The Big Story is…Rob Jennings
Action News Anchor to Retire after 36 Years at 6abc
Broadcast Career Spans Six Decades
(Philadelphia, PA) – 6abc Action News has been Philadelphia’s #1 news source for more than three decades, and a large part of that success is attributed to Rob Jennings. He will complete his storied career with WPVI at the end of July. For more than 36 years, Jennings has been a consistent presence on Action News, anchoring the weekend newscasts with his warm, yet authoritative persona. Jennings joined the Action News team in July of 1977. His career at 6abc has taken him from Three Mile Island to the White House and even into the wild blue yonder, flying with both the Air Force Thunderbirds and The Navy’s Blue Angels. In 2003, Jennings was inducted into the Philadelphia Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame.
Jennings has made a lasting impression on the Philadelphia news business, and the impact he has had on WPVI is widely known. “Rob has played a huge role in the success of Action News and 6abc for decades”, says Bernie Prazenica – President & General Manager, 6abc. “I can’t thank him enough for all that he has done. His talent and professionalism are unsurpassed in broadcast journalism. We will miss him as a colleague and a friend and wish him everything good in retirement.” Longtime Action News collaborator, Jim Gardner agrees, “He’s been an extraordinary example of consistency, a great communicator, and a wonderful colleague all these years. We will miss him.”
A native of Miami, Florida, Jennings has been in broadcasting for more than four decades, and like many television pros, his first job in the business was in radio. In 1966, he started his broadcast career in Georgia, but a year later moved to WABB in Mobile, Alabama. There, Jennings was the DJ for the afternoon drive show and later became the station’s music director. But less than two years later he was hired as an announcer and director at WALA-TV, where he got his first taste of news. In 1977, he caught the eye of Alan Nesbit, News Director for WPVI-TV, and was on his way to Philadelphia. For more than three decades, Jennings has anchored the weekend Action News broadcasts, and was a consistent fill-in anchor for the weeknight editions of Action News.
In addition to three decades on the anchor desk, Jennings will be forever linked to the Action News public safety feature known as Crimefighters. Jennings spent 16 years writing, producing, and reporting on Crimefighters. Law enforcement says Rob’s work enabled viewers to help police arrest nearly 200 suspects profiled in Crimefighters cases. Crimefighters received dozens of awards from law enforcement organizations and citizens groups. Jennings continues to serve as Master of Ceremonies for the Citizens Crime Commission’s Law Enforcement Appreciation Day awards luncheon. This week’s event marks Jennings’ 23rd year of presenting awards to law enforcement officers and ordinary citizens who have done extraordinary things during the previous year.
Jennings offered these thoughts about his retirement: “I can’t emphasize enough how grateful I am to have been able to do what I love to do – tell stories – for 36 years, with the greatest television station. My wife and I have been planning to retire for some time now. And now is the time to start our new adventure together.”
Rob and his wife of 27 years, Karen, have two children together. Karen, whom he met in the Action News studios, also had stints as a news anchor in Orlando, Fl., and in Lancaster, Pa. Rob enjoys oil painting, writing, playing chess and wood working. He has created more than 50 oil paintings. Rob’s lifelong passion is boating, and now he’ll have the time to traverse the Chesapeake.
6abc Action News is the #1 local news brand in the tri-state, and the undisputed news leader for the past 35 years. 6abc.com, the official website of Action News, is also the #1 local TV news website in the market.
WPVI-TV is the ABC-owned station serving the Delaware and Lehigh Valleys.