“I am really missing the voice of Jim Vance.”
That’s how News4's Doreen Gentzler began a remembrance Friday of her longtime coanchor and friend.
As demonstrations for racial justice shake Washington, D.C., and the nation after the police killing of George Floyd, News4 broadcast one of Vance’s popular “Vance’s View” segments at the end of our 6 p.m. show Friday.
“We'll share a ‘Vance's View’ from our archives with a message that's still powerful today,” Gentzler wrote earlier Friday. “And reminds us how much has NOT changed. Yet.”
For 48 years at News4, Vance’s smooth voice and calm presence made viewers feel that, no matter how bad the news was, it would be OK. He died July 22, 2017 at age 75 after a brief battle with cancer.
The Philadelphia native started reporting for WRC-TV in D.C. in 1969. He made a name for himself covering stories all over the world, including in Vietnam, El Salvador and South Africa. He didn’t have to go far for some of his best work, reporting on people in his adopted hometown of Washington.
For almost 50 years, Vance told viewers about every big story that occurred in D.C. From unrest on U Street and Columbia Heights to the 14th Street Bridge plane crash to Watergate to the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan and 9/11, Vance kept the people of the Washington region informed and comforted.
His “Vance’s View” segments provided a dose of reality that could be refreshing, even for those who disagreed with him.