Doreen Gentzler, co-anchor of WRC-TV's weekday newscasts, will take a leave of absence from the station and will be off the air until after Labor Day, the station said yesterday.
Gentzler, who has teamed with Jim Vance on News4 at 6 and 11 p.m. for nearly 20 years, last month signed a new long-term contract with the NBC-owned station. She said yesterday that the leave was included in her new contract and that she intended to spend more time with her family during the summer months.
"I'm looking forward to not having deadlines for a while," Gentzler said. "My kids are getting older and will be leaving soon. There aren't many more opportunities to do this."
A WRC spokesman said the station hasn't finalized its plans, but that Gentzler probably will be replaced during her absence by Wendy Rieger.
The Gentzler-Vance duo has dominated the local news ratings in Washington for more than a decade. This month, the station was once again top-rated at 6 and 11 p.m. and narrowly missed beating WTTG's 10 p.m. broadcast for the most popular local broadcast.