By Michael Malone -- Broadcasting & Cable, 12/2/2007 7:00:00 PM
JOHN DRURY, one of Chicago's best-known TV journalists, died from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis at his home in Wheaton, Ill., on Nov. 25. He was 80.
Drury retired from WLS Chicago in 2002 after anchoring the 10 p.m. news for 16 years.
“John was the consummate journalist—driven, passionate about telling the truth and, of course, a great communicator,” said WLS president and general manager Emily Barr.
Drury's first TV job was in Indianapolis in 1953. He also worked at WTMJ Milwaukee, WBBM Chicago, WGN Chicago and WLS. The Museum of Broadcast Communications dubbed him “the most-watched anchor in Chicago television history”; WLS held the No. 1 late-news crown throughout Drury's tenure.
As someone who lived in Chicago during the 1980''s, I tuned into John Drury every evening. I am so sad to read of his passing. He was an institution in the long history of Chicago broadcasting. A consumate professional who one could trust would sift through all the "spin" of Chicago politics and tell viewer''s what the real truth was.
As time moves on, and a new generation of newscasters come and go, one could always know that when it was time for the evening news in Chicago, John Drury was always there.
There are very few John Drury''s left in local news, and with the trend towards "celebrity" broadcasting dominating newscasts both locally and nationally, watching the evening news will never be the same.
It''s a sad sign of our times that news directors feel compelled to cater to the "dumbing down" of newscasts in order to appeal to both their demographic audience targets, while cashing in the money from advertisers who could care less about "substance" and more about sensationalism.
John Drury was a great newscaster, and more importantly, was respected by his peers who elected him into the Chicago Broadcasting Hall Of Fame where his memory will live on forever.
Jeff Ostach - 12/7/2007 3:49:00 PM EST
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