Local TV anchor, reporter and bundle of energy Bethany Crouch has departed from CBS13, but not by choice.
A day after her last appearance on-air for the network, Crouch told The Bee that CBS13 had informed her in May her position, once considered her “dream job,” would be eliminated Oct. 9.
“I’ve been running around like a crazy person today,” she said Wednesday morning. “I had all these grand visions of relaxation and sleeping in and that just did not happen.”
Crouch’s plan is to pursue her own content creation. She says she’s in the process of releasing the pilot episode of her podcast, called “The Turned On Life.” It will be dedicated to people living “inspired, conscious, awakened lives,” discussing their life successes and failures.
Since she knew she would be leaving TV nearly six months in advance, Crouch has had time to reflect on her goals and aspirations. For now, they don’t involve TV news, which had been her career for the past 15 years.
“I would feel very comfortable putting a bow on this and saying, ‘That was a beautiful experience,’” Crouch said.
Often, TV news anchors who depart a station will either move to a competitor in the same market or relocate to another market. Crouch won’t be on the news, but she “absolutely” will stay in Sacramento, where she met her husband.
Crouch said her TV career “shaped her” and helped her build “a collection of friends” in California’s capital.
“With that said, I’m filled with gratitude for the time I’ve spent with the Sacramento TV market.”
After nine years with Fox40, Crouch declined a new contract to join CBS13 and sister station CW31’s Good Day Sacramento.
Crouch’s career pivot is rooted in a medical scare.
In May 2017, Crouch underwent surgery to remove a “football-sized cyst” in her left ovary. Crouch said she was able to overcome “sexual traumas that I had really just sort of denied had happened” in the lead-up to that surgery.
In the summer months that followed, Crouch said she changed; she reduced social media use, and asked to be removed from Good Day’s anchor desk and to report from the field.
“That really put the writing on the wall. The truth is that I had soul-searching to do,” she said. “I had reached a point with Fox40 where I was on the cover of a magazine and billboards. That point you think means something as a little kid. But that is just one part of who I am. I haven’t used my voice in a way that I know I’m capable of reaching people on a much deeper level. So I reached a point with anchoring morning news where it just felt flat to me. ... In a two-and-a-half minute TV interview, you can’t get to the heart of a person.”
Recording a podcast has challenges, of course.
“I’m not so much a tech-y person,” she said.
Crouch says she’s mostly taking it on as a solo endeavor, though she has had some assistance.
Both Crouch and her husband, Stephen Leopold, lost their jobs within a year. Leopold, who was the Kings’ vice President of ticket sales when the two met, is no longer with the NBA team. He’ll serve as the general manager and chief operating officer of Burger Patch, an upcoming plant-based burger joint located at K and 23rd streets. Leopold’s former Kings colleague Phil Horn is setting up a permanent spot there after establishing a pop-up presence in the city over the past year.
After they found out her time at CBS13 was coming to an end, Crouch and Leopold quickly put their spacious house on the market and moved to a spot in Tahoe Park with less than half the square footage.
Perhaps ironically, Crouch said the period between May and this Tuesday, when she knew her job was ending, was the most she had enjoyed her job in more than 15 years, calling it freeing and relaxing.
Crouch says she’s open to whatever happens next.
“If that is TV news, I’m open. If it’s not, that’s fine too.”