Russ Mitchell Leaving CBS For WKYC

The longtime CBS journalist returns to local news as the anchor and managing editor at Gannett’s Cleveland NBC affiliate. He will begin anchoring the station's 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts on Jan. 16, 2012.

Russ Mitchell, current anchor of the CBS Evening News weekend editions and The Early Show on Saturday, and national correspondent for CBS News Sunday Morning, the CBS Evening News and The Early Show will be joining the staff of Gannett-owned NBC affiliate WKYC Cleveland (DMA 18) as managing editor, evening news and lead anchor of the 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts beginning Jan. 16, 2012.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my years at CBS and the challenges and excitement of a network role,” Mitchell said in a statement, “but I’ve been offered a unique opportunity to help create the next generation of local news in a great place and have a key role in trying to make a difference in a wonderful community.”

“Russ’s breadth of experience and his passion for our industry and our local mission is unparalleled,” said Brooke Spectorsky, WKYC president and general manager. “2012 will be a pivotal year for Northeast Ohio with everything from major economic projects to a Presidential election.  Russ will help position Channel 3 News to take an even greater leadership role as the trusted source of news and information in our region.”

Mitchell was born in St. Louis and accepted his first television job at age 17 as a nighttime switchboard operator at KTVI St. Louis. He graduated from the University of Missouri, and began his professional career at KMBC in Kansas City. Larger markets and bigger stations soon followed, then a move to New York as the co-anchor of the overnight CBS News broadcast, Up to the Minute.

In 1993 he was named a correspondent for Eye-to-Eye with Connie Chung.  In 1995, Mitchell was assigned to the CBS Washington bureau. In July of 1997, Mitchell was named co-anchor of CBS News Saturday Morning and traveled extensively as a reporter for the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather and 48 Hours.

Mitchell was on the anchor desk with Dan Rather on Sept. 11, 2001, and reported from Ground Zero and other parts of Manhattan on the days and weeks that followed.  Most recently, he anchored the live CBS Special Report coverage of the capture and death of Osama Bin Laden on May 1, 2011.


Mitchell has been honored with multiple local and national Emmys Awards. He has received the National Association of Black Journalists Award, the Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Award for his coverage of the Elian Gonzales story, the New York Association of Black Journalists Award for Best Documentary, and the Press Club of St. Louis 18th Annual Media Person of the Year Award.

He was also awarded the 2007 Missouri Honor Medal. He received it for distinguished service in journalism from the University of Missouri School of Journalism, his alma mater. He also returns there every summer to help with a journalism workshop for high school students, a workshop he attended in 1977.

Comments (3)

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Wagner Pereira says:

December 21, 2011 at 5:43 pm

He’s been MIA for roughly 4-6 weeks from the CBS Market Update on 60 Minutes (as has the Market Update). This explains why he’s missing from it, but not why CBS dropped Market Update in 60 Minutes entirely.

Brian Walshe says:

December 21, 2011 at 6:04 pm

Interesting move. Wonder whether its because Mitchell wasn’t chosen for the weekday CBS News anchor position and Scott Pelley was?

Hope Yen and Charles Babington says:

December 21, 2011 at 10:24 pm

Ted, absolutely!! Russ was ‘dissed’ twice by CBS recently. First, he was passed over by CBS in favor of Chris Wragge when they dumped Harry on the Early Show. How’d THAT move work out, CBS? Then, although earlier, Russ was also dissed in favor of Scott P. Scott is doing a decent job, but so would have Russ. Mr. Mitchell, best of luck and Godspeed in the home of the R&R Hall of Fame!

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