WCYB morning anchor Johnny Wood will retire at the end of this year after 44 years at the NBC affiliate in Bristol, Va.

“I cannot tell you how much that you mean to me, you all who have watched my work here all these years,” Wood said on Monday’s morning newscast. “All the wonderful thoughts and prayers, notes of encouragement and times of fun and laughter mean so much to me. You folks are a large part of what made this such a tough decision to make.”

Wood has worked at WCYB since 1968 and has been the station’s morning anchor since 1978. In a statement, general manager Jack D. Dempsey said Wood will leave “knowing that he’ll always be a part of our station and the News 5 team.” Read more