Carol Silva, one of the best-known members of News 12 Long Island's on-air reporting team, announced her retirement Thursday morning after more than 30 years at the channel. Silva, 64, said she would leave her role as morning anchor in December.
"This is a big moment for me," she said during "Mornings with 12," the 4:30 a.m. show she anchors with Elizabeth Hashagen. Later, alongside another News 12 charter member, Doug Geed, she said "I've decided it's almost time to start sleeping beyond 2:15 in the morning and spend more time with my family. My daughter's getting married — that's going to be amazing — and I want to explore the world beyond 516 and 631. But I'll always be here. There's a lot more to life and other projects I'm going to look at."
In a phone interview Friday, Silva said "it was about a month ago that I was having breakfast with one of my brothers and his wife and my husband, and Brian [her brother] leaned over and said, 'when are you going to retire.' And I had always said whenever I was asked that — 'two years.' That was always my answer. But there was something in the pit of my stomach that said, 'I wonder if you really mean it?' That was the first time I really questioned it."
"I never saw myself leaving but the only killer was we go on at 4:15. I've always said, you never get used to the hours but you get used to being tired. Getting up at 2:15 [every weekday] is like stepping into a bucket of ice water."
What's next? She said she'll land on a decision after her daughter, Connor, is married next April. "The thing that gives me the greatest fulfillment, the thing that gives me the greatest thrill, is when I'm doing something for someone else. I tell my kids, if you're feeling down or melancholy or depressed, for God's sake, do something for someone else." She said she's considered becoming a deacon — she's taught Pre-cana classes at St. Dominic in Oyster Bay for a couple dozen years — and has also considered becoming a life coach. "I know I'll do something to make people's lives better. It's going to find me."
Silva also said, "my experience with Altice [which owns News 12] has been a very good one, and they didn't want me to leave [but said] as long as I have enough energy, I still feel I can go do something else and do it at my leisure."
Silva has indeed been one of the most familiar figures on local TV for decades, and one of the more familiar voices before that, at WLIR-FM. Per her News 12 bio, she "has covered stories from Ground Zero after September 11, to Albany, Washington, D.C., New Orleans and Texas."
Raised in Hicksville and now living in Oyster Bay, Silva began her career in radio, with stops at WGBB, WGSM and most prominently WLIR. In an interview with Newsday in 2006, she said of her early days at News 12 — which she joined in 1987, shortly after the channel's launch — "we were all in our 20s and 30s," referring to other early recruits Colleen McVey, Lea Tyrrell and Geed, and they covered "each major storm and crisis."
Geed said on the air: "I know this was a difficult decision but you've had a great career [and] it's on your own terms."