WILKES-BARRE — Joe Holden, a reporter with WBRE-TV’s Channel 28 Eyewitness News and a member of the station’s investigative “I-Team,” is leaving the station in June to take a reporting job in Pittsburgh.
Holden confirmed on Thursday that he has accepted a position with WPXI-TV Channel 11, Pittsburgh’s NBC affiliate. His last day at WBRE will be June 27; his first day at WPXI will be July 1, Holden said.
WBRE News Director Jim DePury said the station is searching for a replacement.
Moving on to a larger media market was something Holden said he has put off for many years. He has had past opportunities, but the time didn’t feel right. Now, it does, he said.
“I love hardcore, fast-paced news,” Holden said, and Pittsburgh is a “very spirited, very competitive, news-loving market. They have a very hearty appetite for news out there.”
Holden said he learned while covering the Jerry Sandusky trial in State College that all three network affiliates in Pittsburgh “are heavy competitors each night to place first. … I noticed how much they fought trying to beat one another. That clued me in to that news market being an anomaly.”
Being a Philadelphia sports fan, Holden admits he might have a difficult time acclimating himself to living among a Steelers/Pirates/Penguins fan base. Originally from the Philadelphia area, Holden began his career in 2001 at WPHL-TV in Philadelphia. Two years later, he took a job as the 11 p.m. reporter in Charlottesville, Va. He returned to Pennsylvania to join WBRE in September 2005.
“A lot of my colleagues are here and gone in a flash. I really wanted to make a difference,” said Holden. “I find the reporter I am, I owe it all to the people, the stories, law enforcement and my station for giving me the opportunity to jump in front of a camera each night and tell an important story.”
“I like talking with people. I love telling their stories, and I really have a special place in my heart for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area. … There’s something really unique about this place, and that’s what’s kept me here nearly eight years,” he said.
Holden lives in Swoyersville with his wife, Kelly, son, Joseph, 6, and daughter, Julianne, 3. Also an accomplished musician, he is director of music at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Pittston.