Kimberly Gill to replace Carmen Harlan as WDIV anchor

The South Carolina native will join Devin Scillian to anchor the 5, 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts; Karen Drew to anchor the 5:30 p.m. newscast.

Stephanie Steinberg
The Detroit News

WDIV-TV announced Monday that Kimberly Gill has been tapped to replace longtime anchor Carmen Harlan. The announcement comes a few days after the station announced Harlan’s retirement in November.

Gill will join Devin Scillian and anchor the 5, 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts. Local 4 Defender and First at 4 anchor Karen Drew will join Scillian for the 5:30 p.m. newscast. Both Gill and Drew will assume their new roles Nov. 14, according to the station.

“Since joining the Local 4 news team, Kimberly has done outstanding work out in the field covering stories like the shooting in Charleston, the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, the nightclub shooting in Orlando and reporting nightly on Local 4 News at 11 p.m.,” said Kim Voet, WDIV’s news director, in a statement.

She joined Local 4 in November 2014 and has anchored the 5:30 p.m. newscasts since December 2015. A South Carolina native, Gill said in a statement she feels as if Detroit “adopted” her as “one of its own.”

“I admire the fact that Detroiters are genuine, hard-working people,” she said. “I’m originally from a small city in South Carolina, but I feel right at home here. Detroit is a big city that’s made up of a lot of small neighborhoods. Detroiters love sports, cars and good music — those are all things that I love, too.”

A two-time Emmy winner, Gill was an anchor in Pittsburgh and Cleveland before joining WDIV. Her career began at WBTW, a CBS affiliate in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. She attended the University of South Carolina, where she earned a degree in broadcast journalism. She also earned an MBA from Ashland University.

Her Twitter bio states she is a “trucker turned news anchor” because she drove 18-wheelers for FedEx — before working in television — to pay for school.

In a statement, Marla Drutz, vice president and general manager of WDIV, said hiring Gill was “one of the best decisions that the station has ever made.”

“She is a true journalist, a compassionate storyteller and embodies the heart, work ethic and intelligence needed to tell the stories of Detroit,” Drutz said. “We knew that whoever was going to sit next to Devin Scillian and be a leader in our newsroom, was going to have to be the real deal.”

Last week, Scillian told The Detroit News that Harlan, who’s retiring after co-anchoring with him for over 20 years, is leaving a big chair to fill. Her last broadcast will be Nov. 11.

“Carmen is going to be one of those Mount Rushmore figures in Detroit broadcasting that probably isn’t going to be replaced,” he said.

Harlan is expected to return for special programming like America’s Thanksgiving Day parade.

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Twitter: @Steph_Steinberg