It’s exceedingly rare for a local TV news anchor to have been on the air at the same station in the same market for 40 years.
The people you work with through the years become like a second family. So retiring feels like the end of a love affair of sorts, with your co-workers and the viewers.
“I was lucky to have found a career I loved from day one,” said Cooney.
“I hit the jackpot.”
Cooney attended Iowa State University in the early 1970s wanting to be a magazine writer. Iowa State was one of a few universities in the country that owned a Big Three station, WOI, an ABC affiliate.
Cooney started anchoring the news on WOI her junior year. “I was hooked and never looked back. And can’t think of anything else I’d rather do.”
Cooney said the rewards of being on the air at KCCI for so long comes when she hears from viewers.
“And living in a community like Des Moines, you can’t go anywhere without people saying something.”
Cooney said with local TV news being consumed everywhere and so easily on cell phones and computers, it’s more important to be a journalist now than ever before.
“It has been my honor, as a reporter, to gain the trust of viewers to tell their stories and as an anchor, to earn their trust to report the news. KCCI truly is a family who cares for each other and this community and I know the proud tradition will continue.”
Here are some viewer comments about Cooney’s retirement.
“I must say, that I know I join the thousands who will miss your candid, professional, and genuinely kind approach that was reflected consistently in your reporting and interviewing. You will be so missed!”
“I have felt a sense of honesty in your reporting, which seems to be missing from so many today. You are the same calm, caring, and honest person in person as you are when I see you on the news. Enjoy your retirement!!!!”
“I don’t know what we are going to do without Mollie Cooney on the air. Really, you are such a pro!”
“Very classy lady. You are a central Iowa institution, great job, Mollie.”
“Mollie, you have been such a great example of responsible and compassionate reporting. I will miss you.”
“Such a class act! I hope she enjoys retirement as it is truly well deserved.”