R.I.P. Jim Vance, 75, Washington DC’s Longest-Serving Local News Anchor

Washington DC anchor Jim Vance (photo via washingtonpost.com)

by Matt Schudel via washingtonpost.com

In a city of news junkies and scores of high-profile figures in politics and the media, the most-watched journalist in Washington may well have been Jim Vance. With 45 years as the face of WRC-TV (Channel 4), he was the region’s longest-serving television news anchor. He presided over the area’s top-rated newscasts and became a public figure in his own right. He gained broad sympathy for his openness about his struggles with drugs and depression.

Mr. Vance, who was 75, died July 22. The death was announced by WRC-TV, where he had worked since 1969, but no further details were provided. He announced his diagnosis of cancer earlier this year.After three years as a reporter for Channel 4, Mr. Vance ascended to the anchor’s chair in 1972, putting him in the first wave of black news anchors in major news markets.

In addition to reading the news, he also delivered pointed commentaries, often on sensitive racial topics. Mr. Vance sat alongside a revolving cast of co-anchors and was often second or third in the local ratings until he teamed with Doreen Gentzler in 1989. Together, with sportscaster George Michael and meteorologist Bob Ryan, they vaulted Channel 4 to the top of the local ratings and stayed there for more than 25 years.

In the nation’s capital, Mr. Vance’s 11 p.m. newscasts with Gentzler regularly drew more viewers than the prime-time shows of the three major cable networks — CNN, Fox and MSNBC — combined.

To read more, go to: Jim Vance, Washington’s longest-serving local news anchor, is dead at 75 – The Washington Post

3 thoughts on “R.I.P. Jim Vance, 75, Washington DC’s Longest-Serving Local News Anchor

  1. Like many Washingtonians my age, older and younger, Jim Vance’s longevity made him a part of our household. He was so personable and genuine. Ever the consummate television anchor, he was trusted to be honest, open and frank.

    In recent years, when the Black Lives Matter movement gained momentum, Vance spoke on his evening newscast about “the conversation” black parents have with their children about encounters with law enforcement. Because of his universal appeal, I’m certain he educated thousands on a topic they had no idea was such an integral part of black families’ lives.

    I will miss Jim Vance terribly. I am sorry for his family’s suffering. I pray that he and sports anchor George Michael have caught up with one another and are having a good, hearty laugh.

    Liked by 1 person

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