Brandon Lee back on Phoenix TV less than a year after departing

Bill Goodykoontz
The Republic |
Brandon Lee is an Emmy-winning journalist.

Brandon Lee, a former Phoenix television news anchor who fought addictions and wrote a book about it, is returning to Valley TV.

Right away.

“I’m truly ecstatic and humbled to take on this role as evening anchor at CBS 5 and 3 TV,” Lee said in a Facebook post Monday. “This will be an invigorating challenge. I have the utmost respect for the competition in Phoenix. There are great journalists at every station. But there’s no other team I’d rather be on.”

Lee starts immediately, evidently, co-anchoring the 6:30 p.m. and 10:3 p.m. newscast on Channel 5 (KPHO) with Kris Pickel, and the 8 p.m. newscast on Channel 3 (KTVK) with Heather Moore, beginning Monday, Sept. 16.

Meanwhile, Sean McLaughlin will now anchor the 5 p.m. newscast with Pickel on Channel 5 and the 10 p.m. newscast with Moore on Channel 3. McLaughlin, who is a meteorologist, also will do the weather at 10:30 p.m.

Lee left Channel 3 (the stations now share a single owner) in November of 2018 after about five years. Earlier this year his book, “Mascara Boy,” came out. It details the sexual abuse he suffered as a child, and how that led to drug addiction.

Lee got clean in 2010.

“As most of you know, I have spent the past 8 months writing and publishing a memoir & traveling the country to speak at mental health conferences to help educate people about surviving child abuse & the opioid crisis,” Lee said in his Facebook post. “The fear of exposing my scars was real. But, that fear has turned into strength because of the loving messages have received from my Arizona’s Family. It’s given me perspective and a purpose.

“Nowhere have I been welcomed with open arms and embraced like I have by the people who I’ve in the great state of Arizona,” Lee said in his Facebook post. “It’s something I’ve cherished.”

He goes on to say, “I never imagined that my journey would lead me back to Arizona so quickly. It honestly feels like I never left. The friendships I have with people in the newsroom have remained. I care deeply about Arizona’s Family and its mission to serve the people of Arizona with passionate storytelling and community service.”

Reach Goodykoontz at Facebook: Twitter: @goodyk.

Subscribe to today. What are you waiting for?