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One of Rhode Island’s top TV anchors is leaving

Brian Yocono of WPRI 12 News.Brian Yocono / Facebook

It’s the last day on the job for Brian Yocono, who has been a fixture on television news here in Rhode Island for most of the last decade.

Yocono, who has most recently been co-anchoring WPRI’s popular 4 p.m. show, is moving home to Maine for a new anchor job there. So I asked him to reflect on his time in Rhode Island.

Here’s what he had to say.

Q: You’ve been at WPRI since 2014. Why is now the right time to leave?

Yocono: The timing just felt right. Don’t get me wrong, this departure isn’t an easy one. I love Rhode Island and the team at 12 News. I’m fortunate to be in a position to listen to my gut that is telling me it’s time for a new chapter in my journey.


Q: People might not realize that you have had three distinct roles at WPRI: reporter, anchor, and assistant news director. Which one did you like best and which one did you enjoy the least?

Yocono: I’ve worn a lot of great hats here. It’s tough to choose. My heart is in reporting and anchoring, connecting with the viewers. But the unique management opportunity at 12 News opened the door to hiring, coaching, and shaping the next generation of journalists to produce the best content on our platforms. Scheduling, however, is a thankless job. I won’t miss that.

Q: WPRI has been one of the most innovative television stations in the country during your time here, and you played a major role in launching the popular 4 p.m. show with Kim Kalunian. What was it like the first time someone complained because they couldn’t find Judge Judy on TV anymore?

Yocono: We are incredibly proud of the 4 p.m.! Thankfully, when those comments surfaced, we could still direct people to “Judy” at a new time, and encourage them to see new, unique, local content in the time slot they’re used to. But really, now you can see Judy and Kim Kalunian in the same afternoon. That’s a dream!


Q: What’s your favorite story that you have covered in Rhode Island?

Yocono: Always a tough question. My most memorable was covering the track dedication to Sgt. Brian St. Germain in West Warwick. The emotion and pride felt that day still sticks with me. I’m able to live my dreams because of Sgt. St. Germain’s sacrifice. I’ll never forget that.

Q: You’re staying in the news business. Tell us what’s next for you.

Yocono: I’m headed back to Maine where I grew up. I’ve been away for 11 years and am thrilled to return to the news team I was first part of as a young reporter.

This story first appeared in Rhode Map, our free newsletter about Rhode Island that also contains information about local events, data about the coronavirus in the state, and more. If you’d like to receive it via e-mail Monday through Friday, you can sign up here.

Dan McGowan can be reached at dan.mcgowan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @danmcgowan.