Kris Pickel, the weeknight co-anchor on WKYC (Channel 3) for the past three years, will leave the station in late May for a new job in Phoenix, Ariz.



Pickel will become evening co-anchor for KPHO, the CBS affiliate in Phoenix, WKYC general manager Micki Byrnes confirmed Wednesday.



A native of Sacramento, Calif., she worked mainly in the western U.S., including Nevada, Colorado and Tucson, AZ, before joining WKYC. The Phoenix move also puts her closer to family and, according to Byrnes, KPHO may offer a chance to move into management later.



Phoenix is also a growing TV market, currently ranked 11th according to Nielsen. Cleveland-Akron-Canton ranks 19th.



But Byrnes said Pickel's decision was driven mainly by a wish to be closer to the rest of her family.



Pickel joined WKYC in March 2012, teamed with Russ Mitchell, who had come to the station from CBS News about two months earlier.



No decision has been made about replacing Pickel, Byrnes said, or even whether the station will continue with two anchors.



While praising the combination of Mitchell, Jim Donovan and Betsy Kling, Byrnes said Pickel's leaving offers a chance to rethink the structure of the evening newscast.



Gannett, WKYC's owner, is also making changes in its broadcasting operation, setting up separate companies in mid-2015 for print (still to be called Gannett) and broadcasting and digital (which is being named TEGNA, a name formed from some of the letters in Gannett).



A top company executive said the name change "shows our innovative spirit and commitment to being a forward-looking company that empowers people, businesses and communities to grow and thrive.