MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Longtime News 5 anchor Mel Showers will be retiring from regularly scheduled newscasts next month, after almost 50 years at WKRG-TV.

A Mobile native, Showers began working at WKRG part time in 1969. He became a full-time employee in March 1970, working as a booth announcer, providing live station identification and reading live commercials. In 1974, Showers became a reporter for Newscenter 5. Among the major stories he covered were Hurricane Frederic in 1979 and the KKK lynching of Michael Donald in Mobile in 1981.

“Mel Showers is beloved by people all along the Gulf Coast,” said Jesse Grear, Vice President and General Manager of WKRG. “Millions of viewers have watched Mel over the years. From reporting on cross burnings by the KKK, to the devastation brought by some of the country’s most powerful tropical storms and hurricanes, Mel has been the voice of calm during some of the most dramatic times in Alabama history,” Grear said.

In 1981, Showers was named co-anchor of Morning Newscenter 5. In 1990, Showers was moved to the evenings, anchoring at 6:00 and 10:00. Since 2002, Showers has anchored those shows with Rose Ann Haven, along with meteorologist Alan Sealls and sportscaster Randy Patrick.

In 2016, Showers was inducted into the Alabama Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame.

While no longer anchoring the evening newscasts, Showers will continue to contribute to WKRG News 5 as Anchor Emeritus with occasional special reports and providing his unique perspective on events impacting the Gulf Coast.

WKRG News 5’s Peter Albrecht will step in to anchor the 6 and 10 newscasts.