Ron Magers preps for a KSTP broadcast in 1976/ photo by Roger Nystrorm

Diana Pierce isn't the only local news legend preparing for retirement. On the same day that Pierce announced she'd be leaving KARE later this month, Ron Magers confirmed rumors that he'll be leaving the Chicago airwaves after 36 years in the highly competitive market.

Magers may be best known to local baby boomers as the older brother of Paul Magers, but he has his own legacy in the Twin Cities. During his years at KSTP, he and co-anchor Cyndy Brucato surpassed WCCO as the area's most watched station, a reign that remains the station's most successful period. He left the station in 1980 after seven years.

But being the big cheese isn't what Magers is proudest of during his time here.

"The highlight of my years in Minnesota was getting treatment there and getting sober," he said Friday by phone. "In terms of recovery, it's a very forward-thinking state. That's a debt I can never repay."

Magers, who will sign off on May 25, plans to dedicate his free time to focus on breeding horses - a hobby he's been engrossed in since the mid-80s - and enjoying Chicago's rich nightlife, from checking out the latest theatre production to watching his grandkids perform in a school concert.

"For so long, my life has been regimented," said Magers who anchors WLS's 5 and 10 p.m. newscasts. "I'm really looking forward to getting away from the clock and enjoying the evenings."

Kid brother Paul Magers, who had a successful run at KARE before leaving for Los Angeles, said he emulated Ron from the very start.

"I was totally inspired by him," Paul Magers said.

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