.m. 

“There will be subtle changes as John makes the show more his own, but it’s currently the most watched show on Rochester TV at 4 o’clock, so we certainly have no reason to re-invent what’s clearly resonating with viewers,” added Louis A. Gattozzi, WROC-TV Vice President and General Manager. 

Succeeding John as News 8 Sports Director is veteran sports reporter and Rochester native Thad Brown, who has spent nearly two decades at News 8 covering Rochester sports and the Buffalo Bills.

“I’ve known Thad since 1994 when he visited the station as an Aquinas senior,” beamed John Kucko.  “I love his intensity and professionalism, and I could not be happier that Thad is taking over the reins of our sports department!”