NORFOLK, Va. — During his final 13News Now broadcast on Wednesday evening, Anchor David Alan highlighted major moments in Hampton Roads during his decades-long news career here.
He shared his gratitude for the community, his colleagues, and his family. And then a message of hope for the future, before signing off from the 13News Now anchor desk one last time.
"I believe that in life everything has a beginning and an end, and the timing of the end of this chapter seems right," Alan told viewers during the 6 p.m. newscast.
Alan joined the WVEC newsroom in 2000, replacing anchor Terry Zahn, who had passed away after a public battle with cancer. Alan went on to tell the stories of Hampton Roads from behind the anchor desk for more than 20 years: during the USS Cole bombing, 9/11, the War on Terror, the economic crisis of 2009, and at least three mass shootings in Virginia.
"I was fortunate to step into a newsroom with so many talented journalists who helped to guide me, and like so many of you, gave me a chance," he said.
Anchor Janet Roach put together a tribute to Alan's career that also aired in Wednesday's broadcast. And in interviews that aired on 13News Now earlier this week, Roach, as well as Anchor Nicole Livas and Chief Meteorologist Jeff Lawson, spoke about the person and journalist they have known in Alan and what he means to them.
An award-winning journalist. A mentor. A friend.
Hundreds of the station's viewers from across Hampton Roads and northeast North Carolina have expressed similar sentiments since early May, after the announcement of Alan's departure.
"I want you to know that I have read all of the comments and messages you have left for me on Facebook and Twitter," he told viewers. "My heart is filled with gratitude. I cannot thank you enough. You have made my leaving that much more difficult."
"I’m going to miss sitting here each night and sharing with you the work of this talented news team. And I’m going to miss sharing this anchor desk with Janet and Nicole. It has been the privilege of my professional life to have them by my side."
Alan also thanked his wife Karan, daughter Mia and her fiancé Donald, who were all in the 13News Now studio for his final broadcast.
Then he turned back to the camera and addressed the people of Hampton Roads.
"Finally, If you will allow me, too often these days people tell me they don’t watch the news anymore. It’s too negative, they say. There’s too much violence, too much pain and suffering. We need more good news. I agree.
"Maybe we can change this together by being less judgmental, by practicing gratitude, by treating others with respect, by speaking only the truth, by voting.
"We need to try now more than ever.
"For me, that’s 13News Now at 6. I'm David Alan, good night."