ABC13's Tom Koch signs off after 39-year career at ABC13

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Friday, May 28, 2021
ABC13's Tom Koch signs off after 39-year television career
FAREWELL TOM: Watch as Tom Koch signed off for his last-ever newscast at ABC13 after a 39-year television career.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Longtime ABC13 Eyewitness News anchor Tom Koch signed off his final newscast Friday morning after a 39-year career with ABC13.

You can watch the video above to see Tom's final remarks, delivered alongside his wife, two daughters and coworkers.

As co-anchor of Houston's #1 morning newscast, Houstonians have started their day with Tom for 33 years. Tom also co-anchored ABC13's top-rated 4 p.m. news for eight years.

"For nearly 40 years, I've been honored and humbled that so many people welcomed me into their homes every day," said Tom. "It's been a dream come true for a small town Wisconsin kid to be part of this incredible station and truly great city of Houston. But I've decided it's time to step aside, turn off that early morning alarm and wake up to a new adventure. A giant thank you to our viewers for supporting me, staying with me, being part of this incredible journey and making this dream come true. I hope in some small way I've touched your life by keeping you informed, prepared for the day ahead and sending you off with a smile. To my colleagues and management at Channel 13, thank you for believing in me, always having my back and making me shine. To my wife and two daughters, words can't describe your love, support and inspiration or your forgiveness for sometimes long hours away from home and grouchiness because of 2:30 a.m. wake up calls. I love the phrase 'make your own adventure.' I have done just that with all of Houston behind me. Wish me well on my new journey."

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A respected and award-winning journalist, Tom has extensive experience telling thousands of stories from near and far. His Texas reporting has taken him from Houston City Hall to NASA and the State Legislature. He's trailed at least 10 hurricanes across the Gulf Coast and covered a dozen national political conventions. His international reports include the election of new Popes at the Vatican, the 90s oil boom in the former Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan, earthquakes in Central America, and American astronauts launching into space from Kazakhstan.

Tom's passion for people has always been front and center. A compassionate and masterful storyteller, people from all walks of life are comfortable sharing their stories with Tom whether they are stories of tragedy and challenges or stories of hope and inspiration.

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Selfless dedication to helping others is how many will remember the man who most folks just saw on TV.

From day one, Tom immersed himself to serving our Greater Houston-area communities both professionally and personally. Tom co-anchored many of the station's live special events including July 4th's Freedom Over Texas, Chevron Houston Marathon, Houston Symphony Concerts, Mayor's Holiday Lighting, ABC13's Share Your Holidays Food Drive, the Dedication of the Bush Library and Houston's Co-Cathedral. Plus, the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, Galveston Mardi Gras, Houston Art Car, and Astros World Series Championship Parades.

Tom also documented the Houston Museum of Natural Science's building of its new state-of-the-art Paleontology Hall, and was awarded an Emmy for his reporting of the journey of world's oldest human ancestor, Lucy, from Ethiopia to Houston.

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On a personal level, Tom spends much of his spare time supporting countless charities, often serving as emcee and auctioneer. Those non-profits include the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation, the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association, M.D. Anderson's Children's Art Project, Men of Distinction and Houston Symphony. Tom has served on numerous boards, and currently is on the advisory board of Casa de Esperanza, the Nature Discovery Center, and the Center for Hearing and Speech.

Originally from Green Bay, Wisconsin, Tom joined KTRK-TV September 14, 1982 as a reporter and became morning news anchor in 1987. Majoring in communications and business, Tom graduated from the University of Wisconsin. He began his broadcast career in college hosting a weekly television show, and his first TV interview was musician Charlie Daniels. Before coming to ABC13, Tom was an anchor and reporter at WAEO-TV in Rhinelander, Wisconsin and WBAY-TV in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Tom and his wife, Brenda, are the proud parents of two daughters, Emily and Chelsea.

Remember that time Tom Koch fed hyenas?

Tom Koch has had quite the journey across the country and the globe. Here, we take a look at some of the many places he's traveled.

See Tom Koch's early reporting years before he arrived in Houston

Who's that dashing young man hard at work on his typewriter? It can only be Tom Koch! And we'll tell you one thing. He has always had a great 'stache!