WBAY bids emotional farewell to reporter and anchor Sarah Thomsen as she continues her recovery from a brain injury

Kendra Meinert
Green Bay Press-Gazette
Sarah Thomsen and Jeff Alexander anchor a WBAY broadcast in 2010.

GREEN BAY - It was an emotional 6 p.m. newscast on WBAY-TV on Tuesday as the station bid farewell to anchor and reporter Sarah Thomsen.

Anchors Cami Rapson and Bill Jartz told viewers their colleague’s 20-year career at the station was ending as she continues therapy to recover from a severe concussion sustained in a car crash more than a year and a half ago. Thomsen was on her way to work at WBAY's downtown studios in May 2022 when her car was totaled by another driver.

“I can look back in the rear view mirror and go, ‘I've made a lot of progress. I’ve come a long ways.’ There’s a long ways to go. I’m nowhere near normal yet,” she said in a touching segment with colleague Jeff Alexander. “Nowhere near myself. I just haven’t gotten there yet. Nothing yet has fixed everything.”

Continued work with therapists has improved her memory, ability to have conversations and allowed her to drive again, but it’s still a challenge for the mother of four to multitask, write and to read without getting dizzy. Thomsen told Alexander that the injury caused a disconnect in which her eyes are unable to work together for her brain to comprehend what she’s reading.

WBAY has done periodic updates of her progress since the accident, and while her intent was to be able to return to the 4 p.m. co-anchor chair next to Alexander one day, she learned several months ago the position could no longer be held for her.

In a lengthy Facebook post on Tuesday evening, Thomsen wrote that she was initially "devastated" by that news but has since processed it and is grateful to WBAY for giving her as much time as it did.

The station shared this statement from general manager Steve Lavin at the conclusion of Tuesday night’s segment:

“The viewers of Northeast Wisconsin and all those who have passed through the WBAY newsroom in the last 20 years should know how lucky they’ve been to have Sarah Thomsen as their advocate. Words cannot describe how much she will be missed.”

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Thomsen has been anchor of “Action 2 News at 4” since the 4 p.m. newscast launched in 2006. She also worked as an investigative reporter covering crime and public safety and loved “digging up a good investigative story" that could make a difference in the community.

She told Alexander she’ll most miss her WBAY colleagues.

“That’s the one that makes me cry,” she said.

She also tearfully thanked the viewers and vowed to not give up on her recovery.

“I won’t give up. I’ll just find a new way,” she said in the TV interview. “I’m still very determined that it’s going to get better. I’m a very faithful person and God has other plans for me.”

Kendra Meinert is an entertainment and feature writer at the Green Bay Press-Gazette. Contact her at 920-431-8347 or Follow her on X@KendraMeinert.