“Since the days of my youth there has been one constant fixture in our local news market- Jim Gardner. We all know the song; we all know the call letters and we waited every night for Jim to tell us the news of the day. What will lead the broadcast as the ‘Big Story?’ was often the question on all our minds. These things have played synonymously for all of us in Camden County and now for the first time in generations there will be a changing of the guard. Over the last 46 years Gardner has played the role of Walter Cronkite for the Delaware Valley delivering the news in a way that underscored dependability and credibility. For many of us he was the most trusted man in the business here in South Jersey.
That said, the winds of change have been blowing through the newsroom at 6ABC over the last six years starting with the retirement of reporters like Nora Muchanic, Vernon Odom, David Henry and Dann Cuellar who made up an all-star cast of trusted, supporting correspondents. All of whom exhibited the best of journalistic instincts and were always objective in their coverage of our county and the region. This long-time team was led by Gardner, who brought clarity, reliability and stability to every broadcast over the last almost 50 years.
We want to thank him and his team for their professionalism, we want to thank him for being the calming voice during the some of the most tragic events in our history and providing his voice to our largest triumphs. So, as we prepare for the last ‘Big Story’ tonight at 6 p.m. to be delivered by Gardner, we want to thank him for all his years of service to the viewers here in Camden County. One thing is for sure, my living room, like so many of my neighbors, will never be the same after he signs-off. We will miss him, and we will watch as anchors Rick Williams and Brian Taff begin to fill the shoes of a legend in Philadelphia television.”