After 44 years in broadcasting, WHEC-TV veteran new anchor Rich Funke has announced he will retire at the end of this year.
“I don't know where the time has gone,” said Funke, 63, in a statement. “But I do know the time has come to step aside, move into the next phase of my life.”
After graduating from Adelphi University in 1971, Funke was hired by WHAM radio, before moving on to WAXC Radio as its first news director.
Funke went on to become sports director of WHEC-TV, where he oversaw the coverage of Buffalo Bills football and Syracuse University Sports for the station. He then spent some time covering local news in Miami before returning to WHEC-TV in 1981, where he has been ever since serving as both a sports director and news anchor.
"For 38 years, Rich Funke has meant so much to the News10NBC family and to our viewers,” said Derek Dalton,” president and general manager of WHEC-TV, in a statement. “It is rare for a journalist to have the impact within a community that Rich has had in Rochester. It speaks not only to the kind of broadcaster he is, but also to the person he is on and off the air.”
Funke has hosted local specials for events such as the LPGA, Ryder Cup and Super Bowl. He also has hosted every telethon for the Golisano Children’s Hospital.
He is a four-time winner of the Press Radio Club’s Sportscaster of the Year Award and has been honored five times by the New York State Broadcasters Association. Funke also was a part of the Frontier Field Walk of Fame’s inaugural class and a member of the Section V Football and Basketball Halls of Fame.
He said his last day on air will come sometime in December.
“I'm looking forward to the next phase, new challenges and new ways to give back to the community I love and the people who have shown me such incredible support and warmth through the years,” Funke said.
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