MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The WSFA 12 News family is about to undergo a change. WSFA 12 News capitol insider Eileen Jones stunned the newsroom Thursday when she announced she's leaving to pursue a new career track.
Eileen says it was a hard decision to make. "It was very hard because I love being here at Channel 12. This is the best, and I've worked at a lot of television stations, this is the best television station I have worked in. Which is why I have been here so long and I hate to leave. It was a really hard decision because I love the people here."
After 18 years of pursing politicians and other news makers, Eileen says it is just time to make a change. She'll be working with the Council on Substance Abuse locally. "African Americans don't go to groups like alcoholics anonymous and narcotics anonymous and so this is a program that will go to them and help them get on their feet." Eileen explains how she will help, "Whatever has to be done, if it means they need a job, I will help them find a job. If it means they need food, I will help them get food. If they need a place to live, I will help them find a place to live."
Eileen says when she came back to Alabama from a television job in Boston, it was not supposed to be for long. "I really came here to take care of my parents because my parents were ill. My plan was to stay here one year and then I was going to go back to the big city, but I liked it here so much I thought there's no way I can go back to life in the big city after being here. So I've been here now since 1989."
Eileen has become a political institution here in Montgomery. You might compare her to Helen Thomas in Washington, no press conference started until Eileen was in place and she would find a way to get virtually any news maker to answer her tough questions.
WSFA 12 News will miss Eileen in the newsroom and out in the field.