Category Archives: action news

Dave Roberts and Action News

I was directed to watch 6ABC’s local Philadelphia news at 11 tonight by a message on their Facebook:

Action News turn to 6abc right now! Dave’s gonna make the big announcement!

Now aside from the fact that such grammar from a news outlet would have made my Journalism professor choke on his Almond Joy, the announcement was that longtime on-air announcer Dave Roberts was retiring. He’s been with Channel 6 since the late seventies and has always been a friendly informative source for news and entertainment whether he was doing the news, weather, magazine shows or holiday parades. His final day will be December 11th so we’ll get one more Thanksgiving Day parade out of him. Dave will most certainly be missed.

What bugged me was that this was the first full episode of “Action News” I’ve watched in well over a decade. I know I’ve blogged on this before but I’m still shocked at how truly bad local news has become.

“Action News” used to be the local newscast in the 1970s. The witty and hip interaction (pun unintended) between the late Jim O’Brien and his cohorts invited viewers in to this television family. In hindsight, perhaps the much-missed O’Brien was the glue that held everything together for the newscast. He was never truly replaced by anyone his equal. Everyone after was just obviously trying to be him.

The broadcast I watched tonight barely spent five minutes on hard news but spent more than that on a special report about cougars. Then the weather was overshadowed by a longer story about what might be coming this winter. This is news? After all that I could have just clicked over to the station’s website to get the news on Dave’s retirement, and not suffered through this mess. But maybe that’s the point. Between the internet and the various 24/7 cable news outlets, local news is dead.

Good luck, Dave, maybe you’re getting out before it’s too late.

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Gary Papa 1954-2009

After a long battle with cancer, local news and sports anchor Gary Papa has passed away.

He joined the Action News on-air staff as a sportscaster in 1981 and was promoted to sports director nine years later.

Papa was also the host of “Prime Time” which he took over from the late Jim O’Brien.

He was beloved in the Philadelphia area and will be missed.

View more here.