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Brad Johansen Out After One Year In Raleigh

Courtesy WKRC-TV
Brad Johansen left WKRC-TV after February sweeps last year.

Former WKRC-TV news anchor Brad Johanson is gone from WRAL-TV in Raleigh, N.C., after one year.

"There was a personnel matter and we handled it immediately," said Joel Davis, WRAL-TV general manager, in an email to the News & Observer. "Brad Johansen is no longer with the station."

The announcement was made to the staff earlier Thursday.

After nearly 26 years at WKRC-TV, Johansen left Channel 12 in February last year. The day of Christmas 2017, the North Carolina station announced that Johansen would join the news team April 2, 2018.

Credit Courtesy Brad Johansen
Johansen broke the story about Lauren Hill wanting to play college basketball while battling cancer in October 2014.

WRAL-TV needed a No. 1 anchorman to replace David Crabtree, who was planning on retiring after 35 years at the end of 2018. However, the News & Observer said Crabtree announced last November that he would postpone retirement for another two years.

In Cincinnati, the No. 1 anchor job was out of reach for Johansen at WKRC-TV as long as second-generation broadcaster Rob Braun was on the payroll.

When Johansen's move was made public in late 2017, he said that he was going to "journalism heaven" in Raleigh, and to "basketball heaven," referring to the University of North Carolina, North Carolina State and Duke.

"I'm just going to come in and do whatever they ask me to do. Hopefully I'll do a lot of storytelling, and I'll fill in on the anchor desk when needed," Johansen told me.

As his Channel 12 contract was expiring in August of 2017, Johansen said he "got a phone call that they (WRAL-TV) were doing a search (for an anchor)." He got a six-month extension for WKRC-TV through Feb. 28 last year, his last day before going to the Raleigh-Durham TV market.

Johansen came to Channel 12 in 1992 to anchor the city's first Saturday morning local newscast. He transitioned to sports director when Ken Broo left WKRC-TV in 1996, and did play-by-play for Fox Sports Ohio, CBS and CBS Sports Network. Channel 12 managers forced him to go back to news anchor in fall 2014, and a month later he broke the story about Lauren Hill, the young college basketball player battling cancer.

He and his family lived in Mason, where his wife Colleen taught in Mason schools. Brad and Colleen also raised more than $2 million for charities through their golf outing and 12 years of "Party for a Purpose."

Before he left, Johansen listed his 12 favorite memories about working at Channel 12.It ended by Johansen saying:

"I arrived in Cincinnati in 1992. I planned on staying for two years. Twenty-six years later it’s time to go. WKRC became home to me. I owe so much to this station, and more importantly to the people who watched this station. Viewers have invited me into their homes for more than a quarter-century, and they passionately shared with me how much they care ... This is a special place. I’m leaving, but I won’t ever be completely gone ... Thank you Cincinnati. I owe you."

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.