Jim Vance stepping down as 11:00pm news co-anchor

I can’t believe it.  Long time news anchor Jim Vance will be leaving his co-anchor spot at 11:00pm for NBC4 Washington (or known as WRC Channel 4).  He will remain as the 6:00pm co-anchor until 2017.  Jim has been co-anchoring the 6:00pm and 11:00pm news for 25 years with Doreen Gentzler.

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Jim Vance, the anchorman who has been synonymous with local TV news in Washington for more than 40 years, will step down as the co-anchor of the 11 p.m. newscast for WRC (Channel 4) at the end of May, the station said Wednesday.

Vance, 73, has been a fixture at NBC-owned WRC, known as “News4,” since 1969, and became an anchorman at the station in 1972. He is also a living link to a formative era of local television; Vance was among the first wave of African Americans to anchor a local broadcast, as stations around the country began to integrate their ranks in the early 1970s.

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Jim Vance is an institution in the Washington, D.C. news arena.  It will be strange not seeing his face on the 11:00pm news.  According to NBC4.com Jim is ready for an earlier bedtime.  I don’t blame him.

Check out this article about Jim Vance and Doreen Gentzler from Washingtonian Magazine in 2011.

Jim Vance and Doreen Gentzler can’t remember what line it was that they both refused to read one night on the 6 o’clock news. She says it was his line, it wasn’t a good one, and he was trying to foist it off on her.

“We got into a contest at the end of a broadcast,” says Gentzler. “We played chicken on the air.”

They sat there, two seasoned newscasters on live television, until a producer yelled into Vance’s ear from the control room: “Somebody say something!”

“She’s incredibly stubborn when she wants to be,” Vance says. “It occurred to me that I might as well give up.”

“I won,” Gentzler reminds him. “And you could not believe it.”

In 22 years together co-anchoring the evening news, there have been lots of unscripted moments. If she mispronounces a word, he’ll ask her to repeat it; if he fumbles a line, you might hear her laughing.

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