Jack Hobbs Signs Off after 40 Years in TV - WLBT.com - Jackson, MS

Jackson 08/15/08

Jack Hobbs Signs Off after 40 Years in TV

Longtime morning news anchor Jack Hobbs signed off for the last time on Friday, August 15, 2008. After 40 years in Jackson television, including the last 33 at WLBT, he has retired.

It will be a working retirement. Jack has accepted a position with the Madison County School District, where he will work with special-needs children.

Jack began his TV career at WJTV-Channel 12 in 1967. He joined WLBT to anchor the morning news in 1975. He has remained on the desk ever since.

On his final morning, Julie Levanway made Eggs Benedict, a special request by Jack for his "last meal." Former morning anchor Dawn Russell surprised Jack by coming in to wish him well.

Here is what Jack said in his farewell to viewers:

One cold February morning in 1975, I crawled out of a warm bed in what seemed the middle of the night, came to the station and did my first broadcast for WLBT.

I blinked... and it is 2008, and it's time to go.

The Chinese philospher Confuscius once said, "Choose a work you love and you will never work another day in your life."

Based on that, I have not worked one morning here in thirty-three years.

You have allowed me to come into your home, and I can't even begin to describe what your e-mails and comments have meant to me.

In some small way, over the years, we have become a part of each other's lives.

This once barefoot, dirt-poor boy from Shawneetown, Illinois, is overwhelmed and flattered by your attention.

I am grateful to everyone here at WLBT who has allowed me to carry on the way I did for all these years. I have worked with some of the best people in this business.

But I am ready to get out of Time Out  to see what else is out there.

I would like to thank one person in particular, because if not for him I would not be here today. In 1967 he was news director of WJTV and one day came in and found me sitting in his newsroom. I had been hired by the station manager. I had no experience, and after the initial shock -- he decided to give me a chance.

I learned all I needed to know about this business by watching, listening and just being around him.

Years later, after I had left the business, he brought me back in to do this morning news part-time. I consider him the "Father of Television Journalism" in Mississippi. I'm talking about our own Bert Case.

So it's time for me to be on my way -- not to say good-bye but "See you later." I'm moving on to my next career with the Madison County School District working with special-education children and hoping that in some small way I can make a difference.

So I close with the words of poet Robert Frost:

"The woods they are dark and deep,
but I have miles to go and promises to keep before I sleep."

Time Out is officially closed.

To email Jack, click here.

For more about Jack, click here.

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