He will replace Romona Robinson.
Updated notes: Mitchell will have a co-anchor who is still in the process of being hired. Not clear if that co-anchor will be in place on Jan. 16, or if Mitchell will work with a fill-in or just go solo until the new co-anchor is in place.
The official word:
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 WKYC as Managing Editor Evening News and lead anchor of the 6pm and 11pm newscasts beginning January 16, 2012.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my years at CBS and the challenges and excitement of a network role,” stated Mr. Mitchell, “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,” remarked President and General Manager Brooke Spectorsky. “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.”
“I’m a Midwestern guy. I’m used to hard work, I get the weather, and I can’t wait to settle my family in a community where local news can still make a difference,” said Mr. Mitchell. “Channel 3 has the courage and conviction to do the kind of news that goes beyond reporting ‘what is’ to foster a vision of ‘what could be.’ And I find that truly exciting.”
Mitchell was born in St. Louis and accepted his first television job at age 17 as a nighttime switchboard operator at KTVI-TV. “I thought I’d be doing that for a week, then anchoring a newscast,” joked Mr. Mitchell. “Folks set me straight.” 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. He covered the war in Bosnia, went to the Democratic Republic of Congo and interviewed then President Laurent Kabila, reported from Cuba, India, Indonesia and The Marshall Islands.
Mr. Mitchell was on the anchor desk with Dan Rather on September 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.
Russ 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.
Perhaps not as well-known, but equally important to Mitchell is 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.
Russ is married to Karina Mahtani-Mitchell, a freelance contributor of entertainment reports to CBS. Mrs. Mahtani-Mitchell was also a broadcast associate for CBS Newspath. She and Russ have four children.