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Rob Jennings Retiring from 6ABC


HulkieD

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Yes. The headline is correct. The man who has anchored weekends in the Delaware Valley for over three decades, one of the single most underrated news personalities in the entire area, the most reliable substitute for Jim Gardner, is retiring in July.

 

You can read the story here.

 

I don't think I can stress enough how crucial Rob Jennings has been to the success of WPVI. He was never flashy, but he was a fantastic reporter, one of the most reliable anchors ever, and an extremely warm presence. Maybe "we gotta hear it from Jim", but if news happened on a weekend or when he was off, well, I was just fine hearing it from Rob.

 

Yes, this has been coming. His delivery has gotten less crisp over the last few years. Once the prime substitute for Gardner, he'd visibly cut back on his schedule. Still, any news that a longtime Action News personality is departing is pretty big, and this did hit me a bit.

 

His retirement is well-deserved, and I wish him well as he pursues his lifelong passion of boating.

 

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Note: I hate to have to even mention this here, and I'm not a mod and don't have any power. But because of that thread we had earlier...

 

I don't think this thread is appropriate for any jokes pertaining to any alleged racism or sexism on his part. It's tempting, but I honestly think Rob is one of my personal picks as best anchor, and as I said the man was so crucial to 6's success. Maybe it's just me, but it feels wrong to reference it in this thread.

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One of my favorites of all time. Probably the best anchor not to be in the prime weekday spot, but he was plenty happy there and he continued to report on the weekdays on top of it. How far behind is Jim on his retirement?

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Jim might be thinking about it, but I have a feeling unlike with Rob & other recent retirees such as Dave Roberts... ch6 & Disney will be begging & pleading with Jim not to retire.

 

I think when Jim retires, action news will finally be vulnerable.

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You do have to admit though, while Rob has slowed down a little in work load and delivery, Jim has barely skipped a beat. If I'm not mistaken (and if my math is right) Jim's at least 5-6 years younger than Rob.

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When is that old cranky Jim Gardner retiring? I cannot stand him and he has been on for way too long and he should just retire because I'm afraid he will drop dead on one of the newscasts and everyone knows that Action News gets all of it's viewers from nursing homes.

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Jim might be thinking about it, but I have a feeling unlike with Rob & other recent retirees such as Dave Roberts... ch6 & Disney will be begging & pleading with Jim not to retire.

 

I think when Jim retires, action news will finally be vulnerable.

Action News will see its viewership decline some when Jim eventually retires, but they should still be the market leader if Rick Williams and Monica Malpass are still there (I favor them to succeed him at 6 and 11).

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When the day that Jim Gardner is no longer able to do the newscast finally comes, I'm not so sure that they'll be as vulnerable as people think.

 

First off, 6 is tremendously good at bringing in new talent, nurturing them, and making them household names. I still remember when Matt O'Donnell was introduced as a reporter, and he worked his way up the ladder to become their morning anchor. And even though they're newer, the 4pm crew was featured as fill-ins and prominent reporters before that newscast launched. If you subtract Jim Gardner, you STILL have what is, from top to bottom, a great news staff. If you're choosing from the weekday talent, you have three male anchors that I would have no problem with.

 

Consider Action News on PHL 17. I work retail part-time for steady benefits to offset my web stuff, and I've heard a lot of people talk about how it's nice to have Action News at 10pm on PHL 17. Nobody - I repeat, nobody - ever talked about 17's news, neither the in-house version or the NBC 10 version. Now they are. Nevermind that the 10pm uses their third-string weekday anchors, that Jim and Cecily usually never appear, or that it's on the independent station. It's still Channel 6 Action News, and as long as it looks, feels, and sounds like Channel 6 Action News, people will watch.

 

If that doesn't prove that WPVI has the strongest local branding in the country, nothing will. In a lot of ways, 6ABC is Philadelphia.

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When the day that Jim Gardner is no longer able to do the newscast finally comes, I'm not so sure that they'll be as vulnerable as people think.

