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Columbus Anchor Kristyn Hartman To Replace Carol Williams

Kristyn Hartman

Kristyn Hartman, main evening co-anchor at Columbus' WBNS-TV, will replace WCPO-TV news anchor Carol Williams in mid-April.

Williams, whose 30-year tenure began in the Al Schottelkotte era, will retire after February sweeps, says the WCPO-TV announcement.

Credit WCPO-TV
Carol Williams

In late 2015, Williams said she would retire at the end of 2016 – but delayed her departure until next month because the station was short-handed after anchor Julie Dolan left Channel 9 in late November.

Hartman, a Chicago native, has experience replacing a popular TV anchor. In 2012, she left Chicago's WBBM-TV to replace WBNS-TV's Andrea Cambern, who was retiring after 20 years as a Channel 10 reporter and anchor.

At Channel 9, Hartman will co-anchor "9 On Your Side" newscasts 5-6 p.m. with Craig McKee, and anchor "9 On Your Side at 7 (p.m.)."  For Hartman, it's a lesser role in a smaller market (No. 36). She's the main 6 and 11 p.m. co-anchor in Columbus (No. 32).

Her arrival in April completes the nearly three-year transition from the Clyde Gray-Carol Williams anchor team. Gray retired in summer of 2014; Craig McKee joined Channel 9 in summer 2015; and Tanya O'Rourke replaced Williams as main co-anchor last January.

Earlier this month, Channel 9 added Ryan Houston from Jackson, Miss., to replace Dolan as the "The NOW Cincinnati” 4-5 p.m. co-anchor with O’Rourke.

At WBNS-TV, Hartman won multiple awards including a regional Edward R. Murrow Award, four Ohio Valley Emmy Awards and two Ohio Associated Press Awards, said the Channel 9 announcement. Before and after a mastectomy in October 2015, Hartman publicly discussed the process to raise awareness about the procedure and the importance of cancer screening, the Columbus Dispatch reported.

"She is regarded by colleagues past and present as a terrific work partner and newsroom leader; she will fit right in with the talented, passionate and innovative colleagues at 9 On Your Side," said Chip Mahaney, Channel 9 news director.

As a college student at Northwestern University, where she graduated in 1992, Hartman was a news intern at WBBM-TV. She worked as an anchor-reporter in Joplin, Mo.; Peoria, Ill., Charlotte, N.C., and Phoenix, Ariz., before returning to WBBM-TV in 2004 as a general assignment reporter. She also was a fill-in weekend anchor and weekday morning anchor.

Channel 9's anchor lineup in April will be:

4-5 p.m.: “The NOW Cincinnati” with Tanya O’Rourke and Ryan Houston.

5-6 p.m.: “9 On Your Side at 5” and “9 On Your Side at 5:30” with Kristyn Hartman and Craig McKee.

6-6:30 p.m.: “9 On Your Side at 6” with Tanya O’Rourke and Craig McKee.

7-7:30 p.m.: “9 On Your Side at 7” with Kristyn Hartman.

11-11:35 p.m. “9 On Your Side at 11” with Tanya O’Rourke and Craig McKee.

John Kiesewetter, who has covered television and media for more than 35 years, has been working for Cincinnati Public Radio and WVXU-FM since 2015.