Too many losses

Gary Pappa, 1954-2009
Gary Pappa, 1954-2009

 Another well-known media personality is gone in Philadelphia. Gary Papa fought the good fight against prostate cancer for more than five years and died today, June 19. I knew Gary as a collaegue in the newsroom. As he started at Action News, 6ABC in 1981, I was spending a short time there as a newswriter. Through the years, I met him at various events. There was always a smile on his face; pep in his step and always a kind word. Watching Channel 6’s newscast tonight was a treat, getting to see old packages Gary filed years ago; clips from back-and-forth between him, anchor Jim Gardner and weather guy Dave Roberts and others was certainly a trip down memory lane. Few remember that Gary was launched into prominence when Channel 6 and Don Tollefson parted ways. That’s the way TV and radio go. One way or another, you move on. Gary stepped in along with Scott Palmer (a true gentleman as well). One thing Channel 6 has always done well is portray the brand as a team. Everyone plays on that team, and does it well. The people who work behind the scenes at 6ABC never get any credit, but without the writers, producers, field producers, camera people, editors and so many others, there would be no Action News. Gary did a great job of working with the teams and players and making the viewer feel as though they were really getting to know what was going on inside the story. Sports is an area in broadcast news where you can let your colors show a little. Gary surely did that. Though sports coverage can range from overkill to maudlin to underdone, despite that, Garry Papa always had a good way of telling people a story. That’s what very good broadcasters do..tell a story. Tonight, Dave Roberts talked a bit about how Gary talked with his hands. That was how he got his message across. He wasn’t just reading the words as so many anchors do. He was telling you what was going on.
Remember the passion and love Gary had for the game, his Channel 6 family and certainly his wife and two sons. We remember fondly and thank him for being a communicator to us for so many years. Peace.

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