GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) September 29, 2023 — WOOD TV8 is pleased to announce a new chapter for its lifestyle show eightWest! Tom Hillen has been named as the new co-host of the show, following the announcement of Terri DeBoer’s retirement. A familiar face to WOOD TV8 viewers, Hillen joins Rachael Ruiz on the iconic purple couch starting Monday, Oct. 2.
“I am so excited to join Rachael on eightWest! Rachael and I have been friends for years and now that I have the opportunity to work side by side with her, I couldn’t be more thrilled. After 13 years working in our news division, making the jump to our lifestyle show is such a great opportunity and I am ready to hit the ground running,” Hillen said.
eightWest is an integral part of the West Michigan lifestyle television landscape. The show premiered on Oct. 5, 2009, with Rachael and Terri covering the local entertainment and restaurant scene, festivals, businesses and human-interest stories from around West Michigan. Nearly 14 years later, Ruiz will have a new co-host joining her in studio.
“I couldn’t be more excited to work with Tom Hillen on eightWest! Tom truly embodies the spirit of the show. He is all about community and fun. He’s also a great storyteller and human being. We’ve also known each other for years. I think as co-hosts, it’s going to be a powerful combination,” Ruiz said.
Hillen will continue to be a part of viewers’ mornings on WOOD TV8, expanding his role to include eightWest. Viewers can still wake up with Hillen and catch his morning traffic reports on News 8 Daybreak weekdays from 4:30 p.m.-7 a.m. He’ll host eightWest weekdays at 11 a.m. on WOOD TV8 with a second run of the show weekdays at 3 p.m. on ABC 4.