6ABC anchor Jim Gardner delivers his latest “Action News” broadcast at 6 p.m. 23.00

The big story on Action news tonight is the end of an era in Philadelphia broadcasts – Jim Gardner will anchor his final 23:00 broadcast on 6ABC.

It goes without saying that Gardner is an institution in the Delaware Valley and is as iconic as the timeless Action news jingle. He has been delivering the news at 11pm since taking over for Larry Kane way back in 1977, saying he has mixed feelings as he approaches his last newscast late on Tuesday.

“It’s been a long race, and it’s the first step toward retirement,” Gardner told The Inquirer. “I hope we have done a good job with the 11 news over a period of almost 45 years. I think we have. “

»READ MORE: 6ABC contacts Rick Williams to replace Jim Gardner at 23.00 edition of ‘Action News’

Fortunately, Gardner, 73, is not giving up his role completely yet. He will continue to anchor 6ABC’s newscast at. 18.00 with Ducis Rodgers and Cecily Tynan through the end of the year.

“For many of us, Jim is the last news voice we hear before we end our day. He has guided us through the good and the bad with calm confidence for more than 40 years, and he has often assured us that tomorrow will bring a better day, “said Bernie Prazenica, president and general manager of 6ABC.” Fortunately, we have another year with him during the news broadcast at. 18:00 and we look forward to his continued presence and leadership. “

When free time opened up on his schedule, Gardner said he looks forward to finally being able to watch some Sixers games. Back in November, he received a thunderous ovation after ringing the bell at the Wells Fargo Center ahead of a Sixers-Timberwolves fight.

But Gardner said it will have to wait until this latest wave of COVID-19 infections subsides, which has caused him and his wife, Amy, to hunk more down home.

“I think I will say [Tuesday night] that my main wish for next year is to see the pandemic recede before I do, ”Gardner said.

The longtime anchor also recently made a cameo on the new ABC comedy series Abbott Elementary, which takes place in an elementary school in Philadelphia and created by Quinta Brunson, who is a native of West Philadelphia.

»READ MORE: There’s a new sitcom about Philly public schools. So we asked a city teacher to review it

“He’s amazing. It was so cute. I almost fainted that I was so starstruck,” Brunson told 6ABC.

Gardner said he had seriously considered winding down his career several times over the past few years, but found the news too interesting to walk away from, whether it was the coronavirus pandemic or former President Donald Trump’s four-year term.

In the end, he decided last year that it was time to walk away, and wanted to model his departure on the retirement of former 6ABC meteorologist Dave Roberts back in 2009, who also ended his long career at the station by focusing on the news broadcast at

“It worked well for him, I think it worked well for the station, and I’m sure it will work well for everyone this time,” Gardner said. “I think he is a wise man, and he has always given me very, very good guidance.”

So who will replace Gardner on the newscast at. 23? The station has approached longtime reporter and anchor Rick Williams to take over the late night edition of Action news. Williams has worked at the station for more than 30 years and is perhaps best known for his role in anchoring 6ABC’s coverage of the annual Thanksgiving Day parade in Philadelphia with Tynan.

Williams will begin his tenure at 11 p.m. on Wednesday.

6ABC has also recently hired former Fox News host Jillian Mele as a reporter and anchor. Mele, a native of Glenside who previously worked for NBC10 and the station formerly known as Comcast SportsNet, has not yet appeared on television, but it looks like she will help fit into the schedule due to Gardner’s departure.

»READ MORE: Jim Gardner spent decades reporting the news. Here are some of his lighter moments


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