Happiness is a Warm TV

A morning of goodbyes for departing WTVD anchor and reporter

Today is the last day on the job for WTVD weekend anchor and reporter Heather Waliga.

Waliga announced her departure Sunday on Facebook, recounting some of the highlights of her time at ABC11 but offering no details about her professional future.

Waliga, who grew up in Knoxville, Tenn., and graduated from the University of Tennessee, wrote: “As new parents, my husband and I have decided the time is right to move closer to family. I’ll be sharing more with you about what’s next for me professionally in the coming weeks.”

She joined ABC11 in 2013, coming from Spectrum News in Charlotte. Waliga has been active with many local charities and causes, including the Triangle Down Syndrome Network, Habitat for Humanity, the National Inclusion Project, Special Olympics North Carolina and the Salvation Army.

Heather Waliga Courtesy of Heather Waliga

Waliga has won several Associated Press awards and an award from the Radio Television Digital News Association for her health and feature reporting.

She reported from the red carpet of the 50th Annual Country Music Awards in Nashville and from NCAA championship games for UNC and Duke. She also covered the Democratic National Convention, the March on Wall Street and co-hosted the 2012 Miss North Carolina pageant.

Waliga posted a goodbye on her Facebook page this morning, which included a video of her WTVD highlights and messages from some of her colleagues at the station. The comment section filled with goodbyes and well-wishes from viewers.

Below is her announcement from Sunday, which also includes a Facetime Live video with colleagues DeJuan Hoggard and Tim Pulliam.


I always knew 2018 would be a year of change, so it is bittersweet to tell you that my time at ABC11 is coming to a close. My last day is Wednesday. I’ve thought a lot about how to write this because there’s no easy way to sum up in one post what living in North Carolina for the last decade has meant to me. It’s where my husband and I welcomed our baby girl, where I met some of my very best friends who also happen to be among the best in the business, and where I had the privilege of telling some of the most important and special stories of my career. You cheered with me at Final Fours across the country, followed me around in Breaking News One during snow coverage and severe weather, if you stayed up late enough on Saturday nights you probably caught a few episodes of HNL , and you helped me celebrate birthdays, holidays and anniversaries. I am FOREVER grateful to you for welcoming me into your homes night after night and for the way many of you opened up to me when I met you in person, some of you on the worse days of your lives. I hope you knew that while I had a job to do, I always tried to approach the tough stories with compassion. The news can sometimes be hard to swallow, but there are so many positive stories waiting to be told. I fought hard to seek them out, and when I did, they changed my perspective on life in a way that I never expected. Thank you for embracing my sister, Cassie. So many of you have reached out to me over the years to tell me about the special people in your family or just to say how much you enjoy seeing her pictures. The Down Syndrome community has been a big part of my life in North Carolina, and I’m so happy that you have embraced them too. I recently read that the hardest times in life to go through are when you’re transitioning from one version of yourself to another. As new parents, my husband and I have decided the time is right to move closer to family. I’ll be sharing more with you about what’s next for me professionally in the coming weeks. The good news is we will always be connected on social media, so you know where to reach me! I love to hear from you here. I may have grown up a Tennessee girl, but North Carolina will always have a piece of my heart. And so will all of you!

Posted by Heather Waliga on Sunday, January 28, 2018

Brooke Cain: 919-829-4579, @brookecain