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WLWT-TV's Elise Jesse Can't Reveal New Destination - Yet

Courtesy Elise Jesse
Cincinnati native Elise Jesse is leaving WLWT after seven years of covering sports.

Elise Jesse, the Oak Hills High School and Mount St. Joseph University alum, is leaving her hometown sports reporting job at WLWT-TV.

She's married to Mike Rehfeldt, the former University of Cincinnati basketball director of sports performance who has accepted a similar position at the University of Connecticut.

"I have decided to leave Cincinnati. It's a bittersweet moment, but I know that the next adventure will be amazing," Jesse announced Thursday on Twitter.

Does she have a TV job in a bigger market?

"I will comment further as soon as I’m allowed to do so! It shouldn’t be long! Thank you so much for taking interest," she tells me.

Credit Courtesy Elise Jesse
George Vogel and Elise Jesse anchored "WLWT Blitz 5" before high school football games.

When I've been told that in the past, it usually means the person is waiting for his/her new employer to announce his/her hiring. Sometimes the new employer needs time for an opening actually to occur, due to a retirement, resignation, reassignment, etc.

Jesse, who played basketball at Oak Hills, "is addicted to all things Cincinnati sports," according to her Channel 5 bio.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in communication studies in 2012. She also interned at Channel 5.

After graduating from college, she worked five months at WXIX-TV as an assignment editor, and only one year as a sports anchor/reporter at KFBB-TV in Great Falls Montana (TV market No. 192 of 210) before joining Channel 5 in November 2013.

Credit John Kiesewetter / WVXU
Elise Jesse interviewing me on Opening Day 2016 on Crosley Terrace.

At Channel 5, she has anchored, written and produced weekend sportscasts at 6, 10 and 11 p.m.;  co-hosted, written and produced the Sunday night Sports Rock show; co-anchored and co-produced live WLWT Blitz 5 Friday night pregame shows; and covered the Reds, Bengals, UC, Xavier and high school sports. She and Rehfeldt have one child.

Jesse has been the only woman covering sports full-time for a Cincinnati TV station since March 2019, when Aly Cohen turned down a WKRC-TV contract renewal to go home to Pittsburgh. (She's a host for Pirates pre-and post-game shows for AT&T Sportsnet.)

Here's Jesse's announcement on Twitter:

I have decided to leave Cincinnati. It's a bittersweet moment, but I know that the next adventure will be amazing.

I can't thank the station enough for taking a chance on me nearly 7 years ago, giving me the opportunity to work with such incredible people. My coworkers at Channel 5 are some of the brightest, most passionate people in the business and I am proud to have worked alongside them.

To all of the coaches and players that I've grown to know over the years: THANK YOU for trusting me with our stories and life experiences, your kindness, and for being a huge part of my happiness here in Cincy.

To the viewers: Thank you for embracing me and allowing me to provide you with sports news and stories.

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.