NBC Washington announces retirement of longtime anchor Wendy Rieger

NBC Washington anchor Wendy Rieger is retiring. (Courtesy NBC Washington)

NBC Washington’s Wendy Rieger, indelible anchor on NBC4 and former anchor at WTOP, has announced her retirement following over three decades helming D.C. area newscasts.

The local outlet shared the news that their “sage anchor” would be writing her next chapter away from the peacock Friday evening.



Rieger said that she negotiated her retirement two years ago and reflected positively on the need for a new chapter in her life. She said that she saw “an elegance to the Universe” and would take the Solstice, a high holiday in the Celtic Pagan tradition, as an opportunity to “pull a fresh page from the stack and start writing a new story.”

“It is time to make my way to the exit — not because there is anything wrong. But because so much is deliciously right,” Rieger wrote in a statement. “And there is so much talent walking these halls. I want to direct my light on them. Give the audience a fresh face and a jolt of new energy.”

Rieger added that, though she loves her time at NBC Washington, she wants to learn to play the cello and spend more time with her new husband. She said that her neighbors could use the aggravation of her learning to play the stringed instrument “or the tuba.”

“You know I think, at a certain point, as I used to say to some of my dates,” she said, “‘how can I miss you if you won’t leave?’”

In a statement, NBC Washington said that they know that Wendy had an incredible impact on the newsroom and the community.

“Whether reporting from a hurricane or trading barbs with Handly on the desk, we’ve come to rely on Wendy for her intelligence, her personality and her compassion,” WTOP’s news partners said.

She will be around the station until Dec. 17, which will be her last day on the set. Her co-anchor, Jim Handly, announced that they would honor her career during the Friday show.

Rieger was added to the roster at NBC Washington in 1988 as a general assignment reporter. She covered breaking news at 11 p.m., moving on to anchor weekend evening newscasts in 1996, settling at the 5 p.m. anchor slot in 2001.

Rieger’s writing and voice sparked her early career following a short writing experience at WAMU, hosting Morning Edition and anchoring at NPR and WTOP. Her television career began in CNN’s Washington Bureau.

NBC Washington contributed to this report.

Ivy Lyons

Ivy Lyons is a digital journalist for WTOP.com. Since 2018, they have worked on Capitol Hill, at NBC News in Washington, and with WJLA in Washington.

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