Media

Kathy Sabine on Why She Gave Up Forecasting Late Nights on 9News

Kathy Sabine and a friend.
Kathy Sabine and a friend. Photo by Brennah Rosenthal
Last week, longtime 9News meteorologist Kathy Sabine announced that she would no longer appear on the station's 10 p.m. broadcast, where she's been an extremely popular staple for the past eighteen years. But she stressed that she wasn't leaving the station, which has been Denver's TV news ratings champion for decades; instead, she'll deliver forecasts for 9News at 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays.

In comments shared with Westword about the new schedule, which she started this week, Sabine makes it clear that she's thinking about what will come next.

"After nearly thirty years in Denver television, 35 years in the business, you realize the end is closer than the beginning," she notes. "What comes with that realization is a clearer focus on priorities and goals and how you want the chapter to end."

In a February 2019 story headlined "9News's Kathy Sabine Reflects About 25 Years on Denver TV, Uncertain Future," Sabine spoke glowingly about her time at the station but conceded that her contract was coming to an end and she wasn't sure what would happen next. "At this age and stage, I feel so fortunate, because I have a lot of opportunities," she revealed.

That October, however, Sabine confirmed that she had signed what was described at the time as a long-term contract. "We are happy that she will be part of our team for years to come," Mark Cornetta, 9News president and vice president, as well as senior vice president for TEGNA, the signal's parent company, said at the time.

The latest shift went public late on June 1, when Sabine posted the following video on Twitter revealing her exit from late night:
The change had been in the works for months. Cornetta provided Westword with a memo sent to staffers in April that read: "At her request, chief meteorologist Kathy Sabine will anchor weather for our 4:00 and 5:00 p.m. newscasts starting in early June. Danielle Grant will shift to a Monday through Friday schedule to provide weather for the 6:00, 9:00 and 10:00 p.m. newscasts. We will also be posting an additional meteorologist position to support our weekend weather, so stay tuned for news about that at a later time."

That job listing is accessible on the TEGNA website.

Sabine's statement to Westword is reflective rather than specific. "You learn time is precious and you can't grow standing still with the status quo and sometimes difficult personalities," she says. "The desire to grow and become involved in new business and broadcast adventures is calling."

She adds: "I am grateful to be given the chance to scale back on a rigorous schedule with five newscasts a day and given the support and knowledge I am indeed a valued member of the 9News team. I am grateful to be given the opportunity for this lifestyle change and to be able to make this transition and stay at what has been my home for 29 years...pretty amazing."
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts