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Paul Venema is an institution in the KSAT newsroom and for KSAT viewers.
Venema started as a weekend anchor in 1969 and later anchored the 5, 6, and 10 o’clock newscasts, but his true passion was working as a reporter in the field.
Venema has reported on many historic stories throughout his career including the trials of the Branch Davidians, killer nurse Genene Jones, and the quad mom murder trial of Allen Blackthorn, who was found guilty of hiring a hitman to kill his ex-wife. His career also led to a close friendship with music icon Willie Nelson.
From the courtroom to Willie Nelson’s tour bus, Venema has captured KSAT viewers with his hard-news reports and slice-of-life storytelling for almost five decades.
Now, after 47 years, Venema has announced he will be retiring at the end of May.
“My decision to retire was based primarily on my desire to spend more time with my family, who have loved and supported me through my career,” Venema said.
Send Paul a personal note
Paul’s KSAT colleagues and KSAT Insiders have already started wishing him farewell, but no send-off would be complete without messages from all KSAT viewers.
With your responses, we’re putting together a virtual farewell card in this article and a version that will run on air.
Submit your thoughts in the comment section at the bottom of this article, and we’ll pick the best to publish on KSAT platforms.
Having trouble leaving a comment? Create a free KSAT.com account here.
Virtual farewell card from KSAT newsroom and KSAT Insiders
KSAT sports anchor Greg Simmons: “Believe it or not I grew up watching Paul on KSAT and now he’s considered the dean of the courthouse where he is the most respected reporter by all of the judges and not just in Bexar County but statewide. What a career and to think I have been able to witness it first-hand is quite the honor for me. Congratulations Paul!”
KSAT anchor Steve Spriester: “Paul is a legend. KSAT viewers have witnessed his professionalism and journalistic excellence, but I also appreciate his friendship. Paul has a great sense of humor and just a genuineness to him that I will miss greatly. I wish him nothing but the best.”
KSAT news director Bernice Kearney: “In a world where it’s all about relationships, Paul has been able to develop great relationships inside the station and across the community. He’s a legend at KSAT, as well as at the Bexar County Courthouse and the Justice System. Through his reporting, Paul has made all of us smarter – turning complex legal issues into easy-to-understand stories that our audience appreciates. But that’s the professional stuff. Personally, Paul is a true Renaissance Man… yes, he knows the legal system, but he also loves music, can strike up a conversation with anyone and is a real jokester! I call him Tio – I don’t even know how or why I started that – but I think it’s probably because he’s kind, interested in learning about people, and the kind of guy who’s ready to lend a hand, no matter who’s asking or what’s needed. I’m going to miss having Tio around the newsroom, but I know his family is going to be thrilled to have him all to themselves!”
KSAT photojournalist Misael Gomez: “I’m still shocked that Paul is actually retiring. He is an institution here at KSAT. I can’t tell you how many times when we were at the courthouse people would come up to him and say that they grew up watching him. It was like he was part of their family. I want to wish him the best in his retirement. No more phrases like “it cuts like butter” when we were editing our story. He was just an all-around great person to work with. Easy going and he got along with everyone. He will be truly be missed.”
We asked KSAT Insiders to be the first to sign Paul’s virtual farewell card last week. More than 240 Insiders responded with best wishes — see some of the responses from Insiders below, and become a KSAT Insider for free to access content exclusively or in advance of the general public.
Michelle D.: “I’ve only lived in SA since 2009, but I have learned that when you are reporting on a court case, I can trust the facts and details. I’m going to miss that! I wish you well on your retirement. I’m sure it’s long overdue. Have some fun now.”
Darlene C.: “Mr Venema, thank you for all those 47 years. You will be missed. I hope you enjoy your retirement. You deserve it for a job so well done and for so many years of service. Take care my viewing friend. Best wishes and lots of love. Thank you.”
Olga F: “Paul, you will be greatly missed for your excellent reporting. My husband Carlos and I wish you many blessings in your retirement. It’s time to make wonderful memories with your family!”
Juan J: “Growing up in San Antonio, I remember watching Paul on channel 12. My Dad got me started on this channel and i have been loyal to it just as Paul has been to us viewers. Thank you Paul for a great career and story telling that kept my family and myself coming back every newscast.”
Sonny M: “Paul, I graduated from high school the year you started at KSAT and I’ve admired your reporting and your work ethics your whole career. I’ve been retired since 2007 and I highly recommend it. I pray you stay healthy and that you have a long and exciting retirement. You deserve it.”
Mari C.: “Thank you so much for all of your hard work and dedication. You are a true professional. You are one of a kind and irreplaceable. I wish you a relaxing, fun and long retirement. You deserve it! You will be greatly missed!”
Mary H: “Congratulations on your retirement. Once‚ many moons ago, when you came to Laredo, we had a picture taken together. I still have it. We were very good looking then... We aged pretty good. I’m in my 80s and still function well. Enjoy life to the hilt. Good luck and God bless you.”
Susan H: “Thank you Paul, for being San Antonio’s most trusted news anchor. What a wonderful career and legacy you leave when you exit the doors at KSAT for the last time! May God Bless you during your retirement! Enjoy!”
Francisco R: “I grew up watching you. You were a weekly staple in our homes, and will be greatly missed. Good luck on the next chapter in your life! God bless!”
Cheryl W: “Thank you. I have watched you for many years. I am 65. My mother is 97. In the nursing home her TV is still always on your channel! You bring a trusted presence. We believe in your message. Your humor is the BEST! Thank you for your work. Have a wonderful retirement and thank your family also.”
Diane L.: “Your professional perspective and in-depth reporting have been deeply appreciated and will be greatly missed.”
Jennifer S.: “Mr. Venema, Thank you for all your many years of service. Thank you for allowing me to interview you for my school project a couple years back. You have a great story to tell and my teacher enjoyed my paper. I really enjoyed speaking with you about your career. Happy retirement!”
See all the 200+ well wishes from KSAT Insiders below. Add your name to the list by leaving a farewell in the comment section below.