CLOSE YOUR EYES. TAKE A DEEP BREATH. OPEN YOUR HEART.

SHADY DEL KNIGHT, ADMINISTRATOR

SHADY DEL KNIGHT, ADMINISTRATOR
High School Yearbook Photo

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight
HELLO STRANGER ... IT SEEMS LIKE A MIGHTY LONG TIME!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

25 Years Ago Today: The "Incalculable Loss" of Broadcast Legend Jim O'Brien

It was one of those "do you remember where you were?" events.

On September 25th 1983, 25 years ago today, Jim O'Brien, the wacky, wildly popular weatherman on WPVI Channel 6 Action News in Philadelphia, perished in a skydiving mishap.

Jim's death was a devastating loss for tens of thousands of loyal viewers who loved him, not only in greater Philadelphia, but in York, Lancaster, and throughout Central Pennsylvania.

The tragedy unfolded on a beautiful Sunday afternoon:



That day marked the end of what I consider to be the golden era of Action News.

The show must go on and it did without Jim. Channel 6 Action News continued its reign as "the Delaware Valley's leading news program." Yet, one thing is clear, at least to me. As Jimmy Webb wrote and Richard Harris lamented, they'll "never have that recipe again."

Why was Jim O'Brien loved by so many? It was because he was a regular, down-to-earth guy, natural and relaxed - the kind of guy you'd like to have a beer with. (Where have we heard that before?) Jim was an exceptional communicator. When he wasn't earning his title as the Delaware Valley's favorite weatherman, the former WFIL radio boss jock was anchoring the noon or 5 o'clock news or hosting Primetime. Jim O'Brien did it all and he did it with class. He will never be replaced and he will never be forgotten.

So here's remembering the Action News dream team of the 70s and early 80s: Jim and Jimbo, Gary, Tollie, Marc, Dave, Chris, Lisa, Cathy, Vernon, Rob and all of the other big league talents who made Action News in Philly the finest local news program I have ever seen.



25 years? Say it ain't so, Jimbo! Say it ain't so!


I miss you, pardner.

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