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Why did Javier Soto leave Channel 3? Anchor switches after 18 years

Bruno Cooke June 21, 2022
why did javier soto leave channel 3

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Javier Soto spent nearly 18 years at Arizona’s Family stations in Phoenix, before switching over to ABC 15.

He told news outlet Arizona Central that his decision had to do with timing. “This is your sign,” he said.

His departure came as a surprise to some of his regular viewers – but Soto isn’t the only high-profile Arizona journalist to have changed jobs in recent months.

Here’s what we know about why Javier Soto chose to leave Channel 3 and join ABC 15, plus a roundup of some of what he’s said about the move.

Source: YouTube [AZFamily 3TV and CBS 5 News]

Why did Javier Soto leave Channel 3 and switch to ABC 15?

“At this stage in the career,” Arizona Central quotes Soto as saying, “everything’s timing”. 

“When your contract comes up, so much of it has to do with timing. With everything falling into place perfectly, it was unimaginable. It was like, this is your sign. This is your sign that you’re making the right move.”

But what was it that “fell into place”? Well, ABC 15 offered Soto the opportunity to anchor the evening news. 

“I think the evenings and this position presents a whole new set of challenges that I wanted to step into, and going back to learning and doing something as long as it was forwarding my career,” he said. “To me, this was the perfect opportunity.”

He was a morning show anchor on Channel 3; he now co-anchors the 5pm, 6pm and 10pm newscasts at ABC 15, alongside Katie Raml.

How many years did Javier Soto work for Arizona’s Family and Channel 3?

“I’ve got 23 years in this business”, Soto told AZCentral.

And he spent nearly 18 of them at Arizona’s Family.

“You don’t plan on staying this long, especially when you’re younger in your career,” he said. 

“I always worked to try to play at the highest level. I’ve always prepared and I try to bring 150% every day. It was about progress and continuing to learn and continuing to grow as a journalist and, more importantly, as a person.”

Source: YouTube [AZFamily 3TV and CBS 5 News]

He’s lived in the state for just as long. 

“I put down roots,” Soto told AZCentral. “My wife has spent a majority of her life here. Her family’s here. Arizona has been home for almost 18 years. I love the state. More importantly, I love the people and what the community represents.”

Arizona’s Family has experienced several high profile departures in recent months

Among those who have left Arizona’s Family TV news recently are Kris Pickel, Brandon Lee, Kim Quintero, Spencer Blake and Maria Hechanova. 

“This is a brutal part of the business,” Arizona Central quotes Pickel as saying. “But it’s part of the business.”

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Brandon Lee announced via social media in November 2021 that he would be “taking a giant leap of faith and will now focus all of my time and energy helping survivors of trauma heal through art therapy”. 

Quintero left in the same month, saying “I’m not happy with the direction our society and country are headed in”.

And Blake, who joined in 2018, left to take up work as a public information officer for the city of Phoenix.

How have people reacted to Javier Soto leaving Channel 3?

Soto posted on Instagram two days ago thanking his fans for “all the love and support” he’s received since announcing his departure from Channel 3.

“I am excited about my future at ABC 15”, he wrote. “The team has shown me an awesome welcoming.”

“So happy for you”, one fan commented on an earlier Instagram post. “Especially because you get to sleep in now…”

“Congratulations!!!” wrote another. “So awesome!” And they concluded, “Love you both”, referring to Katie Raml.

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Bruno is a novelist, amateur screenwriter and journalist with interests in digital media, storytelling, film and politics. He’s lived in France, China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, but returned to the UK for a degree (and because of the pandemic) in 2020. His articles have appeared in Groundviews, Forge Press and The Friday Poem, and most are readable on Medium or onurbicycle.com.