Longtime news anchor and Houston icon Bill Balleza to retire in January
HOUSTON – Following an esteemed 49-year career, KPRC 2 anchor Bill Balleza has announced that he will retire from the station in January 2020. The announcement was made to the KPRC 2 News team during a meeting today.
“It’s never easy saying goodbye to a family member, and even more difficult losing an icon,” said KPRC 2 Vice President/General Manager Jerry Martin. “For over 35 years on the anchor desk Bill capitalized the “J” in journalism for our newsroom. It is only fitting that he is retiring at the top of his game with both our 6pm and 10pm newscasts leading the market since 2017.”
A native of San Antonio, Bill joined KPRC 2 News in August of 1980 as a reporter and anchor, and became main anchor in 1990, following Ron Stone. During his tenure at KPRC 2 Bill has shared the anchor desk with respected newscasters Paula Zahn, Jan Carson, Linda Lorelle and his current co-anchor Dominique Sachse since 2001.
Sachse released this statement following the announcement: "Bill, Frank and I have been family since April 2001. Our friendship runs deep, palpable by our viewers and colleagues alike. What an incredible ride as a team, based on love, comradery, humor and respect. We’ve always attributed any success not to the efforts of one, but to the contribution of all. It’s that mindset that made us work and will continue to do so. Today is bittersweet. I’m elated for my co-anchor who is writing his own script but sad that this era is coming to an end. These next few months will be precious and an opportunity to celebrate someone who doesn’t like being in the spotlight, but that’s what happens when the good ones retire. What a legacy you leave, Bill, and a high bar you’ve set."
Bill thrived on covering breaking news and has frequently been called upon to lead KPRC 2’s news coverage as field anchor on the scene. Throughout his distinguished career that has spanned more than 45 years Bill has covered thousands of stories including Operation Iraqi Freedom aboard the aircraft carrier USS Truman, the death of Pope John Paul II from the Vatican in 2005 and the Conclave to elect Pope Francis in 2013. He also covered the shooting of U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, the Murrah Federal Building explosion in Oklahoma City, and the crash of American Flight 587 in New York, one month after the 9-11 attacks and earned the prestigious Emmy Award for his reporting on the deadly fertilizer company explosion in West, Texas.
“Bill is an incredible journalist and anchor,” said KPRC 2 News Director David Strickland. “His ability to communicate with the viewer and earn their trust is what makes him unique and special. He is also a wonderful co-worker, whose leadership inside this newsroom will be greatly missed.”
He began his career as a television reporter at KRON-TV in San Francisco in July 1971, before joining KHOU-TV in 1973. A graduate of San Antonio College, Bill is a Vietnam veteran who served as a Marine Scout Sniper during the Tet Offensive of 1968.
Bill has maintained both his illustrious career and devotion to family equally. He is married to the former Melissa Loh of Houston. He has three children, and two grandchildren. An avid woodworker, Bill has designed and built rooms full of furniture, including for families that he and his KPRC 2 colleagues sponsored for their Houston Habitat for Humanity builds.
Copyright 2019 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.