BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — For his entire life, Jack Royer has been in TV studios across Birmingham.

Royer, son of veteran Birmingham broadcaster Mike Royer, spent much of his childhood watching how local TV news was put together, all in Birmingham. And before he even had his degree from the University of Alabama, Royer was already following in his father’s footsteps in the Magic City.

On Wednesday, Royer signed off from CBS 42 News after nearly five years with the station, nearly four as an anchor on the evening news and then the morning show. Soon, Royer will begin the next chapter of his career at Nexstar’s Tampa station, WFLA, where he will be a reporter and weekend anchor.

In the final moments of the morning show Wednesday, Royer took time to thank both his colleagues and the audience for staying with him over the years:

I was first in a television studio before I was old enough to speak. My journey in broadcasting began days after I was born. My mom and dad enabled me to do anything I wanted with my life over the past 26 years and the whole time, I just wanted to be like them. I was attracted to the cameras, bright lights and flashing buttons.

In the decades since, I’ve learned that television journalism is much more than all the shiny objects. I’ve learned that this business is about people. Today, I’m reminded that I would be nothing if not for the people sitting right next to me, and the ones just beyond these cameras, walking these hallways and traveling the country to cover the news- so many of whom have helped me and guided me on good days and bad. They miss family events: birthdays, holidays, weekends away from home. They want their work to make a difference in your life. And so many have made a difference in mine. But through all of those relationships, I’m reminded today that no relationship has been more important in my life than my relationship with you.

I’ve tried to hold our elected leaders to account. I’ve done my best to ask the questions you’d want answered. I’ve interviewed so many of you from time to time. Some of you have spoken to me for a news story on the worst day of your life. and especially then: telling your stories has been an honor. I’ve only wanted to do work – on air and off- that makes a difference. That’s all I’ve ever wanted to do, for you.

I wouldn’t be sitting here today if not for Andrea Lindenberg. She gave new life to my career and picked me up when I was down. She gave me the chance to see what I was made of. She’s helped me strengthen my relationship with you. Thank you for giving me that chance and trusting me for 5 years. And trust me – the future for this broadcast is bright.

I’d wish Lillian (Lalo) luck – but I know she won’t need it because of the team around her. I’ll be in Tampa for the next step of my journey, and I’ll see you along the way.

Jack Royer

Lindenberg, who co-anchored the news with Mike Royer during her time at WVTM, said she has known Royer since he was 14 years old and that he had been a constant source of support for her when she went back to TV after years of being away.

“You welcomed me back into television when I said, ‘I wonder if I can still do this. Let’s try it.’ And I could and you helped me,” Lindenberg said. “You let me shine, you lifted me up, you asked me for advice, which helped me straighten out some of my life in the past, talking with you, giving a younger broadcaster advice.”

Lindenberg then tearfully told Royer how much she loved him.

“So you know I love you,” she said. “There were days you made me insane, but thank you and you know I love you and I’m so proud of you.”

Starting Thursday, Lillian Lalo will co-anchor the CBS 42 Morning News with Lindenberg.