Salisbury’s Garner will be leaving WBTV for Columbus, Ohio

Katie Garner, right, jokes with co-workers John Carter and Christine Nelson during the morning news at WBTV3.
Katie Garner, right, jokes with co-workers John Carter and Christine Nelson during the morning news at WBTV3.

CHARLOTTE — Salisbury native Katie Garner, evening traffic reporter on WBTV, will be leaving in August to take a job with an ABC television affiliate in Columbus, Ohio.

“It’s really bittersweet,” Garner said Tuesday, “because I love where I am now.”

But Garner also wants to be full-time. She said the opportunity with the Columbus station — WSYX/ABC 6 — came to her “out of nowhere,” and she feels it’s part of God’s plan for her life.

“I’m excited to try something new,” said Garner, 25.

Her last day at WBTV, where she has been both a morning and evening traffic reporter, will be Aug. 6. She’ll fly to Dallas Aug. 7 for some company training and start her new job in Columbus Aug. 12.

Garner said she will be doing traffic reports, segment reporting, in-field reporting and some anchoring on the station’s morning show, “Good Day Columbus.”

The morning show simulcasts with WTTE/Fox 28 in Columbus.

Garner described Columbus as a big city with a small-town feel, and she said the new position will offer her chances to grow and move forward with her television news career.

She said her goal is to be a morning anchor by age 30.

Garner said her coworker friends at WBTV have been sweet, good mentors and “great people all around.” She also was an intern for the Charlotte station in 2008.

Garner is daughter of Carr and Keith Garner of Salisbury. She has a brother, Sam, and sister, Sarah.

Her outside experience on films and television helped her in landing the Columbus job, Garner said.

She served as stand-in for actress Claire Danes in the Showtime series “Homeland,” which is shot in Charlotte. She also appeared as an extra on an episode of “One Tree Hill, in the ABC Family movie “Teen Spirit,” as a stand-in on the movie “Hunger Games” and was Lizzie the lifeguard in the movie “Piranha 3D.”

Her earliest television experience came when she was 19, and WXII News asked her to report on the 50th anniversary of her family’s Christmas charitable program in Denton.

She later was an intern for television and radio stations in Raleigh and Wilmington, newspapers in Wilmington and the Haute public relations firm.

Garner has penned a blog called “Preppy Pearl Girl,” and she also has written a few columns for the Salisbury Post. She attended Salisbury High and Meredith College.

Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.

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