Derek arrived in West Michigan in April of 2003 and has been teamed on the anchor desk with Lauren Stanton for the entire eleven years.

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(WZZM) - After 19 years in the local news business, including the last eleven at WZZM-13, Morning Anchor Derek Francis Monday morning announced his departure. Derek has taken a position with a well-known public relations firm in Grand Rapids.

Derek arrived in West Michigan in April of 2003 and has been teamed on the anchor desk with Lauren Stanton for the entire eleven years. Derek says he is "incredibly excited about this next chapter of my career and can't wait to get started."

Derek's last day on the air at WZZM-13 will be Wednesday May 21. Derek also believes it'll be good news for the morning show.

"After this long, our viewers deserve some new, fresh energy and some new jokes. Besides, my family deserves a less tired and less cranky Dad-Hubby. Getting to bed early enough, while raising two young active boys is virtually impossible."

Derek started his career in television in 1995 in Phoenix. He had stops in Tennessee and Washington before arriving in Grand Rapids eleven years ago.

The search is underway for Derek's replacement. Stay tuned for updates as to when Lauren's new co-anchor is announced.

If you are looking at this on the WZZM desktop page, you can leave a farewell message to Derek below.

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