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Thursday, September 30, 1993 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Monica Hart Leaving Kiro News

As the station seeks a permanent female partner for anchor Steve Raible, KIRO-TV is losing another woman from its on-air ranks.

Monica Hart, who has worked at Channel 7 as an anchor and reporter since 1986, announced yesterday she is leaving the station after next week.

"I just need a break and I'm going to enjoy life for a while," Hart said. "I've done just about every shift and every show."

Hart follows Susan Hutchison, who left Channel 7 last spring in the midst of turmoil during the station's failed "out-of-the-box" format, which was recently junked under new news director Bill Lord.

Most recently, Hart has co-anchored the noon news with Gary Justice. She said major changes under way in the newsroom have been positive. "I think he's been a wonderful addition," Hart said of Lord.

KIRO director of corporate affairs Nick Latham said a temporary noon co-anchor will be in place on Oct. 11.

Hart's departure leaves Nerissa Williams as the most prominent female anchor on KIRO - and the strongest in-house candidate to permanently join Raible in anchoring all three evening newscasts.

Hart grew up in Bellevue and attended Interlake High School. After graduating from the University of Washington, she landed a job doing news with a cable channel in Wenatchee. From there she went to KHQ-TV in Spokane. In 1986, Hart joined KIRO.

Hart said she isn't ruling out a return to Seattle television at some point.

Copyright (c) 1993 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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