NEW ORLEANS -- With the announcement of Angela Hill's retirement, the family that is WWL-TV marked a major milestone – one punctuated initially by gasps and gulps, but ultimately a toast.
For this is not a goodbye, but a bravo! A celebration of 38 years.
If New Orleanians shared a single heart, surely it skipped a beat when Angela arrived. It was love at first sight, and it was mutual.
The year was 1975. Angela Hill was hired as WWL's new consumer reporter, but her bosses soon had much bigger plans.
Angela would become WWL's first female anchor, taking a daunting seat in broadcast history. With grace, poise and wit, she was an instant hit.
Making headlines and turning heads, she broke the biggest news of the day, and from the field she provided depth in documentaries shot around the globe - Paris, London, Beirut, China, Africa, Rome.
But at the end of the day, what set her apart on the news was the way she brought it home, her connection to you.
Night after night, Angela was the friend who filled you in. And behind the scenes among her colleagues, the bond was nothing short of a love connection.
Everyone remembers when Angela married Garland. But you may not have known former News Director Phil Johnson gave her away and General Manager J. Michael Early was the best man.
Angela is family. She's been a daughter, a wife, a sister. After all, it was Angela who prompted the station to "adopt" Sally-Ann Roberts back in 1977.
Over the years Angela's relationships grew only stronger, especially with you.
By 1989, you had already been on a first-name basis for years, when WWL launched the Angela Show. From presidents of the United States, to the first lady of daytime talk. Angela's daily show brought you big names from around the world and around the city.
Angela quickly became more than host. She became and remains New Orleans' ambassador and greatest cheerleader.
From the Saints to the orchestra, to animal rights groups, the good earth and Goodwill.
She's used her position to help others and give voice their victories, perhaps never louder than the Saints post-Katrina Super Bowl win!
For 38 years, Angela has called New Orleans and our WWL studios home. It's where her pot-belly pig Alice used to roam the halls, where countless birthdays were celebrated and named storms were weathered together.
Perhaps that's why it's so hard to turn the page, but just like when Angela and her husband Irwin eloped and sent cards from their honeymoon, we know retirement will take them on a fabulous journey.
But all roads eventually lead home, and WWLTV will always be hers.