Lauren Jones, anchor and meteorologist at WAVE 3 News, has announced in a tearful farewell on social media that her contract isn’t being renewed — three-and-a-half months after her COVID-19 diagnosis.
She confirmed on Sunday night that she was leaving the Louisville-area NBC affiliate and wouldn’t be returning to TV screens.
In an emotional video posted to her Instagram and Facebook feeds, Jones spoke about how her contract with the station finishes on March 1, and that despite her “best efforts” she hadn’t been able to get it renewed.
She also told how “COVID’s really done a number” on her, and said she needs to “take some time off to get better and healthy.”
“Despite my best efforts to stay, I will not be continuing my journey with WAVE3 News…This is sad. It’s heartbreaking for me, but I wanted you all to hear it from me,” she said.
Lauren also spoke about how “all our lives [have] changed dramatically” since the arrival of COVID-19 and how her life had been “turned upside down” following her diagnosis.
She was diagnosed in November, and since then has kept fans up-to-date through social media on her condition as she’s suffered from lingering symptoms and side effects.
On a more positive note, she also spoke about her “wonderful memories” at WAVE 3 and thanked her colleagues, who she described as “dedicated and professional.”
Jones also thanked the public for their support and kind messages throughout the last ten years she’s been on their screens. She described how much she had enjoyed talking with fans, everywhere from the Kentucky State Fair, to soccer practice, to her local Target.
Lauren Jones says she’s seen ‘best of humanity’ since COVID-19 diagnosis
She also thanked the community for their particularly strong support in the last three months. She said the COVID outbreak had allowed her to see the “best of humanity” as she’s seen people coming together to help each other out.
Finally, Jones thanked viewers for allowing her into their homes and hinted strongly that she hoped to be back on their screens someday when she said: “I hope you’ll allow me into your home again.”
Colleagues sent Lauren Jones messages of support on Twitter
Her colleagues were quick to rally around Lauren last night with countless messages of support on Twitter.
WAVE Sports director Kent Taylor wrote: “Get better! It was a pleasure to work with you. Good luck in whatever you decide to do next; you’ll be GREAT at it.”
Fellow meteorologist and colleague Kevin Harned spoke of the many laughs they had shared together over the years: “So many laughs, pranks and even a few tears over the years. I’m sad I can’t be there to give you a hug. I hate that something couldn’t be worked out! Your talents will take you far!”
Haley Minogue from rival station WHAS-TV told Lauren that she had always admired her: “I’ve always admired your drive, attitude, perseverance, and class. This industry can be the most rewarding and most cruel in the blink of an eye. I’m looking forward to what you do next in your career.”
Fingers crossed that Lauren will return to our screens sometime soon.
In other news this morning, it emerged that Queen Elizabeth will be allowing Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to keep their Duke and Duchess titles following an announcement that the couple would be losing many honorary titles. Also this morning, get the lowdown on Rege-Jean Page from Netflix’s hit series Bridgerton.