Biddeford native Kayla Binette, who has been a news reporter and weekend sports anchor for NBC affiliates WCSH Channel 6 in Portland and WLBZ Channel 2 in Bangor, is leaving to take a job as a general assignment news reporter at WLTX Channel 19 in Columbia, South Carolina.
The Gannett Company owns all three stations. WLTX is a CBS affiliate.
“It was a tough decision,” said the 27-year-old Binette, who has been at WCSH/WLBZ for two years. “But it’s time for me to branch out and go someplace different. Columbia is a bigger market.
“It’s bittersweet. I’ve lived in Maine almost my entire life. I’m going to miss everything about Maine. Mainers are tremendous people. When you do all these [charity events], you see how willing Mainers are to help one another,” she said.
Binette, who has been in Bangor for two years, did both news and sports before becoming the weekend sports anchor six months ago. She had previously served as a sports intern at WSYR-TV in Syracuse and was a news anchor-reporter at news/talk radio station WGAN 560 AM in Portland.
The Endicott College graduate, who earned a master’s degree in broadcast journalism from Syracuse University, said she loved her time at WCSH/WLBZ.
“It was a great place to start. It helped me to grow as a reporter. It allowed me to make mistakes while improving my skills,” said Binette. “Everybody at News Center was tremendous to me. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
Even though she will be a news reporter at WLTX, she is hoping she can do sports stories related to news.
The University of South Carolina is located in Columbia.
“Columbia is a huge college sports city, so I’m hoping there will be a lot of opportunities to do sports-related news stories,” said Binette, who played volleyball, basketball and softball at Biddeford High and year of volleyball at Endicott.
She added that she is looking forward to taking in some Southeastern Conference football since that is the high-powered conference in which South Carolina plays.
WCSH/WLBZ sports director and anchor Lee Goldberg said Binette will be missed.
“She did a tremendous job for us,” said Goldberg. “I’m very happy for her.”