Black to Retire Nov. 30 from WFMJ Anchor Desk

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Bob Black, anchor of WFMJ-TV since January 1998, announced tonight that he will deliver his final newscast Monday, Nov. 30 at 6 p.m. He will be succeeded by WFMJ Weekend Today anchor Derek Steyer, who will join co-anchor Leslie Barrett weeknights at 6 and 11 p.m.

Black came to WFMJ from WKBN-TV where he began his journalism career in 1978, His move to WFMJ, concurrent with the hiring of WKBN’s former assistant news director Mona Alexander, brought the NBC affiliate to the top of the local TV news ratings.

“Bob and I have been friends and colleagues for many, many years and I will dearly miss seeing him on a daily basis,” said Alexander in a statement. “That said, he deserves a long and happy retirement. I’m just thrilled he’ll still be a part of the 21 News team and he’s not completely saying goodbye.”

Black will have “a recurring role with us moving forward, particularly with the size and scope of the 2016 election year,” explained Channel 21’s general manager, Jack Grdic.

In announcing his retirement from the anchor desk, WFMJ listed some of the major events he covered including the trip by civic leaders to Palermo, Italy, to report on efforts there to fight systemic public corruption and organized crime; the trial of the late Jim Traficant and important economic stories.

Among his career achievements cited by the TV station in its announcement:

  • 1997-2015, 21 News weeknight co-anchor and assistant news director.
  • 2001, Ohio AP Award for Extraordinary Coverage of a Scheduled Event (U.N. Symposium on Organized Crime in Palermo, Italy).
  • Three NATAS Regional Emmy Awards in the Cleveland Region.
  • 1978-1997, reporter and anchor at WKBN-TV.

Black is a graduate of Penn State University. Upon graduation he became an English teacher in the Grove City, Pa., school system, and in 1978 was named the Grove City JayCees Outstanding Educator.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.