When longtime evening anchor Tisha Powell left ABC11 at the end of June, her stated intention was to retire from the news business, move home to Louisiana and start a new career that would offer a better schedule for her family.
Well, that’s mostly what happened.
Powell did leave her job at WTVD and moved with her family back to her native Louisiana, but she hasn’t left the news business.
WAFB, the CBS affiliate in Baton Rouge, announced on Monday that Powell is joining their station as an afternoon anchor.
According to the station, Powell will co-anchor the 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. newscasts there starting Aug. 9.
Powell, who worked at WTVD for nearly 17 years before leaving last month, said in the WAFB announcement: “I am honored to be able to work for a station that I grew up watching as a child. I am humbled to be able to work in the studio where Donna Britt worked for 37 years to bring you the news with class and grace. I look forward to working with the staff and crew here at WAFB to bring you the news with integrity, befitting the legacy of this station and worthy of the trust that viewers place in us when they welcome us into their homes every day.”
More time with family
In an interview with The News & Observer the week before her final broadcast on ABC11, Powell said that she had worked nights for about 15 years at the station, and that working from home some during the pandemic had opened her eyes to the time she was missing with her youngest daughter, who is 7.
Powell anchored the 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts at ABC11 — a schedule which made for very long days.
“I am physically exhausted,” Powell said in the interview with The N&O. “I get home after midnight, I get up early to take care of my daughter and take her to school. I get maybe about five hours of sleep. And doing that year after year after year, it wears you out, and the morning show people can tell you that, too ... It’s hard to take care of yourself and other people and your family and run a household and do this job at the same time.”
In that same interview, Powell indicated she was ready for a career change, and said she had begun working remotely toward a Leadership and Communications Masters of Science degree at Purdue University.
“I was thinking sometime in the future I was going to transition into something else, and I just wanted to set myself up for whatever that may be,” Powell said.
The job at WAFB appears to be more of a part-time job that would allow Powell to remain in journalism, but also be home more for her family.
And she can do it all while back home in Louisiana, where she and her husband, Dr. James Wayne (also a Louisiana native), can be closer to relatives.
“I am excited to be home, Tisha told WAFB. “As a military family, my husband and I have been away from south Louisiana for a long time, missing out on countless family gatherings through the years. Moving forward, we will be home every holiday.”
A new anchor at ABC11
ABC11 last week named Powell’s replacement: Lauren Johnson, a veteran journalist coming from the Fox 29 News in the Philadelphia market, will be the station’s new evening co-anchor alongside Steve Daniels.
Johnson will begin her anchoring duties this week.