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Thursday, March 17, 2022

Rachel McNeill to step down from 12NEWS Phoenix morning duties

Rachel McNeill announced she is stepping away from the 12NEWS KPNX Phoenix, Arizona " Today in AZ" morning news to focus on her family.

Here is what McNeill posted to Instagram:

"LIFE CHANGE ALERT Like so many of you, the last two years have really put life into perspective. I won’t bury the lede. I’ve decided to move from Mon-Fri Morning News Anchor @12newsaz #TodayinAZ to Contributing Anchor.

After 27yrs in TV, the time has come to reprioritize and embrace family time, fully rested. I’m ready to celebrate the summers while my boys are still at home. Ready to be more present and alert. That means goodbye to that 2:30am 

While I will not longer be on morning news full time, you can still catch me on 12 News for special events, projects and just helping out so my friends can enjoy their vacations.

It’s the best of both worlds - I can focus on family and still be engaged with the only career I’ve ever wanted.

A special thank you to my bosses and coworkers at 12 News who have been so supportive and understanding of my decision. Thank you to my husband @drwaynejay and sons for their love and encouragement. Let’s just hope they’re ready to see a whole lot more of me fully awake! The link to my full on air announcement is in my bio. XOXO"

As she mentioned, McNeill will still be at 12News as a fill-in anchor and for other events. You can watch her video goodbye here.

McNeill joined "Today in AZ" on 12 News in April 2019, after moving from Houston's KPRC 2 morning newscast in December 2018. 

“Deciding to say goodbye after 17 years with KPRC is one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make," McNeill told in July 2018. "Since coming home to Houston, I’ve been given incredible opportunities and worked with the best of the best."

The move from Houston happened because McNeill's husband, Dr. Wayne Franklin, took the job of co-director of the Heart Center at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

McNeill has been with KPRC since 2001.  

Before returning to Houston, where she grew up, McNeill worked for:

- WWL New Orleans

- WLFL 22 Raleigh, North Carolina

- KWES 9 Midland-Odessa 

- KMID Midland-Odessa

The Cypress Creek High School graduate received her journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

Emily Pritchard has announced she is joining 12 News on "Today in AZ" as an anchor  from 7News Boston WHDH.

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