LEXINGTON, Ky. — Soon, WTVQ TV Channel 36 News Anchor Doug High will not have to set his alarm clock for 3 a.m. to get to work.
After nearly 10 years of anchoring the morning news on Good Morning Kentucky, weekdays from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. and Good Day Kentucky at 9 a.m. for the Lexington ABC-TV affiliate, High plans to sign off on Friday, March 15th. The 9 a.m. newscast on that day will be his last scheduled with the station.
High has been named director of the Kentucky Historical Society Foundation in Frankfort which will allow he and his family to remain in Lexington; a position the former History Major from Ohio’s Otterbein University describes as a “dream job”.
High started at WTVQ as a weekend anchor in December of 2009 and was quickly promoted to front the stations morning newscasts in 2010, where he has remained a fixture ever since. Co-anchors Kristi Runyon, Lauren Gawthrop, and Katie Solove have all come and gone during High’s tenure and a new co-anchor, Erica Bivens just started on the morning newscasts with him in January.
On his departure, High said “I’ve been blessed to have worked with some amazing co-anchors, meteorologists, reporters and producers who have become lifelong friends. Anchoring the morning news at WTVQ has truly been the greatest professional joy of my career to date. The honor and privilege were never lost on me, nor the responsibility. I will miss the news desk, my colleagues and our viewers, fiercely.”
WTVQ-TV General Manager Chris Aldridge stated in an internal station message that while High will be “deeply missed” at ABC 36, he added, “Make no mistake that we will miss Doug in the morning. For almost 10 years he’s been an important part of the ABC 36 family. On a personal note, I could not be happier for Doug. I can’t think of anyone in the Commonwealth who is better suited to run this important organization than Doug High.”
High will also be stepping down from his independent High Impact Productions documentary film efforts (of recent note, his 2017 Emmy award winning film on Lexington’s Belle Brezing for KET) but that he would find himself in direct support of TV programming efforts for the Kentucky Historical Society via their Foundation.
What will continue; High’s military service as a commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve, where he serves as a senior public affairs officer. He is now a decorated Veteran of Foreign War, having been deployed to Afghanistan in 2017.
“I signed up after 9/11 and 20 years of service is coming up fast,” High said. “I can’t speculate how I’ll feel about possible retirement from the Navy Reserve in just a few years, but for now, the uniform still fits, and the spirit is still willing to serve.”
While Central Kentucky viewers will be disappointed to see Doug’s friendly face vanish from their morning routine, they can take comfort in several things: first, High will continue to stay in the WTVQ extended family as a “fill-in” news anchor for the station,on-calll as needed for the occasional evening, weekend and early morning newscasts that do not conflict with his new responsibilities at the Kentucky Historical Society.
Also, there is still one High left on the air at WTVQ, Doug’s wife, Lyssa High will continue as an on-air “Lifestyle Correspondent” for Good Day Kentucky at 9 a.m. and as an advertising executive for the station; positions she has held since July of 2018, following a year of co-hosting the ABC 36 Midday Kentucky program at Noon.
“I will really miss working with my wife on Good Day,” High said. “We absolutely loved the on-air collaboration and our viewers did, as well. I’ll be cheering her on from the sidelines as her biggest fan since we met in 1995.”
When asked about the possibility of returning to local television someday, High said “I would never say never to news broadcasting, but the study and pursuit of history has always been my first and greatest passion. It’s the reason I became a storyteller; so, the opportunity to be an ambassador of Kentucky history and to lead the Kentucky Historical Society Foundation forward is a challenge and opportunity I could not pass up.”
High moved to Lexington from WNWO-TV in Toledo, Ohio in December 1999 to work at WKYT-TV. In 2002 he became General Manager of Wrigley Media Group (formally Post Time Studios) before joining WTVQ-TV in 2009.
High’s first day at the Kentucky Historical Society Foundation will be Monday, March 18. More information on the Kentucky Historical Foundation can be found at https://history.ky.gov/.