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Friday, May 28, 2021

Tom Koch officially signs off

Tom Koch officially retired from abc13 KTRK Houston this morning and there were tears shed on both of the camera I can assure you.

Britta Merwin to leave KPRC 2
Blake Mathews leaving KHOU 11

There was even a Don Nelson appearance!

Above is his terrific and emotional video goodbye with a partial transcript below:

"Finally this morning, and it really is finally. Well after 8,937 or so workdays in this anchor chair out in the field, I am signing off for good. To paraphrase the Grateful Dead, 'what a long, strange, wonderful and adventure filled trip it's been.' 

What began on September 13, 1982 has become a dream come true. As I said before, for a small town, Wisconsin boy, to anchor and report the news for the greatest station in the greatest city in the world, and you, my family viewers made it happen. So again and again and again. Thank you. Thank you. You put me here. You've kept me here. We laughed together. We cried together. And your kind words...excuse me...and the last few days in person and on social media have reminded me about this magical broadcast bond that we have and has reinforced the reasons I got into this business - this crazy journalism business - to tell your stories, give you a voice and maybe maybe make the world even a little bit better. 

Gina Gaston, my first TV wife who was here, always got a kick out of my saying anything can happen in this business. And it usually does. And it has. 

We have been through so much together as Houstonians, as Texans, as Americans. I have tried to keep you informed every step of the way, honestly. And I hope you've enjoyed the ride as much as I have.

To my colleagues past and present here at channel 13, thank you for always having my back, making me look good and just being oh gosh, so much fun to be around. My coworkers are often smarter and believe me, worked harder, than me and yet I'm the front man so I get the credit when they really deserve it. 

To Disney, which owns this station to our general manager, our executive producers our producers, directors, reporters, photographers, editors, graphic artists, salespeople. I hope I haven't missed anybody, thank you. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart forever. 

And to these two incredibly talented and beautiful women I share the stage with, my final TV wives Samica Knight and Elita Loresca. You have no idea how much I cherish you, your work ethic, your kindness and your crazy personalities. 

And finally, the three strong, incredible women, my wife and two daughters who are right here in this studio this morning, the biggest thanks of all for sacrificing so much so I could do what I loved. You have gone through storms, a hurricane, Harvey flooded house and tragedies like 9/11 without me. And believe me, they never complained. Those three words I love you will never suffice. 

This business has taught me so much. First, there are two sides to every story. Don't be so quick to judge. Always consider the other side. And the other thing is, no matter what color you are, where you are, what you do or where you live, we all want the same thing. We want a good life filled with happiness, safety, security, and we all want to leave the world a better place for our kids. 

So in this business, as we say, that's a wrap. And then the future, when someone says like Don, 'hey, didn't you used to be somebody,' I will say I still am a husband, a father, a friend and a really funny guy. 

OK, OK, OK. When it comes to the bad dad jokes, you know what Jesus said, 'forgive and forget.'

 I love you, Houston. Happy trails to you all or y'all. Thank you. Thank you, Houston. Thank you, everyone. I love you."

Enjoy retirement Tom, although not on TV, I assume you will still be busy!

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