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Comments made by billritter

KPBS Legend Gloria Penner Dies

I started in television news because of Gloria Penner. She invited me to appear on her San Diego Week In Review way back when, and I guess she liked how I did, because she regularly invited me back. And then she invited me to moderate some debates for state elected.

Gloria had to recuse herself from those forums because KPBS received state funding, and she felt it would be a conflict of interest for her to moderate debates with folks who controlled her employer's funding.

I guess I did all right on those debates as well, because someone saw me and said something to somebody, and the next thing I know KNSD TV is offering me a job. I leave the L.A. Times, and start down a different career path. That was 25 years ago.
It was always fun running into Gloria after that, because she knew that if I hadn't subbed for her during those debates, I might well have remained an ink-stained wretch. Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course.

I think of Gloria every time I moderate a debate - and I've done many at WABC TV in New York, where I now work.

I never told Gloria this - and, dang, now how I wish I had - but I learned so much from working with her and watching her ply her talent and her skills. She asked questions that were important, paying no attention to the sacred cows that grazed everywhere in San Diego, and she always kept the viewers' interests on the front-burner. I know viewers in San Diego miss her, and I know the staff misses her. This reporter, now on the other coast, misses her as well.

October 11, 2012 at 3:33 p.m. ( | suggest removal )