Scott Abraham, Lacee Griffith depart WBOC-TV

WBOC Departures

Tuesday was the last day on the air at WBOC-TV for Scott Abraham and Lacee Griffith.

The married couple are leaving Salisbury and moving to Rockville, Md., for Abraham’s new job at WJLA, an ABC affiliate in the greater Washington, D.C., area.

Griffith will look for a TV job in either Washington or Baltimore.

WJLA is ranked seventh in the TV news stations market, making Abraham’s career move what he called a “massive jump” from WBOC, ranked 144th.

Still, the move will be bittersweet, he said.

“The  thing I’m going to miss the most is the community aspect. In a small market, you get so close to the people — coaches, student athletes, the athletic directors I deal with. You won’t necessarily get that in a big market. In a small market you’re a big fish in a little pond. In a big market, I will be a small fish with sharks, pretty much,” Abraham told the Salisbury Independent.

Griffith remembered coming to the Shore seven years ago, with plans to stay a year or two then move on.

“But I really fell in love with everything about this place. I remember we were covering a blizzard and we were all freezing cold and tired. This little boy came up to us, all bundled up. You couldn’t even see his face. He had a basket of warm muffins that his mother had baked. It was immediate the love we felt here, no matter where we went, whether it was good news or bad news we were covering.

“To hear so many people say, ‘I have my coffee with you every morning. What am I going to do now?’ That is just the greatest feeling,” she said.

Still, she is excited about a new career challenge and learning more about journalism from those in a different market.

Griffith, on this morning newscast with Jimmy Hoppa and meteorologist Mike Lichniak, called Abraham’s offer at WJLA “an opportunity we could not turn down.”

She said she’s often asked how she manages to awaken every day at 1 a.m., to be at work for the early newscast. “It’s easy because I love my job,” she said.

“It’s been a privilege to share your stories and the fact that you trust us like you do … I’m so lucky to work with such passionate, driven, creative and fun people. It really takes the work out of work,” she said.

Hoppa said that, during his career he’s had the opportunity to work with many broadcast partners, “but Lacee sets the gold standard.”

“You maintain a delicate balance between being a good journalist, a humanitarian and fun person to be around. I am going to miss you desperately,” Hoppa said.

Lichniak praised the cooperative spirit among the morning crew and said when he arrives at work “there’s a dance party at 2:30 in the morning.”

He thanked Griffith and Abraham for welcoming him and said he appreciates their friendship.  “I will miss both of you,” he said.

Abraham said he’s come to love the Salisbury area, even though he couldn’t pronounce “Wicomico” when he first arrived at WBOC.

“I’ll miss the people I see when I’m going to various sporting events and I strike up conversations.

“But this new job is a really good opportunity. I’ll be covering major professional teams and still have the high school games. That area is a hotbed for talent going to big schools. I have been waiting for this opportunity. I wanted it to be a perfect opportunity and a perfect fit for both of us,” he said.

“I know that with the student athletes, I mean a lot to them, but they mean a lot to me, too. These student athletes have put a smile on my face more than they will ever know,” said the 33-year-old Abraham.

He and Griffith, 29, of Pittsburgh, are leaving for a vacation to the Dominican Republic before he starts his new job in January.

 

 

 

 

Reach Susan Canfora at scanfora@newszap.com.

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