WBAL-TV has bid goodbye to longtime reporter and anchor Donna Hamilton.
Hamilton’s final broadcast was last night. In a farewell address, flanked by colleagues Andre Hepkins, Stan Stovall, Gerry Sandusky, Deborah Weiner and Tom Tasselmyer, Hamilton gushed about her time spent on the air and thanked viewers, saying, “All of this, everything that we do is really for you.”
Hamilton wrote in a note on the station’s website that she’s “ready for a less busy life,” but said she “enjoyed my years here, as challenging and stressful as they sometimes were.”
A graduate of the University of Alabama-Birmingham, Hamilton joined Channel 11 in February 1995. She has delivered the news about “everything from train derailments, road collapses, political elections and natural disasters,” as well as the death of Freddie Gray in police custody and the aftermath, her colleague, Weiner, noted in a post on WBAL-TV’s website.
“I hope I’ve been able to put into context some awful things that I’ve had to tell you about,” Hamilton wrote in her farewell message, addressing viewers. “And we shared those times difficult times and stories, you and I, and that’s no small thing.”
Hamilton’s list of accolades for her work includes an “Outstanding Specialty Reporting” nod from the Chesapeake Associated Press Broadcasters Association, “First Place Specialty Reporting” from the Society for Professional Journalists and multiple awards for producing, writing and anchoring “The Peacemakers,” a 1991 documentary about a movement for peace in Israel between Jews and Palestinians, according to her bio.
WBAL-TV first announced Hamilton’s departure in February. Station president and general manager Dan Joerres told The Sun they would be carrying out a national search for her replacement.
That sort of turned out to be true. On Thursday morning, the station announced it has promoted Weiner to take over as co-anchor alongside Hepkins on the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. weeknight newscasts. Ashley Hinson, a new hire who graduated from Penn State University in 2012 and most recently worked for WPTV-TV in West Palm Beach, Florida, will co-anchor 5 p.m. weeknight newscasts starting in July.
This story has been updated.
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