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Sports anchor Gary Miller leaves WKRC-TV

Dan Patrick Show

The Bengals TV station drops its top sports personality 10 days before the NFL season begins.

Gary Miller signed off as WKRC-TV's main sports anchor Thursday night after six years at Local 12.

An ESPN anchor and sportscaster from 1990 to 2004, Miller was brought here from Los Angeles in August 2017 with much fanfareto replace sports anchor Brad Stienke.

Miller had anchored SportsCenter, and did play-by-play for Major League Baseball, the College Baseball World Series and the Little League World Series for ESPN before working for KCBS-TV and KCAL-TV in Los Angeles, and hosting the Los Angeles Dodger pregame show.

Miller's departure leaves WKRC-TV, the local station for CBS' Bengals telecasts, with only a weekend sports anchor-reporter (Chris Renkel) and sports blogger (Richard Skinner) 10 days before the Bengals kick off their season Sept. 10 in Cleveland against the Browns. It's a busy month for sports departments covering the Bengals, the Reds pennant race, University of Cincinnati debut in the Big 12 Conference and high school football and soccer.

The timing – coming days after the fifth anniversary of Miller's debut on Channel 12 – indicates that his contract was not renewed by the station. Miller did not respond to a request for comment.

Miller was the face of Channel 12's "Jungle Report" Bengals coverage. During training camp in July he did lengthy one-on-one interviews with linebacker Logan Wilson, kicker Evan McPherson and cornerback Mike Hilton.

The Chicago area native said his goodbye in a three-minute "Miller's Minute" essay on the 6 p.m. news, which Renkel repeated on Local 12's 10 p.m. news on WSTR-TV. He said he was happy to come to Cincinnati from the West Coast and raise his family in the Midwest. Miller grew up in the Chicago suburb of Naperville and earned a bachelor's degree in communications at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Ill.

"I was Chicago born and bred, and I couldn't wait for my family to experience what I was raised on in the Midwest," he said about his wife and two children, all born on the West Coast.

In his goodbye, he explained that he was familiar with Cincinnati before coming to Channel 12 because his sister lived here, and that his parents moved here in their final years to be near her. For ESPN and CNN, he had covered the Reds' World Series, a Bengals' Super Bowl and the Reds hosting the 2015 All-Star Game.

Miller also told viewers that Bengals head coach Zac Taylor was "the most meaningful to me" of all the Cincinnati coaches he covered. "There isn't a finer human I've met in any sport," he said.

The veteran broadcaster told viewers he didn't try "to 'do TV' … but just have a visit with you, tell some interesting stories, be your voice to the players and coaches, and be a welcome guest in your living room – or these days on your phone or where ever you get this. Thanks for having me, even for a minute."

WKRC-TV meteorologist John Gumm posted video of Miller's comments on his Facebook page here.

Gumm called Miller "a national TV legend. Even though he came here from LA and had worked at CNN and ESPN, he's a Midwest guy to the core and an incredible professional and family man. I'm so lucky our paths crossed and I'm going to miss him tremendously here at the Tall 12."

When Miller's hiring was announced on Aug. 4, 2017, then General Manager Jon Lawhead said: "Cincinnati is a big sports town. With our multi-station, multi-platform commitment to everything from high school sports, Reds, Bengals and FC Cincinnati, we think our viewers and users will agree that Gary's experience is a great addition to the team."

Before ESPN, Miller was a sports reporter for CNN and CNN Headline News from 1982 to 1990.

Steinke spent two years at Channel 12. He started on Opening Day 2015, filling the vacancy created when Channel 12 managers moved sports director Brad Johansen back to news in fall of 2014.

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.