Jim Burns retires after nearly 4 decades

Happy Retirement Jim Burns

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Jim Burns, anchor of The Breakfast Show on KFVS12, retires after nearly 40 years of service to the TV station.

Jim made the announcement near the end of The Breakfast Show on Monday morning December 17. His last day is scheduled to be Friday, December 21.

Jim Burns retirement announcement

For 36 years Jim has been the wake-up voice for thousands of viewers each morning on The Breakfast Show. He was hired on November 2, 1979 by the News Director at the time, Mike Shain. His original job description was Weekend Anchor, Weekday Reporter, and Anchor/Producer of news magazine program “Composite.”

In his hiring memo in 1979 Shain wrote about Jim, “I feel he has the proven ability to anchor news, report, do public affairs, as well as produce a news program.”

Jim began producing and anchoring The Breakfast Show in June of 1982, replacing then morning anchor Dave Courvoisier, and Jim has been in that morning anchor chair nearly every weekday since.

“Back then it was common for anchors to produce their own shows, and we had a skeleton crew,” said Jim. “Now The Breakfast Show has a dedicated staff of on-air contributors, behind the scenes broadcast and digital content producers, along with a full technical staff.”

Jim said that when he started, The Breakfast Show was only an hour long broadcast. Over the years it has continued to expand to its current two and a half hour duration.

“There have been many changes since Jim joined KFVS12, said Roger Seay, News Director for KFVS12. “Changes in sets, changes in the newsroom, changes in staff, equipment, analog to digital, you name it. But the one thing that has been consistent through all that time is Jim’s commitment to be the best at everything he does.”

And Jim’s commitment to be the best translates into overall rating performance.

According to Seay, The Breakfast Show has been the dominant #1 morning newscast for the entire time Burns has been involved. In the most recent rating period (November 2018 Nielsen Local TV Viewing Report) The Breakfast Show’s household rating was 78 percent higher than its nearest competition in the 6:30 half-hour. In addition, many of the crew through the years have been honored with numerous industry awards. The Breakfast Show won an Emmy Award for Best Newscast in 2008.

Jim is a native of Blakely, Georgia. He began his broadcast career on the radio at age 16. He earned a degree in Broadcast News from the Grady School of Journalism at the University of Georgia. Prior to KFVS12, Jim was an Anchor/Reporter at the CBS affiliate in Dothan, Alabama.

“Jim Burns has been the face of KFVS12 for nearly four decades,” said Chris Conroy, Vice President and General Manager for KFVS12. “With Jim’s work ethic, dedication to journalism, along with his honest and sincere personality, I can’t think of a better image to have represented this station.”

“Jim is a true professional, I learn from him every single day,” said current Breakfast Show co-anchor Crystal Britt. “I have never worked with anyone who has a greater commitment to excellence. I am so thankful for his leadership, and his friendship.”

“It was truly an honor to work with Jim all of those years," said long-time co-worker Brian Alworth. "He has set a high standard for the rest of us, and for this industry as a whole. To this day, he still reviews airchecks to see what he could have done better during his shows. That’s dedication!”

Breakfast Show producer Jim Eftink has worked side by side with Jim almost from the beginning.

“It’s been an honor to work with Jim all of these years,” said Eftink. “Every single day, every single newscast, Jim strives for perfection. He just doesn’t know any other way.”

Breakfast Show Producer Jim Eftink congratulates Jim Burns on his retirement.

“It would be difficult to measure the impact that Jim Burns has had on the Heartland,” said Bob Reeves who worked with Jim when he started on The Breakfast Show. “At least two generations of viewers have counted on him each and every morning to help get their day started.”

Former KFVS12 anchor and meteorologist Bob Reeves congratulates Jim Burns on his retirement.

“Speaking on behalf of all of us here at KFVS12, along with viewers throughout the Heartland, we congratulate Jim and his wife Lisa on his retirement, and wish them only the best in their new chapter,” continued Conroy.

“I’ve been blessed to have worked with some of the best people in the business over the years,” continued Jim. “Fair, dedicated, honest people committed to this great TV station. I’m honored to have been part of this team and the legacy of KFVS12 and The Breakfast Show. And finally, I am very appreciative of the viewers who have watched and supported me over the years.”

KFVS12 is the CBS Network affiliate serving the Cape Girardeau, Paducah, Harrisburg television market since 1954, and is a free broadcast service of Raycom Media, Inc. KFVS12 also operates WQWQ-TV, a CW/MeTV affiliate, KFVS12.com, Merge Digital Solutions, The Grit Network, HeartlandWeekend.com, and numerous digital platforms.

Former co-anchor on the Breakfast Show, Lauren Keith, congratulates Jim Burns on his retirement.
Former Heartland Sports Director, Randy Ray, delivers a special sports cast to congratulate Jim Burns on his retirement.
Former KFVS12 anchor Dave Courvoisier congratulates Jim Burns on his retirement.

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