Will visit Pittsburgh for motivational speaking engagements
Bofta Yimam says those days of the alarm clock blaring at 1:45 a.m., while others are deep into their sleep, are over—at least for now.
“I will enjoy sleeping in a bit these days,” she said.
Yimam, the weekend morning anchor and investigative reporter at WTAE-TV (Channel 4), announced she has left the station and is returning to her home state, Maryland. Her last day on-air was Feb. 13.
“I will definitely miss hiking around Pittsburgh’s parks, exploring the restaurant scene with friends and working with the morning crew at WTAE,” Yimam told the New Pittsburgh Courier in an exclusive interview, Feb. 19. “I received incredible opportunities as an investigative reporter and morning anchor at WTAE and I’m grateful for all of the support.”
Yimam arrived at WTAE in the summer of 2013, after stops in Memphis, Tenn., and Dalton, Ga., among other locations. Prior to moving to Pittsburgh, little did viewers know Yimam was coming with awards already in hand. In 2013, she won a Midsouth Regional Emmy for excellence in “Continuing Coverage.” Her report, while working in Memphis, led to Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signing a state law to keep convicted aggravated rapists in prison for their full sentence.
Yimam said she became the first Ethiopian-American newscaster to receive an Emmy.
And while reporting in Georgia, Yimam won the Edward R. Murrow award for Best Breaking News Coverage.
At WTAE, Yimam worked as an investigative reporter before being named weekend morning anchor in January 2016. “Bofta is a talented journalist who is passionate about the Pittsburgh community,” WTAE President and General Manager Charles W. Wolfertz III said at the time. “She has been a strong asset to Action News Investigates and we look forward to her help in maintaining our dominance in the weekend mornings.”
Yimam was honored as a New Pittsburgh Courier “Woman of Excellence” during a ceremony held Jan. 6, 2017. She’s also attained honors from the organization Young, Gifted & Black, and has emceed numerous events in the area, including the NAACP Human Rights Dinner (2015-2017).
As a member of the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation, Yimam served on the organization’s board, traveled to Cuba with other journalists, and helped raise funds for many non-profit organizations.
“I congratulate Bofta Yimam on her years of service as an active board member of the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation and on air at WTAE-TV,” Brian Cook, PBMF president, told the Courier in a statement. “It was a tremendous pleasure working with her and I wish her all the best!”
On her public Facebook page, Yimam, in making her announcement, said WTAE asked her to stay in her role as anchor/reporter, “but they understand the personal reasons behind my decision,” she said.
Yimam told the Courier she will still visit Pittsburgh to speak at events. “I will also continue public speaking coaching and providing inspirational talks around the country.”
As with many television personalities, moving from city to city is a normal occurrence. The University of Maryland graduate said her nearly-five years in Pittsburgh were the most she’s ever stayed in one place professionally. So, as for what’s next: “Right now, I don’t have all of the answers regarding what’s next,” Yimam told the Courier. But she encouraged people to follow her journey via her Facebook (Bofta Yimam On Air) and Instagram (BoftaYimam) pages.
“I still remember when I first started in Pittsburgh… I accepted the job without knowing one person in the city (or how to get around without a GPS! LOL),” Yimam wrote on her Facebook page. “Since then, I’ve met lifelong friends and developed wonderful community relationships.”
In an interview with the Courier, Yimam added: “I feel fortunate to hold so many memories in Pittsburgh.”
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