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KABC President/GM Cheryl Fair Announces Retirement After 50 Years With ABC Stations

Cheryl Fair, the president and general manager of ABC-owned KABC Los Angeles, is departing ABC’s owned TV stations group after 50 years with the company. Fair, who has spent the last 30 years at KABC and before that, 20 years at WPVI Philadelphia, revealed the news to staff on Tuesday.

Attending the meeting to share the news were Debra OConnell, president of Disney Entertainment TV’s networks and TV business operations, and Chad Matthews, the president of ABC Owned Television Stations.

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Fair told her team that she will be retiring at the end of March, marking the anniversary of first joining ABC stations five decades ago. “The most difficult part of making this decision is leaving all of you, my KABC family – and we really are a family,” she wrote. “I have had the distinct honor to work with all of you through some of the best and worst times in our lives. I have watched many of you quite literally grow up, finish college, get married, and have families of your own. I have seen all of you rise to the challenges we faced, do amazing work, and serve this community with distinction year in and year out.  I am so grateful for every day I have spent with you. Nonetheless, it is time for a new chapter in my life.”

And in a separate memo to staff, OConnell and Matthews added: “Starting in Philly at WPVI to years running KABC as the number one station in the market and the leading source for news and entertainment, her journey with the company has been truly remarkable. She has always led with the utmost integrity, creativity and positivity and will be greatly missed by all across The Walt Disney Company who have had the pleasure of working with her.”

Fair has served as president and general manager of KABC-TV, the ABC-owned local television station in Los Angeles, since 2015. She first moved to KABC from WPVI in 1994 to head up KABC’s news operation and served as vice president and news director for more than 20 years. Under Fair, KABC has dominated the L.A. market as the top-rated news operation in the market.

Cheryl Fair E-mail to KABC Staff:

To my KABC Family –

This is an email that has been nearly 50 years in the making — March 11 will mark my 50th anniversary with the Walt Disney Company, and I’ve spent almost 30 of those years here at KABC.  Yet it is still so hard to write the words — I am retiring at the end of March. 

The most difficult part of making this decision is leaving all of you, my KABC family – and we really are a family. I have had the distinct honor to work with all of you through some of the best and worst times in our lives. I have watched many of you quite literally grow up, finish college, get married, and have families of your own. I have seen all of you rise to the challenges we faced, do amazing work, and serve this community with distinction year in and year out.  I am so grateful for every day I have spent with you.

Nonetheless, it is time for a new chapter in my life. Don and I are both ready to enjoy some hard-earned downtime that we have been putting off for several years.  The fact that I am looking forward to that doesn’t make this decision any easier.

In the meantime, we will still have plenty of time to talk and catch up, and there will be time to celebrate together. I am so proud of everything we have accomplished together and I know that I am leaving the station in very capable hands. I am optimistic for the future that you will create together and will still be cheering you all on.

Thank you for the way you have always supported me. Thank you for all you have taught me. Thank you for making this the best station in town. Never forget you are second to none.

With love, appreciation, & gratitude –
Cheryl

Debra OConnell and Chad Matthews memo to staff:

Hi Everyone,

Sharing the news that after 50 incredible years KABC President and General Manager Cheryl Fair will be retiring in late March.  As Walt Disney once said, “if you can dream it, you can do it” and Cheryl is the complete embodiment of that.  Starting in Philly at WPVI to years running KABC as the number one station in the market and the leading source for news and entertainment, her journey with the company has been truly remarkable.  She has always led with the utmost integrity, creativity and positivity and will be greatly missed by all across The Walt Disney Company who have had the pleasure of working with her.  Please join us in congratulating her on her well-deserved retirement.

Cheryl, we thank you 50 times over for your years of exceptional service!!

We will be celebrating Cheryl with the whole KABC team soon. Stay tuned for more details.

All the best,

Debra and Chad

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