Longtime TV reporter Janet Wu retires from WCVB

"I hope when people hear when I'm retiring, all the politicians are out celebrating."

WCVB political reporter Janet Wu. Bill Brett for The Boston Globe

Trailblazing political reporter and “On The Record” co-host Janet Wu retired from WCVB this week, finishing a career in journalism that spans five decades.

Wu has covered politics for WCVB for nearly 40 years, making her mark as the first Asian American and first woman to serve as a Massachusetts State House television reporter.

WCVB aired a celebration of Wu’s career Thursday night, hosted by her “On The Record” co-host, Ed Harding. Wu shared her favorite memories of working with the station, ranging from her hard-hitting interviews to assignments abroad.

“My funny little story is that I hope when people hear when I’m retiring, all the politicians are out celebrating,” Wu joked.


The veteran journalist thanked her co-workers and interview subjects, but extended a special — and characteristically wry — note of appreciation to her viewers.

“I really appreciate the fact that you watch, you listen, and you let me know what I’m doing wrong.”

Wu recorded her final “On The Record” Dec. 20 with guest Governor-elect Maura Healey. After the taping, Wu celebrated her retirement with a speech to the WCVB staff. Wu spoke of her experiences as an Asian American woman defying expectations through journalism.

“This is not a business that was welcoming to people from the Asian community,” she said, adding although that Asian journalists are still not a “critical mass” today, “we are least accepted.”

Wu joined WCVB in 1983 as a political and investigative reporter, following stints at United Press International and GBH. Wu has covered 12 gubernatorial administrations, as well as “countless other statewide and congressional races,” she said in a statement.

Margaret Cronan, WCVB Channel 5 News Director, said in a statement that Wu has been front and center in Boston’s political landscape for decades.

“Her knowledge and expertise have been valuable resources, and her tenacity in holding politicians accountable as well as her commitment to our communities have set a powerful example for investigative and political journalists everywhere,” Cronan said.


In 2009, Wu began co-hosting OTR, a weekly political roundtable program, with Harding.

The Emmy Award-winning journalist was inducted into the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2010 and into The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Boston in 2020. She also holds an honorary doctorate from Emerson College, and has her own city holiday — November 6th is “Janet Wu Day.”

Wu announced her retirement from the station in November, saying that it is “simply time to move on.”

“For nearly five decades, I’ve had the privilege of reporting on the most significant news stories and political events in Massachusetts and hopefully I have gained the trust of viewers and respect of politicians while covering the political stories that personally impact their lives,” she said.


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