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Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Katherine Whaley leaves abc13 KTRK

Katherine Whaley

Katherine Whaley has announced she is leaving abc13 KTRK and her morning traffic duties as of  March 25, 2021 to spend more time with her family.

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"I'm really emotional thinking about it," Whaley said on Facebook.  "I've done television for 17 years since 2004. So, yeah, it's been about 17 years. And stepping away definitely feels like a new, new challenge. And I'm here for it. I'm so excited, really happy for the opportunity to be able to spend more time with my family and to focus on some new projects. But if you know me, you know, I'm not going to be far away. You know, my heart is here in Houston. I'm heavily involved in a lot of charities here."

Whaley and her husband, Chris Wadley, had their first child, William, in 2019. They were married in 2016.

The Memorial High School grad joined channel 13 in 2014 after doing morning traffic, anchoring and reporting for KHOU 11 starting in 2009. The award winning journalist was hired to replace longtime channel 13 morning traffic anchor Don Nelson who retired.

The Rice University graduate previously worked as:

- KVBC Las Vegas anchor, reporter and weathercaster. 

- KLFY Lafayette, Louisiana anchor/reporter

- KAVU Victoria MMJ and weathercaster

While at KHOU, Whaley covered her passion for food on both TV and online with her "Dash of Decadence" blog (Motley Crue fans may be reminded of the band's greatest hits package "Decade of Decadence"). 

"Being a TV reporter turned me into a foodie," Whaley told in 2013. "The news business brought me to several cities with specific regional cuisine, and I was curious about how to cook those dishes at home. When I worked at the CBS affiliate in Lafayette, Louisiana, I picked up tips on gumbo, sweet potato pie, and fried okra. When I worked at the NBC affiliate in Las Vegas, I had the opportunity to interview chefs who made “fancy food” -- lobster bisque, foie gras, foams, powders, truffles, towers, and so on. I ate it up! But, I wasn't always an adventurous eater – I subsisted on hot dogs and PB&J until I was about ten."

Here the internal goodbye message that Whaley sent to the 13 Eyewitness News department:

"It has truly been an honor to work alongside you and serve the Houston community, but it’s time to embark on a new adventure. 

At this time I feel called to spend more time with my family, and I am stepping away from the greenscreen. This is a change I have considered for a while, but it has simply been too hard to walk away from this incredible job and my work family here at Channel 13. But now is the time, and I am excited for what lies ahead.

To all of you, and particularly my morning team, thank you for the love, support, and laughs. I am grateful to have worked with such talented individuals, especially during these extraordinary times. 

I first walked in the doors of Channel 13 as a college intern at Rice, and I am forever indebted to ABC for giving me a first shot at TV. I received the best on-the-job education and learned from the greats (including Marvin Zindler!). 

All I ever wanted to do was return to the station that gave me a start, so the last six years here have been the fulfillment of a career dream. I think of Houston viewers as an extension of my own family, and it has truly been a privilege to have been a part of their daily routines.

Houston is home, and I won’t be far away, so I look forward to staying connected. If you need a good restaurant recommendation, reach out!"

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