Friday, August 28, 2009

'Woman on the Beat' broke barriers

We told you on Aug. 18 about the death of pioneering San Francisco anchor Wanda Ramey. Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal printed a detailed obit along with the photo above, showing Ramey interviewing Ronald Reagan in 1966, the year he became governor.

Here's a few grafs from the WSJ obit:
    She was an experienced broadcaster when she took a job as one of the nation's first female local news anchors in 1959, yet Wanda Ramey was billed as KPIX-TV in San Francisco's "Girl on the Beat."

    Ms. Ramey, who died Aug. 15 at the age of 85, had been on the air for more than a decade by the time "Noon News" had its debut. She specialized in reporting from the scene at a time when newscasts were conducted mostly from the studio. She rode along on a night police patrol in a high-crime zone, peered into the exotic haunts of a Beatnik from Greenwich Village, and reported on the construction of San Francisco's latest high-rise from inside the emerging building's skeleton.

    Within a year Ms. Ramey's hard-news leanings led to a different slogan: "The Woman on the Beat."

    "People sometimes mistook her soft manner and didn't notice that she had a steel back," says Belva Davis, a veteran Bay Area broadcaster who counts Ms. Ramey as a mentor.
(Photo credit: Wall Street Journal, provided to the journal by Kristi Steadman, Wanda's daughter.)

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