DETROIT (WWJ) – Veteran news anchor Carmen Harlan is retiring from Detroit television, signing off on a broadcasting career that spanned four decades.
WDIV-TV announced Thursday morning that Harlan plans to leave the station on November 11 and head into retirement.
Mort Meisner, local talent agent and former Detroit TV news director, called Harlan one of the greatest female anchors to ever grace the airwaves in Detroit.
“I think Carmen is an icon, still performing at a very, very high level so, she’s certainly going out on top,” Meisner said live on WWJ Newsradio 950 Thursday morning.
Harlan began her broadcasting career in Detroit radio before joining WDIV-Local 4 in 1978 as a general assignment reporter, according to the station. She debuted as an anchor with legendary newsman Mort Crim and for the past 20 years has been partnered with anchor Devin Scillian for the station’s early evening and late news programs.
“Carmen is one of the last anchors who viewers would have traveled with, meaning going over from Channel 4 to Channel 2,” said Meisner. “She has a little bit of a girl next door characteristic, she’s got great credibility, she’s smooth in the face of adversity and even though a completely different anchor that someone like Bill Bonds and Diana Lewis, all three have the ability to kiss the newscast even on the worst of days and make you feel like the sky was not falling. She’s enormously talented and she will be missed.”
So, who will be filling her shoes? Meisner shared his speculations.
“You cannot replace an icon, you can only succeed them,” he said. “I would predict that it will be Kimberly Gill and the reason I predict that is they brought Kimberly in from Pittsburgh at a time where it looked like Carmen could be in the autumn of her career, and I think they’ve been honing her skills and prepping her. And while I have no proprietary information, I will be shocked if it isn’t Kimberly Gill.”
Harlan will return to the airwaves to host “America’s Thanksgiving Parade” on November 24.