Carrie Rengers

KWCH's Roger Cornish to leave the only job he 'really ever wanted to do'

Roger Cornish through the years

Longtime Wichita TV anchor Roger Cornish has announced he will retire. His final broadcast is May 23. (April 23, 2018)
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Longtime Wichita TV anchor Roger Cornish has announced he will retire. His final broadcast is May 23. (April 23, 2018)

Roger Cornish is leaving the family business, so to speak.

The longtime KWCH-TV, Channel 12, anchorman — whose father was on the staff when the station went on air in 1953 and whose wife and son worked there for a time, too — is retiring after his final broadcast on May 23.

"Forty one years, six months and 13 days is enough, I think," says the 63-year-old.

Cornish grew up watching his father in various jobs at the station, and he says it's "all I really ever wanted to do."

"For someone with no education and no discernible skill set, it's been a pretty good job."

Cornish started as a cameraman at age 17. At 18 in 1972, he married. His wife, Wanetta, eventually became the station's receptionist before leaving for a banking job.

"When we got married, I was making $1.60 an hour," Cornish says. "The take-home was about 100 bucks."

He says in the two times he's worked at KWCH, there have been nine station owners, 22 news directors and hundreds of co-workers.

"Too many to even remember at this point," says Cornish, though he says it's people he'll miss most when he retires.

He estimates he's been in about 23,000 newscasts.

"And I remember every one of them," he jokes.

Cornish says his plans are to "just relax for a while."

"I haven't had more than a week vacation at a time in decades."

He says he won't miss "life always being run by the clock."

Nor does Cornish plan to ever be on Twitter after retiring.

"You know, they call it social media," he says. "I'm pretty unsocial."

He says so much of the television business today revolves around social media and websites.

"Like an old, uneducated man, I had trouble with it," Cornish says. "I'm an old-fashioned guy."

He says he wants "to thank the people of Kansas for being patient with me."

There is one area Cornish has felt confident of his abilities.

"I load up the printers with paper all day," he says. "It's something I feel adequate at."

Cornish says he's not joking and that there will be trouble if someone else doesn't step in.

"Someone else is going to have to do it or they're going to forget, and the shows won't get printed."

Reach Carrie Rengers at 316-268-6340 or crengers@wichitaeagle.com.
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