WLWT-TV sports reporter Brandon Saho taking a mental health break
Vowing "to beat this thing," WLWT-TV sports reporter-anchor Brandon Saho says he's "taking a break from sports reporting to focus on my mental health."
The Cincinnati native and 2015 University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music Electronic Media program graduate said he has "battled depression for 15 years," in a Twitter post Sunday.
"These last 3 months have been the hardest. But I finally want to make a big change and be happy with myself. I'm ready to beat this thing. And I will!" he wrote.
Saho is the second Cincinnati TV newsman to hit pause on his career for mental health healing. WCPO-TV reporter Jake Ryle took off most of October to seek help for "having anxiety and persistent depressive disorder."
Ryle, a Northern Kentucky native and 2012 Western Kentucky University graduate, told me as he was returning to work at the end of October that he benefited greatly from the therapy sessions and break from work. "I feel like I'm back to my old self – or a better version of myself," he told me.
Saho declined to talk after his Twitter announcement Sunday went viral. It generated 11,800 likes, 583 comments and 254 shares in 24 hours.
"To be honest, I’m a little overwhelmed and want to focus on my mental health right now. But I would be open to talking down the road closer to when I come back to work. Hope you understand," said his message to me.
WLWT-TV has only two sports reporters – Saho and George Vogel, the main sports anchor and sports director. With Saho absent from Sunday night newscasts, news anchors Courtis Fuller and Molly Lair read sports stories about the NCAA basketball tournament games and the Reds' Cactus League play at the end of the newscast.
"I'm not sure what the plan will be. The hope is Brandon is not gone long," Vogel says.
Saho, a LaSalle High School alum, worked at WXIX-TV as an assignment editor and sports photographer for nine months as he was graduating from UC in 2015. Then he spent nine months at WTVM-TV in Columbus, Ga., as a weekend morning anchor-producer-editor and a weekday morning reporter. He shot and edited his own news and sports packages.
Next he worked nearly two years as a sports reporter at WBRZ-TV in Baton Rouge (2016-18) before coming to home to Cincinnati.