 

First off, 6 is tremendously good at bringing in new talent, nurturing them, and making them household names. I still remember when Matt O'Donnell was introduced as a reporter, and he worked his way up the ladder to become their morning anchor. And even though they're newer, the 4pm crew was featured as fill-ins and prominent reporters before that newscast launched. If you subtract Jim Gardner, you STILL have what is, from top to bottom, a great news staff. If you're choosing from the weekday talent, you have three male anchors that I would have no problem with.

 

Consider Action News on PHL 17. I work retail part-time for steady benefits to offset my web stuff, and I've heard a lot of people talk about how it's nice to have Action News at 10pm on PHL 17. Nobody - I repeat, nobody - ever talked about 17's news, neither the in-house version or the NBC 10 version. Now they are. Nevermind that the 10pm uses their third-string weekday anchors, that Jim and Cecily usually never appear, or that it's on the independent station. It's still Channel 6 Action News, and as long as it looks, feels, and sounds like Channel 6 Action News, people will watch.

 

If that doesn't prove that WPVI has the strongest local branding in the country, nothing will. In a lot of ways, 6ABC is Philadelphia.

All that's needed is the theme song.

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I'd like to see Lisa Thomas-Laury take Rob's place.

I'd like to see Lisa become co-anchor of the 6pm and/or 11pm with Jim on weeknights before he retires.

 

Kind of feel bad that Rob never got promoted to weeknights, although it almost happened when Marc Howard left and before Lisa got sick.

 

As for replacements, I see 6 going with co-anchors for weekend evenings. No clue as to the male anchor (Kenneth Moton, Chad Pradelli, outsider), but my bets are either Eva Pilgrim, Erin O'Hearn, or Sarah Bloomquist for the female co-anchor.

 

I also think there's a good chance when Jim retires that there won't be any anchors added to weeknights. I think it will be Rick & Monica at 5/10/11 and Brian & Shirleen at 4/6, or Rick & Monica at 4/6/11 and Brian & Shirleen at 5/10, with Matt O'Donnell taking Rick's spot at noon.

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Jim will eventually retire so I think they should move a female co-anchor next to him for the evening newscast. This way once he does retire, they're not having to introduce a whole new anchoring team but just a male replacement for Jim.

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Honestly, I think Lisa Thomas-Laury is the sentimental favorite, just because she deserves a spot. But I really think that if she was able to return to the newscast on a regular basis she would have done so by now. There has to be a reason why she's still only making occasional appearances.

 

Personally, I think Brian Taff should get this position.

 

I know, he's already working the 4, and this would technically be a demotion. That's why I don't think this will happen.

 

That said, this guy was not just born to anchor the news, he was born to anchor WPVI's news. Seriously - he's the type of guy that would have felt right on the Channel 6 of 1993. He's manned the big chair at 6 and 11 before, and it was like he'd been with the station for decades.

 

But I don't think he's great on the 4pm. He's a terrific hard news guy, yet he's doing the lightest newscast in town with the exception of Good Day. Don't get me wrong - I think the team of Brian and Shirleen is quite good. It's just that he's seemed out of place on that type of newscast, especially since he's shown his chops on other newscasts (and is much better on the 10pm). He would fit perfectly in the weekend spot, and more importantly, in the Rob Jennings position of lead fill-in.

 

As for the 4pm.... honestly, drop the three-anchor format and move Alicia to the chair. When they just have her and Shirleen, they work really really well. I think Alicia is underrated and while I would not put her in the lead spot, she is exactly the person that can carry that 4pm. (For the 10, I'd pair Shirleen with Rick Williams. Give Matt O'Donnell to the noon.)

 

Like I said, I don't know if this is feasible. But I keep thinking of a proper successor to Rob Jennings and my mind just keeps going back to Brian.

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You are really mature. Calling me stupid through a Spongebob Meme. Are you five?

Actually, I wasn't calling you stupid. I was riffing off Brett, teasing him by calling him stupid. ;) We know each other and I felt that I had a right, but no ill intentions meant.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

 

I hope Taff doesn't replace Rob. I'm sorry, but Taff is so robotic. He speaks in this monotone voice and has no flow to his delivery. Ugh.

 

 

He does come off as FAKE which is why I don't like him. he looks like someone playing the role of anchorman in the movies

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