Paula Sands Announces Her Retirement From KWQC-TV6 After 41 Years
Paula Sands, a local media mainstay for more than four decades on local airwaves, will step away from the camera when 2024 arrives.
Sands announced her retirement after 41 years as the dominant ratings force on local television at the end of her titular ratings-topping talk show, “Paula Sands Live,” on Monday.
“I plan to begin the New Year at a new starting line. This job has been a joy, and now it’s time for the freedom of a new chapter,” said the host of “Paula Sands Live” and 6 p.m. news anchor at KWQC TV6.
Sands grew up in the Quad-Cities, and quickly gained a local following for her down-to-earth personality and hometown humor, after she began her career at KWQC in 1982, at age 23, as the host of PM Magazine. At the time, she was the youngest co-host of the show in the country. The show morphed into 5 p.m. Live, and then, “Paula Sands Live.”
Sands quickly ascended to the role of anchor for the ratings topping station and has been a mainstay in local media for over four decades, getting her own afternoon talk show, “Paula Sands Live,” in 1993.
Sands was inducted into the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Silver Circle in 2015.
As I wrote in a column last year, there will never be another Paula Sands. Her retirement will mark the end of an era for local media.
In that column, I said, “Certainly there are well-known media figures and other people of note on the local scene, but I’ve always maintained that there’s really only one local celebrity, and that’s Paula Sands. Some people love her, some people like her, some people take issue with her, but she’s easily the best-known of all TV personalities, and her legacy will be one that will never be replicated.
There will never, ever, be another Paula Sands.”
Sands’ last show is to-be-announced. Her last day as an anchor will be Dec. 31, 2023.
We wish her well, and look forward to hearing about the next chapter in her life. Best wishes, Paula!