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My decision to leave KIRO Radio, my broadcasting home

I've loved being behind this microphone for three years, which is why my decision to leave broadcasting and my KIRO Radio family at the end of December was a tough one. A new chapter in my life will begin with a career change in 2014. (Linda Thomas photo)

“Welcome home!”

I found a sticky note with a co-worker’s hand-written words on my desk at KIRO Radio 97.3 FM three years ago. It was my first day on the job as the morning news anchor. I was home, again.

In 1988, I started with KIRO Radio as an overnight editor. It was supposed to be a temporary job. I became the station’s first female drive-time anchor five years later.

When my daughter was born – she’s now a freshman at the UW and my son is 13 years old – I left KIRO and spent a decade working freelance for newspapers, magazines and radio stations in Seattle. I came home, returning to KIRO in January of 2010.

Although I love my KIRO family, our listeners and my blog readers, I’ve decided to leave this job at the end of this year. In 2014, I’ll begin a new career that doesn’t involve being at work by 2AM. Those jobs do exist, right?

Radio is an industry where people often disappear from the dial. That leaves some listeners cheering the departure. “Finally, somebody there wised up.” Others feel like they’ve lost a friend. “I’ll never listen to that station again.” I hope you’ll cheer on the person who replaces me. I also want you to keep listening to KIRO Radio and keep checking MyNorthwest.com, as I will.

KIRO’s news, talk and online teams are the best in the business. It’s been an honor to work alongside amazing talent. I’ve learned a lot from all my co-workers. They encourage me, challenge me, and make me laugh on a daily basis. I really do love them.

Dave Ross is brilliant and the most amiable person I’ve ever worked with in broadcasting. He’ll still be there for you every morning.

My Bonneville Seattle bosses understand and support my decision too, even though they don’t want me to leave. That’s what family members do. I’ll always be grateful for them, and for you.

By LINDA THOMAS

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