CINCINNATI — Mona Morrow signed off on her last episode hosting Cincy Lifestyle at WCPO 9 Friday, marking the end of a 22-year run as the station's director of community affairs as she enters retirement.
Morrow is originally from the Tri-State area and has been working in broadcast news since 1983. She has long been celebrated as a pivotal member of the Cincinnati community for her years of community service and engagement. Morrow describes her transition as bittersweet but looks forward to her next life chapter.
“It is really hard to leave. But I know that God has something else that he wants me to be doing now. So that made it a little easier. But I can’t wait to see what God has for me next,” Morrow said.
Morrow's friends and loved ones commend her for being a light in their lives, as well as for her kind, honest spirit.
“I just love Mona’s candor. If you really want to know how Mona feels about something, she will tell you, but she will listen to you. She will have this intense look on her face and she’ll just listen to you," said Gina Ruffin Moore, a close friend of Morrow. "She’s such a wonderful listener.”
Like Ruffin Moore, Representative Catherine Ingram has been friends with Morrow for decades.
"She's always been active. She's always been there. Always participated in what needs to happen in our communities and behind the scenes," Ingram said.
Even in retirement, Ingram predicts Morrow will continue to serve as an important and engaged member of the Cincinnati community pushing for positive change.
"I think that she will be even more involved and more candid with her thoughts and the work that needs to be done," Ingram said.
Ingram issued an official proclamation on behalf the State of Ohio, honoring Morrow's achievements in Cincinnati through her community affairs role.
Clyde Gray, Morrow's former co-host on Cincy Lifestyle, has a longstanding friendship and working relationship with Morrow in broadcast news that predates their time at WCPO 9. He acknowledges the important role that Morrow played in fostering the relationship between WCPO 9 and its local viewership.
"Mona has been a more accessible part of this company's public face to this community. Those of us who were on the air were as accessible as our schedules would allow us to be but her job was by definition to be accessible to every sector of this community," Gray said. "To the degree that we have a great reputation in this community, that we're viewed as accessible, that we're viewed as caring and concerned about the community, good part of that comes from her and her work over the years."
Morrow's retirement plans include continuing to serve as the board chairperson of the Salvation Army's Greater Cincinnati Area chapter. She says she also plans to enjoy traveling with her husband, joining a bowling league and doing more community service with her place of worship, the Montgomery Community Church.
"I am much alive and so excited to be able to retire while I'm still able to do a whole lot of things and I'm healthy," Morrow said. "So it's a perfect time to move on and allow other people to move the station forward."