Chris Gothner quits his post at KCCI TV news channel

KCCI reporter Chris Gothner, 28, is starting the new year with his departure from his job at the local television station.

“In the TV news business they call it ‘on the beach,’ which means no work, and since I’m originally from Florida…literally on the beach,” Gothner told the Des Moines Register Monday.

The death of his father, who suffered a heart attack while on a cruise in October 2021, prompted him to move. Two and a half years ago Gothner – an only child – also lost his mother to cancer.

While he hopes to eventually return to broadcast journalism, Gothner, for now, plans to spend the near future getting his family’s affairs in order. As he prepared to move, he noted that he enjoyed his time at KCCI and in Iowa.

“I ended up enjoying covering the (state) Legislature, covering caucuses and interviewing a number of candidates,” he said. “It feels good to be able to break it down for people.”

Chris Gothner leaves KCCI after almost four years.

Gothner went on to thank KCCI viewers for listening over the years, as well as KCCI management for their support during this tumultuous time. He first joined KCCI as a reporter in January 2018 after two years of television reporting with News 3 Now in Madison, Wisconsin.

“Chris is a talented and intelligent journalist,” KCCI news director Allison Smith said in an email to the Register. “Whether it’s putting a political ad through a truth test or telling an emotional element, Chris can handle it all. His future as a journalist is incredibly bright and we wish him the best.

Isaac Hamlet covers arts, entertainment and culture at Des Moines Register. Join it at or 319-600-2124, follow him on Twitter @IsaacHamlet.