WTVM'S Wayne Bennett to retire next month

Television news veteran Wayne Bennett will be signing off the air next month.

The WTVM News Leader 9 anchor, who has spent more than 20 years reporting and anchoring for the local ABC affiliate, has announced he will retire May 15.

“I’ll miss all of my friends, co-workers and loyal viewers, of course, but I’m also looking forward to new adventures,” Bennett said in a statement.

Bennett plans to travel overseas with his wife Betty. He said their first stop will be the Republic of Panama.

“Thanks for watching all these years, and have a great life everybody,” he said.

Bennett will continue anchoring the 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts alongside co-anchor Barbara Gauthier until May 15.

“It will be a little quieter in the newsroom now at 2:15 every day,” Anne Holmes, WTVM news director, said in a statement. “He’s certainly made an impact on the younger newsroom employees and I know he’s made an impact on Columbus.”