Kim Fischer leaves anchor desk at KTVX Ch. 4 after seven years

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) ABC4 News reporter Kim Fischer, in Salt Lake City Wednesday November 22, 2017.

Kim Fischer, part of the anchor team on KTVX-Ch. 4’s newscast for seven years, read her last news story just before Thanksgiving.

Fischer told viewers on her final newscast Wednesday she is leaving for a new job at Waterford Institute, a Sandy-based education technology company. She said she will be involved with the company’s UPSTART program, a state-sponsored online preschool that prepares 4- and 5-year-olds for kindergarten.

No permanent replacement has been named.

As Wednesday’s newscast ended, Fischer thanked the station’s viewers.

“Thank you for allowing me into your homes every night, for trusting me enough to share your personal stories with me — your successes, your tragedies, your experiences,” Fischer said. “They’ve all made me a better person, and you’ve helped me understand life outside my own little bubble, and you’ve created a level of empathy in me that very few humans will get to experience.”

When she finished, she remarked, “and I did it without crying.”

According to her biography on KTVX’s website, Fischer hails from Sugar Land, Texas, and attended the University of North Texas — where she also wore the costume of the school’s mascot, Scrappy the Eagle.

She worked at stations across Texas — Abilene, Amarillo, San Antonio and Dallas — before moving to Utah in 2011. Her 2016 story, “Rape in Utah Courts,” earned her national recognition and a Gracie Award from the Alliance for Women in Media. She also has received awards for her advocacy for vulnerable women, children and animals.

The state has budgeted nearly $9.8 million for UPSTART in 2019. But an audit of UPSTART earlier this year raised concerns that the state-of-the-art, customized curriculum was not reaching enough of the 4-year-olds the state wanted to target: those who live in rural areas, or have families who are economically at risk, or who don’t speak English at home.

Sen. Luz Escamilla, D-Salt Lake City, who has advocated for funds for the program, said in September she was working to understand the barriers for some families and raise awareness of the program.