Dawn Stevens, a familiar face to Fox 9's early-to-rise viewers since 2006, is leaving the station.

The longtime anchor and reporter made the announcement Tuesday during the "Fox 9 Morning Show."

Stevens, who previously worked in Austin, Minn. and Madison, will become chief executive communications strategist for a new nonprofit group dedicated to connecting Black-owned businesses with established companies across the United States.

"Boots on the ground, baby," she said. "That's me moving forward."

Stevens, who plans to work out of her Twin Cities home, said the new job will allow her to spend more time supporting her husband and raising their two children, ages 8 and 11.

"I've never been able to take them to school," she said. "That's huge, especially at those ages."

Stevens will continue to contribute to the station's "Voices For Change" initiative.

"I'm deeply grateful for Dawn's hard work over the years and, equally, her energy and enthusiasm for what we do," VP/news director Kelly Huffman said. "Dawn's departure is a hard pill for us to swallow, but this is a true passion project for her, so how can we be too sad?"

Stevens' last day behind the anchor desk is March 31.