KDKA-TV traffic and transportation reporter Jim Lokay is leaving Pittsburgh to take a job at Boston ABC affiliate WCVB.
His last day on air is Oct. 14, when Mr. Lokay becomes a weekend morning news anchor and weekday reporter in the land of Boston Bruins and New England Patriots.
It's a big change, he said, and bittersweet for an East McKeesport native who grew up watching local television.
"It was just one of those things that came out of the blue," said Mr. Lokay, whose contract expired at the end of August. He said he had not been strenuously looking at other markets but that the overall economic climate concerned him. "In the back of my head, I thought I should have contingencies lined up, just in case something happened."
His leaving comes just weeks after the departure of news anchor Stephanie Watson. Mr. Lokay and Emily Reimer will co-anchor "EyeOpener," which he described as "a fast-paced morning broadcast."
"Jim is a very popular member of our staff, and we wish him the best in his new opportunity," said Chris Pike, KDKA-TV general manager.
Having been able to work in Pittsburgh was a lifelong dream, Mr. Lokay said, and it gave him special pleasure that his grandfather, Sam Semetsis, was a fan. Mr. Semetsis, who died in 2009 at age 92, helped finance Mr. Lokay's education at California University of Pennsylvania.
"He had not driven a car in over 10 years, and yet he got up early every morning to watch me do the traffic," Mr. Lokay said. "Although I think he liked watching my female colleagues, too.
"When he was in Braddock Hospital, I'd go visit and he'd say, 'How is Sonni [Abatta], how is Alison [Morris]?' "
Mr. Lokay, who joined KDKA in 2005 after starting out locally in radio and transitioning to television in Syracuse, N.Y., will begin his new job some time around Halloween.
Maria Sciullo: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1478.