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Madeline Ottilie 6th person to leave WCPO-TV news in 2 months

Reporter Madeline Ottilie joined WCPO-TV in July 2021.
Courtesy WCPO-TV
Reporter Madeline Ottilie joined WCPO-TV in July 2021.

The reporter left the station after three years, following Kristen Swilley, Evan Millward, Jasmine Styles, Jessica Hart and Raven Richard out the door.

The goodbyes continue at WCPO-TV.

Reporter Madeline Ottilie signed off last week after three years to take a job at Seattle’s KIRO-TV, becoming the sixth on-air news personality to leave WCPO-TV in two months.

The exodus started May 15 when weekend morning anchor Kristen Swilley left to join Wordsworth Communications.

She announced her departure after Jeff Brogan, vice president and general manager, revealed a newsroom restructuring plan to eliminate two anchors, hire five new multimedia journalists and record more newscasts.

A week later, Evan Millward and Jasmine Styles, co-anchors at 7 p.m. and 11 p.m., accepted Brogan’s offer and left Channel 9.

Courtesy Raven Richard
Raven Richard forecasting at WDSU-TV in New Orleans earlier this month.

By the end of May, reporter Jessica Hart had also left the ABC affiliate after two years. Traffic reporter and fill-in meteorologist Raven Richard left last month after five years with the station. She is now in New Orleans, where she does weather for NBC affiliate WDSU-TV.

Now Ottilie, a San Diego native and 2019 University of Southern California graduate, has headed back to the West Coast.

“I’m thrilled to accept a reporter position with KIRO 7 in Seattle! I can’t wait to work alongside a talented team of journalists to tell stories that make a difference. It’s a move that also brings me closer to my family in California,” Ottilie posted on Instagram.

Cincinnati, she said, will always hold a special place in her heart.

“It’s hard to fully express my gratitude to everyone who has made Cincinnati truly feel like home. Thank you to my coworkers who never failed to brighten my day and push me to be better. Thank you to my sources who fielded countless calls and texts to help us tell meaningful stories that made an impact. Thank you to our viewers. You accepted me into your home with kindness in your hearts.

“I have loved every second in Cincinnati and at WCPO — and that’s thanks to the people.”

Ottilie came to Cincinnati from El Paso’s KVIA-TV, where she was a morning reporter and midday anchor-producer for two years (2019-21) after USC. Before that, she interned with CBS This Morning and the NBC Today shows in Los Angeles, and was a multimedia reporter, news anchor and lead producer for Annenberg TV News in Los Angeles.

Brogan told the newsroom staff April 5 that he was eliminating two news anchor positions and hiring five additional reporters.

“We are making changes to staffing so we can build the largest reporting staff of any newsroom in Cincinnati. This will help us deliver the best coverage of communities across the Tri-State,” Brogan said.

A shift in the TV business paradigm — with younger viewers getting news and information from their phones and mobile devices instead of traditional TV newscasts — prompted the change from needing news anchor desk positions to wanting more reporters on the street.

“These changes in the audience and our business, plus our investment in reporting, mean we must eliminate positions to keep our station solid for the future. Two anchor positions will be among those eliminated. These are tough decisions that we do not take lightly,” Brogan says. (Read more about the newsroom changes in my April 10 story, WCPO-TV cutting two anchor jobs, adding five reporters.)

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.