Pittsburgh market has been home to many iconic, beloved broadcasters
The death of veteran Pittsburgh broadcaster Adam Lynch this week reminds us of how attached we become to those who come into our homes, via television, daily to deliver the news.
Lynch, a native of McKeesport, worked at all three Pittsburgh television stations, before settling into WTAE until his retirement in 1993.
His passing brings to mind some other iconic broadcasters who’ve become synonymous with Pittsburgh.
Simply say “Joe said it would” and everyone knows instantly who you’re talking about. It’s WTAE’s Joe DeNardo, of course. There was even a song about him. Go ahead, sing along. We’ll wait.
According to wtae.com. the 87-year–old DeNardo was the longest-serving chief meteorologist in the history of WTAE-TV Channel 4, retiring in 2005. He is responsible for starting a Pittsburgh tradition: WTAE Project Bundle-Up. Children and senior citizens across Western Pennsylvania receive warm winter clothing as a result of his work with Salvation Army and WTAE-TV. That tradition continues to this day, even after his retirement.
Patti and Daddy — viewers of a certain age will remember spending many a lunch time with KDKA’s famous father-daughter duo, Bill and Patti Burns.
Patti Burns joined KDKA in 1974 and within two years, was anchoring the noon news with her father, legendary local newscaster Bill Burns. The nation’s only father-daughter news team continued until the elder Burns retired in 1988, according to a Tribune-Review report. He died in 1997. Patti Burns died in 2001 after a battle with cancer.
The longtime WTAE anchor team of Paul Long and Don Cannon was a Pittsburgh mainstay. The pair’s chemistry and authoritative delivery made them favorites for years.
Long started in Pittsburgh radio on KDKA in 1946. He retired from WTAE in 1994 and died in 2002, due to congestive heart failure. Cannon worked at WTAE from 1969 until 1994. He returned to the Pittsburgh TV in 1999 for a stint with KDKA. He is now 78 years old.
Ray Tannehill was a fixture on Pittsburgh television newscasts for nearly 30 years. Tannehill, a Beaver County native, co-anchored the news on WIIC-Channel 11 (before it became WPXI) and moved in 1976 to KDKA-Channel 2. He left KDKA in 1999 and died in 2007.
After a 40-year career with WTAE, Sally Wiggin announced last year that she will retired in November.
Wiggin joined WTAE in 1980, and in January 1981 became co-anchor of the weekend news, a position she held until November 1986, when she was named anchor on the weeknight newscasts. She anchored the 11 p.m. news for 16 years and the 6 p.m. news for 22 years. She’s also been the “Black & Gold Primetime” co-host, and host of “Chronicle.”
No list of Pittsburgh broadcasters would be complete with the late, great Myron Cope.
According to a Tribune-Review report, Cope was born in Pittsburgh, graduating from Taylor Allderdice High School. In 1968, Cope changed courses again and took a part-time job at WTAE Radio. He parlayed that into his job with the Pittsburgh Steelers broadcast team in 1970 and into his career as a radio talk-show host. The diminutive creator of the “Terrible Towel,” Cope entertained and informed fans with his manic style of color commentary on the Steelers Radio Network from 1970 until he retired in June 2005. He died at age 79 in 2008.
OTHER LONGTIME NEWSCASTERS
Wayne Van Dine: Helped consumers get answers from 1978-2003 on KDKA. Before that, he worked at WIIC-TV (now WPXI) from 1969 to 1978. He died in 2016.
Bob Kudzma: Worked as meteorologist at KDKA from 1968 to 2002.
Patrice King Brown: Worked in many jobs at KDKA, including morning news anchor, for 32 years before leaving in 2011.
Mary Robb Jackson: Spent five years at WIIC, before joining KDKA in 1980. She retired in 2014.