Award-winning journalist Ann Harder will retire from 25 ABC KXXV in her 25th year at the television station. February 28th will be Ann's last day behind the desk where she has anchored since 1996.
"Ann has been a tremendous leader of the 25 news team and valued member of our community for decades. I am always amazed and impressed with her dedication to central Texas, loyalty to our viewers and love for everyone who she encounters. We are very proud of Ann and the legacy she is leaving," said Adam Chase, 25 News General Manager.
“I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to serve our viewers. It’s been my honor to be invited into their homes here in Central Texas. The privilege of bringing them news and information has been a tremendous joy in my life.” Ann said.
Throughout her years at 25, Ann has earned many awards. Among her honors, Ann has been given the Junior League of Waco Eva Award for excellence in volunteering; she was named a Distinguished Alumni of the Waco Independent School District; and in 2005 was honored as the National Media Person of the Year for the Military Order of the Purple Heart.
Ann came to KXXV-TV in 1996 after years as an award-winning radio news broadcaster for WACO AM/FM. She began as primetime tv news co-anchor with Ray Peters for the 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts, then added the 5 p.m. newscast to her duties in 1999. Bruce Gietzen was her co-anchor for 13 years from 2003-2016.
"I had the privilege to sit alongside Ann for 13 years at the KXXV anchor desk, and she is not only a rock-solid journalist but a wonderful friend and a huge asset to the community. Ann earned the respect of her peers in our newsroom and every newsroom in Central Texas, and she will be missed." Bruce Gietzen said.
Ann currently anchors the 11 a.m. news and co-anchors 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts with Lindsay Liepman and Chief Meteorologist Matt Hines.
In 2017, Ann began hosting the station’s lifestyle show, “Central Texas Living” until it ended in December of 2019.
"While I’m retiring from daily news anchoring, I plan to continue telling the stories of interesting Central Texans and happenings in the area on digital platforms."
A noted vocalist, Ann sings for many civic and church groups throughout Central Texas.
She has served on a number of local boards including WISD Ed Foundation and MCC Foundation and currently is on the Waco Symphony Board. She’s served for many years as narrator for the Baylor Symphony Children’s Concerts.
Ann is married to Mike Harder and they have three sons, two daughters-in-law and three granddaughters: Adam and his wife Kendal and their daughter, Ruby; Joel, Donelle and their daughters Philece and Farrow; and Evan.
The city of Waco is planning a proclamation honoring Ann's contribution to the community during their February 18th city council meeting.
25 ABC plans to celebrate Ann's impact on the station and Central Texas on February 28th during the 6pm newscast.