Roxanne Stein drops anchor at WHP

June 17, 1990 | Sunday News (Lancaster, PA)

 | Page: B01 | Section: LOCAL/STATE
681 Words | Readability: Lexile: 1170, grade level(s): 10 11-12

Roxanne Stein, a news anchor familiar to many Lancaster County television viewers, will be joining the Newsight 21 news team at WHP-TV Channel 21 in Harrisburg, according to John Eby, president and general manager at WHP.

Stein, a Hempfield High School graduate who was seen on WGAL-TV Channel 8 as an anchor from 1978 to 1981, will co-anchor at WHP with Gene Lepley beginning this September. Stein is replacing anchor Kathy Reilly, who has left the station to pursue other interests, said Steve Hunsicker, news director at Channel 21.

"I think she (Stein) is going to bring a lot to our newscast," Hunsicker noted. "Her knowledge of Lancaster will be a big help to us . . . I think we're going to have a good news team in place."

Stein left Channel 8 in July 1981 after accepting a job with NBC affiliate WPXI-TV in Pittsburgh, where she anchored the station's two evening newscasts until June 1987. She is now an anchor with WTVC-TV in Chattanooga, Tenn.

In a telephone interview from her Tennessee home, Stein expressed enthusiasm at the prospect of returning to familiar territory. "I'm coming back to a great opportunity," she said. "WHP is making a real commitment to the Lancaster area and to the news business, and I love the news business." A native of Charles Town, W.Va., Stein grew up in Lancaster County and attended Hempfield High School, graduating in 1973 after serving as president of her senior class. During her teen years, she pursued her interests in horsemanship and public speaking and was featured in area newspapers several times for her involvement in the National Honor Society and 4-H club.

In a Lancaster Newspapers "Teen of the Week" interview in 1972, she expressed her interest in broadcasting and communications.

She joined WGAL in 1978 after attending Penn State, where she graduated with a bachelor's degree in agriculture economics and rural sociology.

Of her days at Channel 8, Stein said, "They let me grow up on television . . . and people in Lancaster said `She's one of us.' " Following her departure for Pittsburgh, Stein said, she continued to receive mail from WGAL viewers.

In Pittsburgh, she co-anchored on NBC affiliate WPXI and served as a political anchor /correspondent. In addition to reporting the 1982 and 1986 gubernatorial races, Stein was a principal correspondent for the 1984 Democratic National Convention in San Francisco. She also co-anchored with Jane Pauley and Bryant Gumbel when NBC's "Today Show" broadcast from Pittsburgh.

She married Pittsburgh attorney Lee Goldberg in January of 1989, but that happy event was preceded in 1987 by a near-tragedy. Jogging in Miami with her fiance, Stein was struck by a hit-and-run vehicle.

"I was out cold," Stein recalled. A leg injury led to a year of therapy in Miami and Pittsburgh; it gave her time to think about alternatives to living in "the rat race." By then, she was no longer working for WPXI, and an opening at Chattanooga's WTVC led to her joining that station in September 1988.

Although it is a smaller market than Pittsburgh, Stein enjoyed the pace. "We loved Pittsburgh, but I have to tell you that I've had the most fun in Chattanooga."

Leaving her present surroundings provoked mixed feelings: "If I could put in a plug for Tennessee . . . this state is so underrated . . . it's beautiful, and it's going to be hard to leave," Stein said. "But now," she continued, "we'll be only an hour away from our boat on the Chesapeake!"

The biggest difference Stein noted in the local news scene is the amount of professional polish now required. In her early days at Channel 8, Stein said, program manager Nelson Sears "took a little farm girl" and put her on the air.

"So many people were so patient when I was learning the business," she noted, adding that she hoped a decade's worth of experience on her part will pay off for her Central Pennsylvania viewers.

But for Roxanne Stein, the best payoff is a personal one. Her parents still live in the area, and coming home will have more than just a professional significance. The other day, she noted happily, "I called my father and said that next year, I'll be with you on Father's Day."

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