I cannot lie. I teared up Thursday evening during the “Good-bye” broadcast of Angela Hill’s last day on WWL TV. When I moved to New Orleans in 1978, Angela (and Garland Robinette) were THE faces of New Orleans for me. I was so excited to be beginning a new life in such an exciting and vibrant city – everything was brand new and watching the evening news on WWL was a big part of learning about life in my new city. It was all so big, so exciting, so different from anything I’d previously experienced.
Over the years I came to respect Angela more and more not only for her professional news delivery and reporting skills but also for the genuine and personable way she had of delivering the news to us. I admired her work with the local SPCA and her advocacy for abused and neglected animals. She was a champion for Good Will Industries and often wore clothing she bought there on air which I admired most of all. How many celebs take their activism to that level? Not many.
Yet Angela’s contributions to her community also extend way beyond the television cameras. Her profound love of animals and people alike has inspired her to give countless hours to diverse organizations ranging from the LASPCA to the United Way. Angela was named the first-ever “Animal Ambassador” by the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine for her tireless work promoting the issues of animal welfare. For years, she has led the diabetes’ “Walk for the Cure,” and has also chaired dozens of fundraisers. While year after year, she proudly wears her “fashion bargains” on the anchor desk as part of her beloved “Goodwill Week” to support Goodwill Industries.
So many of her “special” reports coincided with my own interests and beliefs that I felt a kinship with her and I daresay many others felt the same.
Angela has been someone I’ve looked up to for many years as a strong, compassionate woman of the people and an excellent ambassador for New Orleans. A few years ago she was in the same jury pool as I and I took the opportunity to just watch her with her fellow prospective jurors. She was gracious and so down-to-earth, smiling and talking with everyone who approached her – not at all playing the diva part we see so often with celebrities. I regret not speaking with her myself but I was reluctant to impose when there were so many others seeking her attention.
While I will miss seeing her every evening, as I have for 34 years, I’m happy to know she will still be doing special reports from time to time. So I guess we’re not really losing her and seeing her less often will make the times we do see her so much sweeter.
Congratulations on this new phase in your life, Angela. New Orleans will be waiting in anticipation of what you’ll show us next!
(The title is paraphrased from a comment by Dennis Woltering during the Goodbye broadcast.)