ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Exactly 32 years after his on-air debut, John Kucko announced this will be his last week as an anchor in the News 8 studio.
“I am NOT retiring,” John said, “rather transitioning my efforts to focus entirely on my digital work.”
John says he looks forward to taking his Kucko Camera segment farther than ever before, exploring more of our region and the world and sending back video segments every Tuesday and Thursday beginning next week.
For now, we look forward to one last week with John on the News 8 at 4 anchor desk. Check back for some fun Kucko memories in the days ahead.
“After 36 years working in television—30 in sports, 6 as a digital creator/anchor—at long last I’ve decided to leave the anchor desk and studio work at my beloved WROC-TV (CBS) in Rochester, where I have worked the last 32 years. This will be my last week in the building.
Made my on-air debut here on September 25, 1991 doing a Buffalo Bills story during their fun Super Bowl years.
I am NOT retiring, rather transitioning my efforts to focus entirely on my digital work.
For all of my professional life, I have been beyond blessed to work in positions that I truly enjoyed, with scores of talented colleagues and peers. I actually LOVED coming to work nearly every single day for those 36 years. I’ve been part-time for the last seven years, often shooting much of the day, then heading to the studio to anchor the little 4pm broadcast at Channel 8 here.
Over the last year I’ve done the show with our oldest daughter, Natalie, while our youngest, Caroline, entered the broadcast realm on a much different scale, working in communications at SiriusXM in New York City for their music entertainment division.
Now I’ll be able to shoot even more often, anywhere I want, without the deadline of having to be back at the station every day for the afternoon TV broadcast. AND, I will still somewhat remain on the air by sending in my camera segments on Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning next week.
Channel 8 has been very good to me, in turn I was very loyal to them. I remained as countless colleagues of mine came and went through the years—too many to count. It was Scott Benjamin, our News Director in 1991, who hired me—I’ll always be grateful for the opportunity he gave me. In 2016 Tim Busch, President of the company, convinced me to stay on as a part-timer when I informed him I wanted to leave sports (unthinkable at the time) and pursue my new passion of digital content creator.
I agreed to anchor the 4pm news broadcast for one year—it became seven years.
Grateful to my General Manager’s in these last few years, Louis Gattozzi and later Wendy Bello, who allowed me the flexibility to shoot each day, often on my own time and always with my own equipment, and then come in and do the show. Channel 8 has been one of the few stations in America allowing for such a position, having an anchor actually go out daily into every sector of the market and beyond and show POSITIVE content, mostly the nature in our midst—a few trains, too. I do believe viewers enjoy this kind of content, a welcome alternative to the constant barrage of modern day realities.
Life is short, I will now have the flexibility to go out each day and stay out gathering content as long as I want, without having to be at a studio to do a show. I plan on hosting more trips overseas that I will promote here on the page.
For those in the Rochester market who supported my television work these last few decades, I thank you! For those who follow me here—I’ll continue to do what I do, only more of it and, as always, am thankful for your support.
And for my wife, Charla, who endured much with both of my interests (sports, then digital), she held down the fort often and I’m most grateful.
Lastly, I had exceptional training in those formative years as a college student at Oswego State, including internships with two dynamic sports guys in Binghamton, Kurt Gregory followed by Mike Catalana. I learned much from both of them and ultimately followed Mike to Rochester, where my life changed in many ways.
I will always be grateful for my time at WROC-TV and am honored to have anchored there, in one form or another, longer than anyone in the 75 year history of the place. You’ll just have to trust me when I say—there is NO workplace in America quite like it. I’ll continue to take the experiences I’ve gained as a broadcaster and apply them here on the page with my digital work.“