Stephen Cropper to leave WTAE

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WTAE-TV's Stephen Cropper will leave the station April 20 after more than 16 years. A popular figure with a strong local fan base, he served at times as WTAE's chief meteorologist and most recently has been working the weekend evening broadcasts.

Mr. Cropper, who earned a law degree from Duquesne University, said he doesn't know whether his future will be in television or law, but he has turned down newscast offers in other markets and will remain in Pittsburgh.

"I grew up in Atlanta, lived in several other cities, but when I moved here in 1995 to work with Joe DeNardo -- who just ended up being a tremendous mentor and friend -- once we had kids we just realized that the quality of the area and the quality of the people were reasons to stay.

"I believe God has a plan, but he just hasn't emailed me the plan yet," he said.

WTAE president and general manager Mike Hayes said Mr. Cropper's decision "wasn't unexpected."

But, "It wasn't what I wanted," Mr. Hayes said.

No word yet on a replacement, he said. But it will be a challenge: "What makes this a great television market is that people love and feel close to the people who bring them the news every night," Mr. Hayes added.



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