Maine news anchor Kim Block leaves station to recover from traumatic brain injury

A veteran local news anchor from Maine announced this week she is stepping down after 39 years at the station due to a traumatic brain injury she suffered a year ago.

Last January, Kim Block, who works at WGME-TV in Portland, slipped on an icy driveway and struck her head, causing a concussion. Since then she has undergone intensive therapy but still suffers pounding headaches and is sensitive to light and noise, according to the Portland Press Herald.

“Although my recovery has been very positive, it's taking longer than any of us had hoped or expected,” Block wrote in a letter posted on the station's website.

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“You can't imagine how difficult it is to leave my anchor role - but the good news, is it's not necessarily goodbye,” she added. “The door is open for another new chapter here at WGME, and I can assure you that if I can - I'll find my way back to you.”

She encouraged Mainers to say hello to her if they see her on the street, advising that she might be wearing sunglasses and noise-canceling headphones, but she won’t break.

Block received support from across the state, including from coworkers, viewers and both of Maine's U.S. senators, Susan Collins and Angus King.

"For nearly 40 years at @WGME's anchor desk, Kim Block has been a trusted voice in news, earning many accolades & awards along the way," Collins, a Republican, tweeted. "Her integrity, kindness, & passion for our state shone through in every story. I join all of Maine in supporting her during this time of healing."

King, an independent, echoed his colleague's words. “For 39 years, Maine people have invited @KimWGME into their homes to share the news for one simple reason: we trust her. Kim, thanks for your decades of service to our state – as you continue on your path toward healing, please know that Maine is with you every step of the way.”

WGME General Manager Susan Walther called Block a "mainstay" of their community and said the station's door is always open for Block if she would like to return in any capacity.

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"Our anchors and journalists remain committed to helping Kim on her road to recovery, and once she is ready to return to work our door is open to any and all possibilities for her," she said, according to the Press Herald.