WGRZ-TV (Channel 2) has hired a cable news anchor and YouTube comedienne with Western New York roots, but General Manager Jim Toellner isn't saying what her role will be at the NBC affiliate.
Kate Welshofer, a Western New York native and graduate of St. Bonaventure University, announced in a Facebook post two weeks ago she was leaving Spectrum News in the Capital District (Albany) after more than 20 years to join Channel 2.
"Plain and simple — my YouTube channel got me this job," she wrote on Facebook. "So, after 20 years in the business, I am being given the chance to be able do what I have always wanted to do on television on a consistent basis and that is: give people a reason to smile."
After saying "it was quite a run," Welshofer added: "To anyone not sure if they should do something weird, do it. Not everybody’s going to get it but, when you least expect it, somebody will … and it will change your life."
On her Facebook page, Welshofer is wearing a shirt that says "Buffalo is calling and I must go."
According to the Spectrum website, Welshofer works weeknights on the news channel and has been there since 1996. It added she has "garnered recognition from the New York State Associated Press Association as well as the National Press Photographer's Association."
"Even when she is not at the anchor desk, you'll likely still find Kate in front of or behind a camera. She is the creator and host of No TelePrompTer, No Mercy on YouTube. The channel was voted Best in the Capital Region by the readers of the Albany Times Union in 2016. She has also been featured in the Amazon Prime web series 'Welcome Home.' She co-wrote and co-starred in the comedic short 'Test Drive Surprise' and is the leading actress in two additional short films 'The Engagement Party' and 'Cocktail Muerte.'"
The Spectrum biography adds she has been active in the Albany community and has an orange cat she named Brian Williams "to whom she serves as personal valet in her spare time."
The tone of the biography, her own comments and the comedic bits on her YouTube work – including "How I Stay Fit," "50 Things About Me" and "How to Turn 40" – suggest that Welshofer may do light feature work. It may even be on a new program since local stations are trying to come up with more of them to keep all of the advertising revenue within those programs.
She also could anchor, though there doesn't appear to be any openings now at the station and anchoring isn't considered "weird" and rarely "gives people a reason to smile."
Toellner texted that he will announce what she will do when ready.