PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — As the world bids farewell to another year, we here at KDKA are saying farewell to one of our longtime colleagues.
Mary Robb Jackson is retiring today – after bringing you the news of Pittsburgh for 40 years.
You’ve welcomed Mary Robb into your home almost every day since the mid-1970s.
Her velvet voice and smooth storytelling are her trademarks, but don’t let that fool you.
She can be tough as nails when needed and isn’t afraid to challenge anyone, anywhere, anytime.
Mary Robb began her television career as part of the studio crew at WPXI – then known as WIIC.
It wasn’t long before she wanted more.
Mary Robb says, “I went to the news director and said, ‘What do I have to do to get into the news side of things?’ And he said, ‘You really don’t have any experience.’ And I said, ‘I’m never going to get any experience if you don’t give me a chance.’ So I volunteered to come in and work on weekends for nothing.”
Mary Robb quickly learned the ropes, thanks to her photographers.
After five years at Channel 11, she decided to make a move.
On June 16, 1980, Mary Robb was hired here at KDKA.
Since then, she’s covered just about everything.
For several years, she was also the co-host of “Evening Magazine.”
But she’s most passionate about helping breast cancer patients, victims of domestic violence and veterans.
In fact, it was her series of reports from Vietnam in the 1990s that earned Mary Robb a Mid-Atlantic Emmy Award.
She traveled to Vietnam with her husband, KDKA Chief Photographer Michael Challik.
Together, they produced the series “Vietnam: Finding Peace,” stories told through a local veteran’s eyes 20 years after the fall of Saigon.
Mary Robb’s also long been a champion for children.
Mary Robb says, “I really love people. I don’t know that what I do is so special. People tend to think that it is, but it’s just a job I love. I really feel that it is such a privilege to be out in the community and have people share their stories with me at some of the best and some of the worst times in their lives. If you’re doing this because you want to live a glamorous life and make a ton of money – forget about it. It doesn’t mean that you don’t have exciting things to do and adventures to go on. It doesn’t mean that there isn’t money to be made in this business. That’s not why you do it. You do it because you love it.”
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