EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) - Karen Adams, WPRI 12’s Emmy-winning longtime anchor whosefamiliar presence has guided viewers through events ranging fromthe Station nightclub fire to the Patriots’ Super Bowlappearances, will retire at the end of this year.
Adams’ retirement was announced Friday by Joe Abouzeid,the station’s news director. Her final broadcast will be Dec.30. The station plans to conduct a nationwide search to find hersuccessor.
“It’s been an exciting and fulfilling career where Ihave been the ‘eyewitness’ to news events in RhodeIsland, New England, and across the country,” Adams, wholives in Lincoln, said in a statement.
She said she plans to spend time with her husband, Ed Mauro,traveling and supporting charitable causes.
Adams joined WPRI in March 1989 and has anchored thestation’s 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts throughout her entire21-year career there. Her co-anchors have included Walter Cryan,Jim King, Steve Aveson and Mike Montecalvo, and she is currently isthe solo anchor at 6.
• Related: VintageKaren Adams videos (WPRI Blog)
“Karen is a Rhode Island icon who has tremendous ties tothe community,” Jay Howell, general manager of WPRI and itssister station Fox Providence, said in a statement. “While wewill miss her here at the stations, I know that Karen is excited tocontinue on with her community involvement, and we all wish hermuch continued success.”
From Westerly to Juárez
Adams,55, was born on the Fourth of July in Missouri, growing up thereand in nearby Arkansas. She graduated from Southwest Missouri StateUniversity in 1975 with a degree in speech and theatre and a minorin journalism, and got her broadcasting start as the sole newsemployee at an AM radio station near her hometown.
Adams began her television career at KOAM-TV in Kansas-Missouri– as it happens, the same station where NBC’s BrianWilliams got his start – and also worked for WMDT-TV inMaryland. Before joining WPRI, she was an anchor and then newsdirector at WPCQ-TV in Charlotte, N.C., which was then owned by TheProvidence Journal Co.
Adams’ news coverage has taken her far from Woonsocket andWesterly; she has filed reports from Asia, Cape Verde, Washington,D.C., and New Orleans. She once traveled to Juárez, Mexico, tospeak with workers there after Pawtucket-based toymaker Hasbroopened a factory south of the border.
“Rhode Island is where I call home, and I have beenfortunate that our Eyewitness News viewers have allowed me intotheir homes every evening,” Adams said. “I am also morethan grateful to the wonderful management here at WPRI 12 and FoxProvidence, who have been generous and supportive throughout myyears here.”
Over the course of her career, Adams has won two New EnglandEmmys, including one for individual achievement in anchoring acrossthe region, and multiple Associated Press awards for reporting. In2005, she was inducted into the National Academy of Television Artsand Sciences’ Silver Circle in recognition of her 25 years asa broadcaster.
“We will miss Karen’s hard work andprofessionalism,” Abouzeid said.
Charitable work a ‘true delight’
In addition to her anchoring duties, Adams has become well-knownas a supporter of and fundraiser for dozens of local charities,from AIDS Care Rhode Island to The DaVinci Center. She onceperformed opposite Judge Frank Caprio in a play to benefit thelocal American Heart Association chapter.
“It is said that Buddy Cianci will attend the opening ofan envelope,” The Providence Journal wrote in 1997.“The truth is, when it comes to charity events, he usuallyarrives after Adams.”
Adams is currently a trustee at Meeting Street, CommunityPreparatory School and the Providence Preservation Society, and aboard member at Trinity Repertory Company and the Providence AnimalRescue League. “My work in the community has been a blessingand a true delight,” she said.
Her philanthropic work has been recognized by organizationsincluding the United Way, which presented her with its John ChafeeLifetime Achievement Award last fall. She also holds honorarydegrees from the University of Rhode Island and New EnglandInstitute of Technology.
Adams also has a well-known passion for golf. At the annual CVSCaremark Charity Classic Pro-Am, she has met famous playersincluding Arnold Palmer, Freddy Couples and Nick Price.
Copyright WPRI 12
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