News anchor Toya Washington is leaving WISN-TV (Channel 12) after 20 years

Toya Washington is an anchor for WISN-TV (Channel 12).
Toya Washington is an anchor for WISN-TV (Channel 12).

News anchor Toya Washington is leaving WISN-TV (Channel 12) at the end of December after 20 years at the Hearst-owned Milwaukee station.

“We have enjoyed having Toya at 12 News, and we wanted her to stay," Jan Wade, president and general manager of Channel 12, said via email Wednesday. "She’s been a wonderful contributor. We wish her well, and want nothing but the best for her in the future.”

No immediate word yet on where Washington is going next.

The Milwaukee Business Journal first reported Washington's planned departure Tuesday.

Washington joined Channel 12 in December 2002 as co-anchor of the ABC affiliate morning newscast with Rebecca Kleefisch, who later served as Wisconsin's lieutenant governor. She later anchored the station's 6 p.m. newscast, and for more than a decade has been anchor on Channel 12's 5 p.m. newscast. She went part-time in 2011.

According to the latest Nielsen data provided by Channel 12, the station's 5 p.m. newscast was the top-rated news in its time slot and third-highest rated Milwaukee newscast overall during the November ratings sweeps.

Washington joined Channel 12 from Madison's WISC-TV. A Minneapolis native, she graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

In her email, Wade said the station is planning a search for Washington's replacement.

Washington is the second longtime newsperson announcing plans to leave Channel 12 at the end of the year. In early November, reporter Kent Wainscott said on social media that he was retiring at the end of 2022 after 42 years in TV news, the last 34 of them at Channel 12.

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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: News anchor Toya Washington leaving Milwaukee's WISN-TV (Channel 12)