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KUTV reporter Rod Decker — a Utah television institution — has announced that he will retire in mid-September.

"My wife's ill, and I want to spend more time with her," Decker said. "That was part of it."

Decker is one of the most recognizable reporters in the state, covering politics and a variety of other things for Channel 2.

"Rod has done so many stories that affect the community," said KUTV News Director Mike Garber. "He really is the senior guy in this town.

"There are people who have watched Rod all their lives. He's the kind of person who can't be replaced."

In an age when local news across the country has been largely homogenized by consultants, he remained a distinct personality.

Few local TV news reporters could get away with a forceful delivery that sometimes borders on yelling into the camera, but Decker has made it work for a long time.

He joined KUTV in 1980 after working as a reporter at the Deseret News.

"That's 37 years at one station — so it's quite bit," said Decker, who turns 76 next Tuesday. "It's probably a little unusual."

More than a little unusual in a business where few on-air personalities spend even a third that much time at a single station.

"I've had a good run here," he said. "I've liked it."

Decker will spend time caring for his wife, and he has another project lined up that he can work on at home.

"I thought, 'I don't have to just quit, I can be an historian,'  " he said. "I've got a book coming out."

The book — titled "Utah Politics: The Elephant in the Room" — is scheduled to be published by Signature Books in September 2018.

"It will keep me busy," Decker said.

And KUTV is planning a big send-off for him in September.

"There are some losses you mourn, and there are some losses you celebrate," Garber said.

"We're going to celebrate everything he has mean to this station." Twitter @ScottDPierce