Jessica Gagne is going home.
The WLBZ-TV Channel 2 sports anchor and Biddeford native will have her last sportscast on Friday before moving to its sister station, WCSH-TV Channel 6 in Portland, beginning next Tuesday.
Gagne will be a sports reporter and weekend anchor replacing Csaba Sukosd, who is leaving to return to his native Ohio, where his family and fiancee, Jennifer Miller, are living.
Johnny Mehler, who is a news reporter at Channel 2, will replace Gagne as the sports anchor.
Mehler had shared the sports anchoring job with Gagne for three months after Melissa Kim left to take a job at WIAT CBS Channel 42 in Birmingham, Alabama.
Gagne eventually became the sports anchor, and Mehler went back to news full-time, although he would occasionally handle sports assignments.
“We’re very, very lucky to have two extraordinary young people ready for these positions,” said WCSH news director Mike Redding. “We opened up a nationwide search but realized the two best candidates were in our news room.”
“Jessica is a natural. She loves the work. There’s no way you could ever give her too much work. And I’ve never seen her down. She’s always smiling. When she took over as the sports anchor, she killed it,” Redding added.
He said Mehler is equally talented.
“He graduated from Temple University, and you know how tough the sports are in Philadelphia. You don’t have to teach him a lot. You tell him once, and he goes out and kills it,” Redding said. “He was born and bred in sports.”
Redding said Sukosd will be missed.
“He’s a gifted storyteller and a kind soul. I would have proud to have him as my son,” said Redding.
Sukosd, whose contract is up next week, explained that he is leaving for personal reasons.
“I’m more needed in Ohio now,” said Sukosd, who is from Cleveland.
He said he would like to remain in sports broadcasting and that he “loved” his time in Maine.
“I learned a lot and met a lot of nice people,” said Sukosd, who used to visit an uncle in Portland when he was a youngster.
Gagne said she cherished her time in Bangor.
“I got to know so many people and make some real good friends,” said Gagne. “The coaches helped me through the learning process, and I’m friends with everybody in the media. I’ll miss them.
“But it’s going to be real good to go home and be closer to my family. And I’m familiar with the [sports] landscape,” she said.