''Emotional'' Angela Hill leaves the anchor desk today
Jay Vise Reporting
After nearly four decades of reporting and anchoring in New Orleans, a local broadcast legend is stepping down.
Today is the last day of Angela Hill's anchoring duties for WWL-TV. I spoke with her as she prepares for her final 5 and 6 o' clock newscasts.
"It's just tremendously, tremendously emotional," Angela told me. "Just going through a lot of the papers, a lot of the scripts, a lot of the things that I've done...I'm just very emotional."
Hill joined WWL-TV as a consumer reporter thirty-eight years ago, and quickly moved up the ranks to the 6 and 10 p.m. anchor desk. Along with anchoring, she has also produced in-depth reports and documentaries focusing on both local and international issues from around the world. Her body of work contributed to WWL-TV's leading the way to an unprecedented level of local news coverage. And, Angela agrees that broadcast journalism in New Orleans far outpaces the level of quality in other cities around the country.
"I do believe that. People say, 'well, you're a little biased.' No, I'm not. I've heard it from enough people who have lived in other places, have visited other places, they just don't have it. And I think early, early on, WWL understood that not just the image of the station, but the depth of the station, was in journalism and doing it right. Hiring the right people, letting them do their job, and I think it did set the standard."
And, Angela said the audience in New Orleans is unique, as well.
"That says everything. I think people in New Orleans expect good news, good, quality, high-level, thought-out journalism. And that only keeps us hustling more to work hard."
In the years since, she has seen many changes in how the news is produced and delivered. What's the biggest change?
"Without question, the technology. When I started, it was film and it was literally slide cameras...So from film and slide cameras to satellites and the digital world is just incredible what's happened in four decades...From a primitive form, even though I think we did OK, to what it is today. In a blink of an eye, there's the story."
As a child, I very distinctly remember one Channel 4 newscast with Bill Elder saying, "Angela and Garland are off tonight...they're on their honeymoon."
"Yes, that did happen," she laughed. "It was a beautiful honeymoon...It was a very happy time. We got along beautifully on the air, we got along beautifully as friends, and we still do."
She says she's very excited to be working with WWL-TV producer Dominic Massa on the specials and documentaries that will be coming up. As for her semi-retirement, what's she going to do with her free time?
"I'm going to be enjoying every second of it," she said. "I don't remember having six or seven months off in my life...I've always worked. I've worked during high school, I worked during college. And to have this time to not have a deadline, not have to get up for anything, is just foreign, but I'm looking forward to it. But I'm also looking forward to, after a nice break, of kind of jumping back in."