Jim Morris to retire, WABI-TV5 staff transitions to take place as new year approaches

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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) Veteran news anchor Jim Morris has announced that he plans to retire at the end of this year. A Maine native, Morris began his broadcast career at WABI radio, while attending the University of Maine in Orono. He graduated with distinction in 1983, earning degrees in Journalism and Broadcasting, then landed a position as News Director and anchor at WVII-TV in Bangor. In 1985, Jim moved to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, reporting and anchoring for WHTM-TV and WITF-TV.

Jim returned to Maine in 1993. He became WABI’s Assistant News Director in 1995 and was promoted to News Director in 2000. He has co-anchored the station’s early evening News at 5 since its inception as a half-hour newscast at 5:30 in 1996.

Morris’ administrative duties will be assumed by current Assistant News Director Jon Small, who has accepted the promotion to News Director effective upon Jim’s departure. WABI anchor-reporter Catherine Pegram has also accepted a promotion, and will become the Assistant News Director. Both are well-known to the local community and TV5 viewers. Small started at WABI as a weekday morning co-anchor in 1997. Pegram came to the station in 2005, reporting and co-anchoring the 5:00 PM newscast with Morris.

“Everyone here has mixed emotions about Jim’s departure,” said WABI General Manager, Kim Lee. “He is and has been a valued member of the WABI family, and a friend and advisor to those who have had the opportunity to work with him. However, he has certainly earned the rewards of retirement, and we wish him well. We are, of course, very pleased that Jon and Catherine are stepping into new roles at WABI. In each case, there could be no better replacement.”

Both Pegram and Small will continue in their on-air roles as anchors at noon and 6:00 PM, respectively.

“There haven’t been many News Directors in WABI’s long history and I’ve been the longest-serving. It’s humbling that TV5 has had that kind of confidence in me and I’m grateful beyond words,” Morris said. “It’s been a pleasure working with so many talented people who are more like family than co-workers. And it has been an honor that our news has been trusted by so many viewers for so very long. Thank you, viewers, for inviting me into your homes for so many years. I’m leaving TV5 News in excellent hands. Jon has been doing a lot of the heavy lifting for quite some time now and Catherine is one of the most impressive journalists I’ve ever encountered. The future is bright indeed for TV5 News. I’ll enjoy watching it unfold, as a viewer.”