After 40 years on the air with WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh, anchor Sally Wiggin has announced she’ll retire next year, bookending an illustrious career that spanned a particularly fascinating chapter of the city’s history.
“My decision to retire next year is something I’ve been planning for quite some time now,” Wiggin said in a prepared statement. “Serving southwestern Pennsylvanians as a news anchor, Black & Gold Primetime co-host, and in my current role as Chronicle host has always been both a joy and an honor. I have worked with the best and have served the best community any journalist could ask for.”
She announced her decision this evening during a prime time lead in for the Steelers on Monday Night Football. Wiggin’s retirement will take effect in November 2018.
“Sally is and will always be a Pittsburgh Icon,” WTAE President and General Manager Charles W. Wolfertz III said in a statement. “Pittsburghers remember her as a trusted news anchor, a born story teller, but her real legacy is the countless lives she’s impacted with her unmatched commitment to community service. We, and our viewers, have enjoyed and benefited greatly from the remarkable career of Sally Wiggin.”
Wiggin, a native Michigander who arrived in Pittsburgh by way of Alabama, joined WTAE in 1980 and in January 1981 became co-anchor of the weekend news. She held that position until November 1986, when she was named anchor on the weeknight newscasts. Wiggin left the anchor desk in 2013 but stayed with the station. She’s piloted stories about the opioid epidemic, concussions in sports and Pittsburgh being the next Silicon Valley, before that was a trite observation.
Her work has earned her numerous accolades, including a George Foster Peabody Award, regional Edward R. Murrow Award, a National Headliner Award, and the Board of Governors Award for the Mid-Atlantic Emmys. She was also inducted into the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
“This has been a passion for me, in the perfect place,” Wiggin said in the statement. “I welcome my upcoming projects in 2018, and then as Steelers legendary coach Chuck Noll said: I will get busy with my life’s work.”
There was no immediate word on who might replace her — and some argue that no one ever will.
“There is no replacing a Pittsburgh icon like Sally Wiggin,” WTAE News Director Jim Parsons explained in an email to The Incline.