For the first time in more than two decades, there won’t be a Gephardt at KUTV-Channel 2. Matt Gephardt, of “Get Gephardt” fame, is leaving the station at the end of the year.

“I’m leaving happy,” Gephardt said. “I’m proud of my time at Channel 2. I’m very proud of the work I’ve done. I’m proud of the work I did behind the scenes for the decade before that.”

Matt Gephardt followed in the footsteps of his father, Bill Gephardt, who signed on to KUTV in 1997 and launched the popular “Get Gephardt” feature, helping viewers solve consumer problems and investigating products and companies.

Bill Gephardt left the station in November 2010, and went on to operate a “Gephardt Approved” business directory and online news site, gephardtdaily.com. Matt Gephardt, who had been working as a producer on his dad’s reports, took over the feature.

Matt Gephardt said he is not leaving because he’s unhappy with KUTV, adding, “I’m trying to leave on a positive note." And, he added, he is not leaving to take a job with another TV station — either locally or in another part of the country.

“I have no plans to do such things,” Matt Gephardt said. But, he said, he will be a “free agent” as of Jan. 1, “and then we'll see what life brings.”

KUTV executives had hoped Gephardt would stay and offered him a new contract, said news director Mike Garber, but Gephardt decided it was time to move on.

“This is not about money, not about happiness, and not about support. … It is simply about being the right time to make a change,” Garber wrote in an email to station employees. “It’s time for him to travel, to relax, and to enjoy his family … all while seeing what life is like on the outside of our crazy business.”

Gephardt confirmed that. Although, other than a trip he has planned in January, he doesn’t know what he’ll do next, other than look for a new job.

The “Get Gephardt” brand will disappear from Channel 2 newscasts — the station won't be hiring anyone else with that last name, Garber joked.

“Anytime you lose someone like Matt, it's a big deal,” he said. “But we will hire someone new and we'll move forward.”

That may be someone who is now on staff at KUTV, or it may be someone hired from another station, he said.