Ray Hershel, the iconic broadcaster is retiring from WGGB TV today after a 50 year career.
Ray is a confidant, a colleague and above all a class man. The guy on the television is the guy you will meet if you see him on the street.
Having worked with Ray a long time ago I can attest to that.
We were doing a series with ABC News that took us to Washington and New York to do some stories. While coming back from DC the flight back home resembled a basketball bouncing. Some people outwardly were uncomfortable with the stress of the flight. The unflappable Mr Hershel admired his hands, comfortable with the fact that the turbulence that the others were feeling was an inconvenience rather than anything to be really concerned about.
Years later Ray and I were in the same District Court room for a case involving a high profile domestic violence case. We in the news media wanted to record the events something that was being challenged by the victim’s attorney.
Judge Jacques LeRoy was the judge involved. He allowed the media to make a case for the cameras and the microphones to be turned on and looked to us to decide which one of us would deliver the argument.
I nodded to Ray and Ray in his own, quiet, well thought out way delivered an on point argument on the fly.
Judge LeRoy looked up from his file and smiled at us and said, “Very good Mr Hershel. Motion Denied.”
I was good with that. I don’t think I could have gone on with Ray reminding me that he never lost a case.
For all his successes and all the acclaim Ray Hershel has been in a league that very few achieve. 50 years with one organization. And, he credits another icon for leading the way. Durham Caldwell.
For all the change in the industry and the times, the jackets and the sets, Ray was always Ray.
And that is what I always liked and viewers loved about him.
Enjoy the retirement Ray.
Don’t be a stranger.