Former local TV reporter Ronnie Dahl is going back on the air — and she’s going on the road to do it.
Dahl has taken a job at the CBS affiliate in Cleveland, WOIO-TV. It’s hardly an unusual move in what can be a transient business, but it’s unique in that she’s part of a two-microphone household.
“I’m lucky to have Woody’s support in this,” Dahl said, referring to her sportscaster husband, Woody Woodriffe of WJBK-TV (Channel 2).
They’ll have a commuter marriage for the first time, she’s moving in the middle of a pandemic, and she’s taking a pay cut. But “as a person, you want to be someone who contributes to the community,” she said. “I appreciated what I was doing before, but this is how I best serve.”
“It’s what she wanted, and it’s what she deserves,” said Woodriffe, who’s been at WJBK for 22 years. “Sometimes in this business, that’s the way it has to go.”
Dahl was working for WJBK when she and Woodriffe married 10 years ago and had most recently been on the air at WXYZ-TV (Channel 7). She left that job in October 2016 to become the spokeswoman for the Detroit office of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, a job she bid farewell to Sunday.
“If it was regular reporting, I wouldn’t have done it,” Dahl said, but WOIO wants her to do the sort of investigations she was known for locally. “I think what we did in Detroit will work well here.”
She was speaking from Cleveland, where she secured a short-term corporate rental at a deep discount amid the COVID-19 economic downturn. The pandemic was a concern, she conceded — “What if I get sick? What if Woody does? We won’t be able to take care of each other” — but the opportunity proved irresistible.
“She’ll go from having to be shut in to a situation where she has to be out,” Woodriffe said. “What are you going to do? You observe all the rules, hand-washing and everything else, and then you throw your mask on and go.”
“Once a reporter, always a reporter,” Dahl tweeted Tuesday, announcing the move. “It’s in our blood. It’s who we are. It’s who I am.
“In the Cleveland area? Send me your news tips!”
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